So proud is Chapter One: the modern local of its libations that it puts them on the same one-sheet menu with the rest of the food. In fact, they call them “Culinary Cocktails”. And if you think the title is kind of presumptuous, you haven't realized that a few of the ingredients seen in Chef Oge Dalken's dishes are also tasted in the drinks.
The “Holiday in Cambodia” utilizes the Kampot pepper–a spice coveted by chefs like Dalken for its intensity of flavor. At Chapter One, it is extracted and distilled into a tincture, the pepper's oomph mixing with Flor De Cana rum, brandy and lime. Then there is the Druid Divination, a concoction that might double for a summer salad with its strawberries, thyme, basil, lemon juice and aged balsamic.
Today, however, we hone in on a classic, the Moscow Mule, a drink often credited for popularizing vodka cocktails to Americans when it was first served at a bar in Hollywood in the 1940s. These days the drink, always recognizable by the copper cup, is enjoying a sort of comeback along with other “old man” drinks. Mad Men had it in at least one episode. Now even Oprah has a recipe on her site.
Chapter One honors it by starting with a carbonated house-made ginger beer so peppy, so spicy, it clears your sinuses and soothes your cough. Every sip of this lemonade-looking liquid warms your mouth the same time the lime juice and perfectly square ice cubes cools it. And when the room starts to deform and your speech slurs, that's the Russian Standard Vodka doing its work. Sip up sonny, this is one of the many ways your grandfather used to get drunk back in the day.