While fondue may be their specialty, we've spent many a happy hour at The Melting Pot's bar bitching about stupid people over the other liquid nourishment. In their Irvine spot, bar stools are closest to both restrooms and kitchen, conveniently meeting our personal and gastronomical needs. One can even order chocolate and cheese courses, since burners are built into the counter. However, entrees involving boiling oil are reserved for the dining room (probably due to some entertaining stories of second-degree burns).
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Fancy potions are aplenty according to the barkeep's menu, though we tend to lean towards their martinis. A vineyard-inspired treat is one of our favorites, where mixing liquor, fruit and vino is a winning combination.
The base of our Grapes of Wrath--a healthy dose of Ketel One to get us in the proper state of mind. St. Germain elderflower's floral and citrus notes are gingerly incorporated for an intoxicating bouquet. The juice of lemons and apples contribute a natural sweet and sour tang, while muddled grapes are more for effect than flavor. A flourish of Sauvignon Blanc ends our cocktail equation before it's shaken to completion. The result is refreshment without the sickly sweet aftertaste. While not really a farm fresh item, its agricultural nod would earn Steinbeck's respect.