Oh, Avalon Bar… home, sweet hole-in-the wall. Those of you familiar with this local dive already know at least two major details:
1. Contrary to what the kitschy, light bulb-lined arrow pointing down at the bar's entrance may lead you to believe, this is place is no disco.
2. This establishment doesn't serve hard liquor, so you can leave any hope of a vodka and Red Bull at the door.
Now, detail number two might be a bit of a drag for those looking to
get trashed by 10 p.m., but it doesn't mean that a beer and wine bar
can't serve up a decent mixed drink. Places like Avalon generally
refrain from offering hard alcohol because the type of liquor license
they hold prevents them from selling beverages over a certain
percentage of alcohol by volume, but soju is a convenient way to circumvent this.
technically counts as a hard liquor (ranging anywhere between 20-45%
ABV), but the sale of varieties under 25% ABV in a mixed beverage is
permitted in California bars that hold only a beer/wine license. This
makes soju a popular alternative to other clear spirits such
as vodka and gin in mixed drinks. Yeah, your cocktails aren't going
to taste quite the same, but you're not going to punch someone in the
face for serving you a bologna sandwich with Miracle Whip when there's
no mayo… that is, unless you're a jerk.
Enter Avalon Bar's Peach Soju Cocktail.
This drink is pretty self-explanatory, consisting of peach juice, soju,
and a splash of Welch's grape juice to give it a little tang. The great
thing about soju: Compared with other liquors in its price range, it has relatively little aftertaste. This subtlety makes it great for
mixing with fruity beverages at a surprisingly high soju-to-juice ratio
without compromising the cocktail's drinkability. The Peach Soju
Cocktail is such an example, almost surprising in its smoothness and
deceptive in its strength. I probably wouldn't have given a second
thought to moderation if I hadn't caught myself giggling at a completely
unfunny joke after the second drink. At $6 a glass, this cocktail is a
pleasant change of pace if you're looking for something other than
beer, wine, or sangria to sip on. Try a Soju and Tonic for a less-sweet
beverage of equal deliciousness!