Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Aaron Zieske made his way from Portland to San Diego in the spring of 2011. He started his career as a barista and coffee roaster and eventually took interest in fine dining. Zieske’s fascination with wine led him to become a bartender at Polite Provisions. Zieske has been with Polite Provisions since they opened in 2013 and is now the bar manager.
For this new series, we talked to Zieske about the origin of the refreshing Pine Street Sour and how he makes it.
Pine Street Sour
- 2 oz. rye whiskey
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. Campari
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 1/2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
Shake over ice with two grapefruit wedges. Fine strain over fresh ice into a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Q: What’s the origin of the Pine Street Sour?
A: The drink came about after a challenge from our owner Erick Castro. He left for lunch one day and asked all of the bar staff to have an idea for a refreshing cocktail by the time he got back from his meal. It was hot out so I was thinking of something bright and bitter, which pointed to Campari. At the time we were producing our own pineapple gomme syrup, so that combination was the basis for the drink. There were many amazing entries for this challenge, and to be honest, this drink actually took several months before it was completely menu worthy.
How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn’t had this before?
A: This drink is pleasantly bittersweet with bright citrus, subtle oak, and rounded tropical fruit.
When choosing the brands for the rye whiskey, why did you choose George Dickel Rye?
A: At first we were using Jim Beam rye from Kentucky, which is where the name came from. Pine Street is actually a short road in Louisville. After adjusting the recipe, we found that the bolder spice and the higher alcohol content of George Dickel Rye held up to the fruit better than the lighter style of the Jim Beam.
Are there any other versions of this drink? Could you switch out lemon for lime? Or pineapple for orange juice?
A: This drink can be made a few different ways by utilizing the pineapple with whichever technique best suits the home bartender. The recipe I used for this video contained fresh pineapple juice, but pineapple infused rye whiskey also works very well. Just add 1 pound of sliced pineapple to 1 liter of Rye in a sealed container and let it sit for 3 days. If you don’t want to commit to a whole bottle however, or your party is tonight and you don’t have access to a juicer, 2 pineapple wedges without the rind can be muddled in the mixing glass in addition to the rest of the ingredients.
Would you say this is a seasonal drink?
A: This cocktail is probably most appropriate on warmer days, but living in San Diego makes it appealing year round.
4696 30th Street, Normal Heights
(619) 677-3784 or politeprovisions.com
Jarnard Sutton is a multimedia producer for DiscoverSD and San Diego Union-Tribune. He loves providing readers with updates on music and events happening in San Diego. You can follow Jarnard at @jarnard for everything music, food, beer and television. You can also follow him on Instagram at @nardvillain