There are drinks you order because it's your usual. There are drinks you order to get drunk in as few sips as possible. But then there are those drinks you order because the name made you laugh, and also, made everyone else at the table laugh. The “That's What She Said” is that kind of drink.
It stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb on an otherwise respectable list of cocktails. You wouldn't have pegged the people behind CUCINA enoteca, the progressive Italian restaurant that offers it, for Carrell fans. You half-expect something with such a name at the T.G.I. McFunsters, not here where the kitchen makes its own hand-crafted infused liquors, including a chai tea rum, a cucumber and mint gin, and even a jalapeño tequila. But ordering those won't break the ice like the “That's What She Said” will. Never mind that it missed the heyday of The Office by a few years; the drink still pays off humor dividends. Quips about the drink being “stiff” or “hard” will be inevitable and not unwelcome, because, c'mon, it's why you ordered it.
The drink itself is no joke. Even Lulu De Rouen, the restaurant's chef, counts it as her favorite. And yes, it is a stiff drink, concocted from Dewar's Scotch, Carpano Antica Formula and Cynar, which is an artichoke-based bitter usually sipped as a digestif. Here, it's in the background, a cleansing presence on the palate while the vermouth-sweetness laces the mouth and the Scotch burns the inner cheek. Let the ice melt a bit more and the drink softens into a doppelgänger of herbal iced tea that you can chug easily. At this rate, you can go all night. That's what she said.
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