Spirit Cruises Summer 2019 Leaderboard

Rex 1516's Don't-Miss Fall Cocktail Menu

We had a chance to stop into Rex 1516 on South Street West recently, and came away extremely impressed by the new specialty cocktail list. Designed by general manager Heather Rodkey, the fall drink menu features unusual combinations (and a few classic faves) using house infusions, housemade shrubs and lots of local liquors.

Sage, the newest spirit from Art in the Age, is featured in the Sage Advice. The liquor is less sweet than the company’s Snap or Root, and the bright, herbal notes are complemented by the richness of Carpano Antica sweet vermouth. Cranberry juice and ginger are added and the result is nicely complex, with a long finish. A whole sage leaf on top is a perfect garnish.

The Sage Advice is $12, as are several on the list, but if you’re looking for a serious bargain, go for The Harvest (just $8). Laird’s Apple Brandy (the kind George Washington used to prop up his tired troops) is mixed with St. Germain elderflower liqueur and an apple-coriander shrub that takes three days to make. Bartram’s Bitters from Philadelphia Distilling are the final ingredient to this not-sweet cocktail that just screams autumn.

A new food menu was introduced along with the drinks, and when you pull up a seat at the “faded Southern mansion” style bar (think The Shining, but a non-horror version), a few of Regis Jansen’s bites are worth trying with your sips. One of our faves was the stuffed beignet, which sees the New Orleans-style donut stuffed with a savory mix of shrimp and sausage and served with a killer jalapeno jelly on the side.

Or just go for dessert, in either solid or liquid form. The Chai Alexander ($11) is a good end to any chilly eve, with cognac, spiced cream rum, crème de cacao and chocolate biters, mixed to a frothy finish. It’s sweeter than all the other drinks on the menu, but, hey, it’s dessert!

Photos by Danya Henninger

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