Saint Augustine, Florida is a great little town for foodies. I was very, very pleasantly surprised by how cute the city is and by their culinary offerings. It’s definitely a place to spend a couple of nights, wandering the narrow streets and admiring the beaches. Since we only had one full day in St. Augustine, we had to make the most of it. And if that means cocktails at 2 p.m., then by all means, SHAKE ‘EM UP!
After a filling hamburger lunch at Scarlett’s, we noticed a swanky cocktail bar called Dos Gatos right next door. Since the weather was iffy and we didn’t know if we’d be back downtown after dinner, we took the bull by the horns and went in. I’m very glad we did…
The chef went with a classic Hemingway and I went with the Butcher’s Cut. Since there was no one in there, the cocktails were made with care and came out tasting absolutely perfect. The Hemingway is made of Matusalem rum, Maraschino liqueur, fresh lime juice and a touch of grapefruit. Garnished with a lime wheel, this was refreshing and had great flavor from the Maraschino. Yes, I could see Papa himself sipping on one or five of these on the veranda of his Key West abode. As for me, I chose the Butcher’s Cut from the section of the menu entitled “For Professional Drinkers Only.” (Ha!) I believe this is one of their original creations, mingling Hennessey VS, Aperol, apricot preserves and lemon. Expecting a strong, harsh mix, I was delighted to find this drink slightly sweet, well-balanced and damn delicious. This is one of those dangerous drinks where the high alcohol content is masked by such a good flavor.
After we finished our first round, I found a whole page in the menu I had missed the first time around! We decided to share another cocktail. This time we went with a Red Fruit Caipirinha, taking the advice of the bartender. Once again, I made a good choice. While it wasn’t as complex as the Butcher’s Cut, this play on the classic was well-made and fruity. There was a nice hint of basil that didn’t overpower the mix of different berries muddled with the cachaca. It is just the thing you would like to sip on Florida’s beautiful beaches!
Overall, our experience at Dos Gatos was excellent. We just chilled out on the couches and enjoyed great drinks. I love the vintage vibe of the place and the well-thought out menu. The bartenders were super nice and more than willing to answer any of the questions I had about the cocktails. While I am not an expert on cocktail prices, I thought the prices were very reasonable for the quality drinks we were served! The majority of drinks were from 8 to 10 dollars, though some were a bit more or less. It would be interesting to see how the quality of the drinks holds up when the entire place is full, though I imagine they wouldn’t disappoint.