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What to Drink at V-Street, the 'Global Street Food Bar' from Vedge's Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby

Though the opening came before the liquor license was fully legit, things are now running on all cylinders at V-Street, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby’s follow-up to Vedge.

While the kitchen at the back of the cozy Rittenhouse newcomer kicks out spicy and boldly-flavored small plates inspired by street foods from around the world, the 12-seat bar up front keeps step, mixing and pouring drinks that are as equally innovative as the menu’s meatless marvels.

“We’re just trying to do the same thing the kitchen’s doing,” front-of-the-house manager Daniel Miller told Drink Philly. “We’re tapping into some ethnic roots and having a lot of fun with flavors.”

For V-Street’s debut, Miller came up with a tight cocktail list that shares the same world-wide view that Landau and Jacoby based the menu on. Each of the drinks has some sort of correlation to the dishes, either by mimicking their flavors or drawing on the same traditions and indigenous ingredients.

It’s a given that you won’t find anything sweetened with honey or made frothy with egg whites — or the use of any other animal-based products — but at the same time, you also won’t find any gratuitous or pretentious use of vegetables in any of the cocktails.

“We’re not going out of our way to mix drinks with like, wheatgrass,” Miller said. “But just like any other good bar, we’re using fresh, quality ingredients.”

For the Lima Mist, which riffs on a Pisco Sour, Miller spikes a sweet, yellow corn-based chicha morada he makes in house with pisco. Rather than strain the chicha morada, he purees it to give it thicker body to make up for the missing egg white foam that typically tops the Peruvian drink.

Colonel Mustard in the Library with a Dagger, a Corpse Reviver No.2 made with mustard syrup sweetened with onions, gin, cocchi and lemon, compliments the Hungarian and Eastern European flavors found in V-Street’s smoked beets and sauerkraut-laden Langos while simultaneously evoking something that’s an entirely Philadelphia thing — soft pretzels and mustard.

Similarly, Lokum at the Bazaar calls forth the Middle East with a smoked date Jaleb syrup and Turkish coffee, but is tempered with tastes from the American South compliments of a shot of bourbon.

The wine list focuses on natural wines, especially those that pair well with spicy and bold flavors. Miller said he chose varietals from smaller producers that were made with minimal intervention and utilize native yeasts. The 10 selections offered are available by the bottle and the glass.

For beer, V-Street offers sessionable brews with bright, refreshing and crisp qualities. Twelve taps pour everything from a Spanish-style cider from Michagin’s Virtue Farms to a saison brewed exclusively for the bar by the small, Jersey Shore-based Tuckahoe Brewing Co. It’s fermented with native yeasts harvested from local blueberry farms. In the months ahead, Miller said he will have more private label beers from local brewers, including Mt. Airy’s Earth Bread + Brewery.

V-Street, 126 South 19th Street, (215) 278-7943, www.vstreetfood.com

Photo: V-Street's Kate Jacoby, Daniel Miller and Rich Landau, by Collin Keefe


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food, Spirits, Wine
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