Vanguard Lounge is my favorite Downtown bar because it fits like a puzzle piece into the Fremont East framework. It’s laid-back but cool; raw and slightly industrial but still refined. The future of Downtown is diversity, and Vanguard provides a variety of experiences in one small spot. Drink inside or out, huddle with friends or cold-crash the bar, happy hour or late-night cool. Of course, the real reason we come is for cocktails, so here are three edible ways to be won over by Vanguard:
The Drunk Monk Equal parts calm and exotic, this blissful creation is made with New Amsterdam gin, one of the smoothest in creation, and infused with black tea so you can get your super-zen on. Homemade lemon cordial with a bite of Chinese five spice kicks the Monk into the flavor stratosphere, but it stays mighty mellow. It’s hard to order something else from Vanguard’s signature menu, but then again...
The Carnivore Full-bodied, 7-year-old Flor De Caña rum is the foundation for this sweet (maple syrup) and savory (added Tuaca is washed with pancetta, hence the meaty name of this bad boy) masterpiece. There’s some fun and fire involved with the preparation, too.
The Broken Neck Sounds violent, huh? It’s not as rough as the Death’s Door White Whiskey would have you believe. Mixed with Drambuie, honey, lemon and celery bitters, the “new” whiskey (it hasn’t been sitting in barrels like the brown stuff) featured in this drink is quite caramel-y and delicious.
The Drunk Monk
1 1/2 oz. black tea-infused New Amsterdam gin
3/4 oz. Chinese five spice-infused lemon cordial
1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
1 tsp. Creme de Violette liqueur
Method: Vanguard Lounge infuses the gin with black tea flavors and makes their own lemon cordial with Chinese Five Spice flavors. Combine all with ice, shake and strain into coupe glass. Serve to Brock with lemon peel or twist.