Orange County Sour at Brü Grill & Market, Our Drink of the Week
Photo by Gem Calilong
Apart from being a wine store, beer pourer, and restaurant, Brü Grill & Market is also one of the few establishments on Lake Forest's El Toro Rd. not ruled by some distant corporate overlord. As such, it's the only place I know of in this bedroom town that has the cojones to do beer can chicken the right way and alcohol-lace just about everything on the menu. If gulping down one of their raw oysters burns like you're also taking a shot of hooch, it's because the bivalves are actually splashed with vodka.
As expected, the mixed drinks are potent creatures. What just about everyone gravitates to, if they're not already sipping a local beer sampler, is a drink called the Orange County Sour. I did because like everyone else, I'm also a sucker for dishes and drinks named in honor of something local.
Never mind that the only citrus fruits involved are grapefruit and lime. It employs an orange slice simply as garnish. But with a few drops of bitters and thanks to that grapefruit, the drink is one of those palate-cleansers, biting enough to cut through all the rich food. The liquor that powers the acerbity is blanco tequila and the froth that floats above the liquid like some bizarre cloud is actually meringue built from foamed egg whites. It won't remind you of OC as much as it will recall memories of Orange Julius before they stopped using raw eggs.
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