Alongside rounds of superb flatbread and that iconic Nopa burger (#1 in our recent burger survey), Nopa's cocktails have long been one of the restaurant's key draws years back when Neyah White launched well-ahead-of-their-time sherry cocktail menus. Under the direction of bar manager Yanni Kehagiaras, Nopa is still setting themselves apart with elegant drinks. While we love cocktails from their regular menu, the Spiritual (think pre-dinner or solo drinks) and Digestif (post-dinner/dessert) cocktail menus are the secret shining stars.
"Spiritual" Menu ($9-11 each)
This menu is a foursome of gorgeous eau de vie cocktails, which basically means "water of life," or clear fruit brandies, requiring a massive amount of fresh fruit to produce each bottle. The menu runs the gamut from Raspberry Funk (pictured above), a combination of funky-lovely Banks 5 Island Rum and Austria's fantastic Reistebauer raspberry eau de vie, to the subtle, vegetal 9 Carrot Gold, a mix of Diep 9 Belgian Genever, Benedictine and carrot eau de vie. But our favorite is The Pear, a delicate blend of Jacopo Poli grappa, pear eau de vie and Dolin Blanc white vermouth. Martini lovers, try this clean, bright beauty, fresh with pear. We long to see more eau de vie and proper Austrian schnaps cocktail menus around town.
The Digestif menu ($10 each)
This menu shows off coffee, sherry and other ideal late night flavors in a menu that will keep you buzzing past Nopa's 1 AM closing time. Served over a single ice cube in a wine glass, The Eucharist feels almost sacramental: a beauty of a combo of dark-sweet Lustau East India Solera sherry, smoky Ardbeg 10 year Scotch and dry Manzanilla sherry. The Blue Bottle cocktail is a dreamy coffee sipper, cool and refreshing with a foamy top, mixing vodka, Araku rum coffee liqueur and Blue Bottle espresso.
Tasting through the digestif menu [Photo source: Virginia Miller]