If you’re looking for the perfect cocktail for the holidays, then look no further than the classic American comfort food eatery, Urban Solace, in North Park. The Daiquiri cocktail offers a rich thickness and a sweet lime taste that will have you saying “It’s key lime pie in a glass!”
Watch as the lead bartender of Urban Solace, Jesse Welsh-Armer, makes the Daiquiri.
Did you grow up in San Diego?
I grew up in New Hampshire, but have been in San Diego for the past six years and love it so much that I have no plans of going anywhere anytime soon.
How did you get into bartending?
I have worked in restaurants for the past 15 years, so being behind the stick was always something I wanted to do. If you look at the kitchen as the heart of a restaurant, then I definitely look at the bar is its soul. So as soon as I was of age, I started bartending at corporate chain restaurants, learning the business and basic cocktails, until I was able to make the transition to the craft cocktail scene where I am currently refining my techniques and expanding my knowledge base.
What’s your favorite cocktail to make?
My favorite cocktail to make is the Old Fashioned. Similar to the Daiquiri it only has a few ingredients, but, in order to make a truly extraordinary drink, technique, knowledge and practice must all come together in a perfect union.
- 2 oz. white rum
- .75 oz. lime juice
- .75 oz. simple syrup
- Sweetened egg white meringue
- Garnish: Lime zest and Angostura bitters
What’s the origin of the Daiquiri?
The Daiquiri is a very simple drink, so it’s hard to nail down exactly who invented it, but many people say that an American engineer in Cuba named Jennings Cox was the first to name it. It was popularized by Ernest Hemingway, who had a particular affinity for a riff on the daiquiri called a papa doble (he was a diabetic so they substituted grapefruit and maraschino liqueur for the simple syrup).
How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn’t had this before?
Our take on the cocktail uses a sweetened egg white meringue that sits on top of a classic daiquiri recipe. It creates a very cool layered look that gets a nice pop of color from aromatic bitters and fresh grated lime zest.
What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?
When people try it for the first time they are intrigued by the mouthfeel of the meringue, which has a rich thickness to it, but is balanced out by the acidity from the limes in the cocktail. Working behind the bar we usually hear “It’s key lime pie in a glass!” exclaimed after the first few sips.
What are some dishes to pair with this drink?
Because it is on the sweeter side of the cocktail spectrum this drink pairs very well with some of our lighter fare, like the cheddar cheese and chive biscuits or our chili sautéed Mexican shrimp and grits.
What kind of experience can someone get at Urban Solace?
People coming to Urban Solace can look forward to, first and foremost, genuine hospitality, where everyone from the hostess and bussers to the servers and bartenders want you to have the best possible experience you can and be willing to go above and beyond to make that happen. Secondly the food is out of this world good, it’s a sophisticated take on classic American comfort food so even if we are using more obscure ingredients like beef cheeks or sweetbreads, the flavors are still familiar and remind you of home. Come visit us if you’re looking for a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere that has amazing “stick to your ribs” style food, innovative seasonal cocktails, and one of the warmest, most genuine staffs you’ll find in San Diego.
3823 30th St., North Park.
(619) 295-6464 or urbansolace.net
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 on Twitter at @jarnard for everything music, food, beer and television. You can also follow him on Instagram at @nardvillain or @thenardcast