September 17, 2010 | 3:00pm
As cocktails go, Mesa's Bourbon and Cherries demonstrates that just because a drink is fruity doesn't mean it can't be manly.
And why wouldn't it? Bourbon is among the manliest of hard alcohols. It's dark color signifies brooding mystery and, unlike top-shelf vodka, Bourbon packs a sharp set of teeth. But show me the rule in the booze-hound's bible that says a braggadocio with a self-assured swagger can't sip something that tickles the palette as it cleanses the sinuses. Enter the Bourbon and Cherries. At $11, this signature drink of the ultra-chic Costa Mesa bar will put a dent in your wallet, but it's still a nice way to start the evening. Beginning with a base of Jim Beam, the bartender adds ginger ale, Luxardo liqeur and drunken cherries (i.e. Maraschino cherries soaked in booze.) Side note: these black globules of fruity goodness are sweet enough to get a free pass to the diabetes club, but totally worth the price of admission. In the end, what you're left with is a sweet drink that a man can tip back without shame. And if you're a lady, this one is perfect for growing a little hair on your chest.
Mesa, 725 Baker St., Costa Mesa, (714) 557-6700; www.mesacostamesa.com.