Last night we celebrated Paula and her birthday at the Beehive.  I really love the atmosphere, look and feel of the place, and the staff were nice, so it made for a great spot for a birthday fete.  I will add though that I think the drinks, or better yet making of the drinks, could use a little something.  The cocktail menu has some interesting stuff that are executed well, but our request for an Aviation and Last Word was met with a look of confusion. Does it make me a cocktail snob to think less of a place that isn’t familiar with either of these two classic cocktails?  Hey, I have standards.  My second issue was measuring…its pretty important.  Our Last Words, made with my instruction, were not measured…and frankly were okay, but not the fabulous mix of herbal, sweet, and tart I love so much.  Its kind of hard to get exact equal parts with a pour.  Now that I have gotten that out of my system, onto good things…

Paula and I with our Last Words, which I taught the bartender to make.

So, here’s what a few of us enjoyed for our first round (from the menu).

I got the Bee-Stro which featured Maker’s Mark, St. Germain and apple cider served on the rocks.  This was a really nice way to start the evening.  It was rich, a bit tart and slightly sweet.  It’s strong on the bourbon, light on the St. Germain and cider, so it warmed me from the inside out—really nice on a cold winter evening.  Paula had the Valentino—vodka, blood orange juice and passion fruit.  She shares a birthday with the great Italian filmmaker Frederico Fellini, so having a cocktail named for an Italian seemed appropriate and she enjoyed it very much.  Bridget got the Satin Doll, a combination of champagne and Canton Ginger Liqueur.  It was a bit too gingery for her taste, and judging by the fact that she didn’t finish, she wasn’t crazy about it.

In the end, my little gripes were overshadowed by the fact that we were there for Paula not the drinks.  When you’re enjoying an evening with friends, even slightly imperfect cocktails go down easy.  Happy Birthday, Paula!  Cheers!