Industry Weekly

[First Sip]

Downtown’s Oak & Ivy adds new flavors for fall

It’s always the right season for a Whiskey Smash.
Photo: Mona Shield Payne

When it comes to mixology, the bartenders at Oak & Ivy don’t mess around. The cutting-edge cocktail bar at Downtown Container Park has a vintage vibe, shelves stocked with hard-to-find liquors and a careful craft process headed by lead bartender Chris Gutierrez.

The Whiskey Smash is the signature cocktail, pleasing those who think they can’t drink whiskey and those who love whiskey the most. It’s updated seasonally with different fruit, and the fall menu’s Smash features Buffalo Trace, fresh lemonade and muddled raspberries, garnished with a sprig of soft sage.

Gutierrez likes to emphasize the texture of Oak & Ivy’s drinks; he and the staff have a passion for utilizing top ingredients and developing a story behind each cocktail. “Intention is an ingredient,” he says, noting that each drink makes you feel a certain way.

Another new fall cocktail is Mrs. Lovett’s Pies, its name referencing a character from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Gutierrez considered using pumpkin but switched it up to combine butternut squash puree with house-made pecan syrup, Absolut vanilla, Luxardo amaretto and cinnamon, garnished with thyme and lemon zest. The result: a smooth blend, drink and dessert in a glass.

“We make drinks every day that we’ve never made before,” Gutierrez says. “We want to create concepts that will become modern classics.” Oak & Ivy at Downtown Container Park, 702-945-6717; Monday-Thursday 3-11 p.m., Friday 1 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

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