PANIC! at the distillery

A week ago when the world was only slightly crazy, and maybe you could still find toilet paper on the shelves, J and I were headed to see Enter The Haggis at Buffalo Iron Works, and with some time to kill before the show we stopped at Hartman’s Distilling in the First Ward.

I am only a week or so late with this review, instead of weekS or months, because I have nothing else to do. That’s right, I am temporarily out of a job due to the Covid-19 virus panic of 2020. My place of business has been shut down since it is a public place with the potential for large gatherings, and we work with dirty dirty cash. There is no way for me to work from home, no way to do my job virtually, so I’m trying to be productive on Day 1 of my Corona-cation.

Hartman’s Distilling is the newest distillery to open in Buffalo, located next door to Resurgence Brewing’s 2nd location in the old EB Holmes building. Whoever owns the building did a fantastic job with the renovation from an abandoned brick shell to brewery, distillery and other offerings. The 2 bars share a nice courtyard that has gas fire pits and games in the summer.

I had seen them advertise their bloody mary on social media, but it was always mentioned as a brunch drink, and indeed was not on their regular menu. But after my first gin based cocktail, I asked if it was a brunch only drink, and lucky me it was not.

Hartman’s Bloody Mary

Hartman’s house made mix features a lot of horseradish. A. Lot. You can clearly see it throughout the drink, and it is the main flavor providing the heat to the drink. But there is also a touch of sweetness and garlic that comes from sriracha, a bit of tang from olive juice, and a touch of heat from chili oil.

I was ordering this on a Thursday, and initially it did not have a very fancy garnish, but once J gave bartender Joe my card for this site, he got a little nervous and offered to add the garnish they usually do for brunch. I accepted.

The brunch garnish

The garnish is a simple and classy addition, nothing crazy-go-nuts, just olive, celery, cherry tomato, prosciutto and cheese (usually, but not in mine). For $8 this is a solid cocktail with a good flavor that goes beyond the classic, without alienating bloody mary purists.

And here’s a funny story about bartender Joe. A year or 2 ago we stopped into Hotel Henry for a drink, we were sitting at the bar, looking at the TV and the local news is interviewing someone at the airport. I look at the TV, I look at the bartender. I look at the TV, I look at the bartender. I ask, “Is that you?” Bartender looks at the TV, “Oh yeah, that’s me.” LOL Well I think that bartender is bartender Joe. I could be wrong, but Joe looked familiar, and although we encounter many bartenders in our travels, not many have been on TV at the same time.

Now the question is, what to do with days 2-14 (at least) of my Corona-cation?

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