Since I actually don’t get out much, I’m pleased to say that thanks to the burlesquers, they introduced me to a really cool dive/not dive bar that I really like out in Deep Ellum.
The Black Swan Saloon outwardly is a non-descript end of one of the strips, across from Trees and next to La Grange. The first time I went in, I wasn’t even sure I was in the right place. No signage! (Obviously stolen image from google, since there’s a watermark right in the middle. I digress)
Once you get inside and see the containers of fruit soaking in booze behind the bar, you pretty quickly realize that this isn’t a normal bar. The vibe is cool and Gabe, the owner, is really set on making some really fresh and unique drinks. I’ve read a lot about the cocktail culture in Houston (ala Anvil) And actually, the only reason I thought to write about it was that he introduced me to a new cocktail last time. The Vieux Carre, which translated is “Old Square”.
Gabe suggested it after I had ordered a Sazerac – which historically is considered the USA’s first cocktail. I was really impressed that he had the actual Herbsaint absinthe as called for in an “authentic” recipe. The Vieux Carre is a lot like a Manhattan, but a little sweeter. A typical Manhattan has a weird tinge for me, but the Vieux Carre (pronounced “Voo-Car-Ay”) was a lot smoother and a great sipping drink.
The other thing I usually drink there is a Pecan infusion – which is bourbon that has had pecans soaking in it. Good stuff. The atmosphere is really laid back, and I’ve found myself talking to random people who aren’t in my “scene” and generally had a great time.
Check it out if you’re down in Deep Ellum.