About a month ago, I strode confidently into the Courtyard Bar at Brennan's. I'm here to try the Brugal Anejo Rum drinks, I told them. My people talked to the bar manager. It's all worked out.
The bartender looked at me like I was crazy.
A few minutes later, along came the manager himself. He gently informed me that he knew of no such arrangement. Perhaps I meant to go to Brenner's? Imagine me going from confident to deeply embarrassed in about 3.5 seconds.
But I was already there, at the bar, with my schmancy camera, and the afternoon sunlight was slanting through the windows just so, and the bottles behind the bar looked oh-so-alluring. I had dinner plans a couple blocks away in 45 minutes. What was I supposed to do, wait in the car? And everyone had been so nice. So I did what any reasonable person in my position would have done: I ordered a few drinks.
I spotted a bottle of Fernet Branca behind the bar, which intrigued me because I have my own bottle of Fernet Branca, sitting unopened, waiting for the proper inspiration. So I asked the Bartender, Adam (who, despite the initial mix-up, was courtesy itself) to make me a cocktail with Fernet Branca that was "not too bitter". He presented me with something called the Problem Solver - not too sweet, not too bitter, just the perfect little whiskey cocktail. If you would like your problems solved as well, you're in luck, because Adam was kind enough to give me the recipe. (See, I told you they were nice.)
The Problem Solver
2 oz rye whiskey
1/2 oz cherry heering
1/4 oz Benedictine
Stir the rye, cherry heering, and Benedictine together in an ice-filled mixing glass. Strain into a Fernet-rinsed cocktail glass.
For my second drink, Adam made me a yellow plum daiquiri. Believe me, it tasted as light and beautiful as it looks. Unfortunately, I don't have the recipe for this one - you may just have to go to Brennan's and order one yourself.