As the weather changes, so do the seasonal cocktails at Twenty Manning Grill. Our sister and neighboring restaurant released their new cocktail list on Monday, November 6th, and the beverages are being received very well. The fall/winter cocktails feature citrus and spicy flavors with a bunch of creative twists. Check out the new boozy creations!
Under the 261 Labs section of the beverages menu, you can find five exciting new drinks. Twenty Manning Grill, located at 261 South 20th St (hence the name 261 Labs), regularly updates their seasonal drinks offerings around a common theme. In the past, they have had drinks centered around reality shows (such as The Real Housewives franchise), and also tongue twisters that made your speech slur before you even had a sip of alcohol. This time, Twenty Manning Grill’s General Manager Jill Encarnacion and her wife Resa Mueller concocted cocktails that are inspired by ladies of hip-hop. I met with Jill to taste each of the drinks and get more information on how each drink came to be. Here’s a breakdown of each cocktail, starting with the one that inspired the hip-hop ladies theme.
Jill stated that the theme for the drinks usually comes from one cocktail creation that someone comes up with and they roll with it. Amber Rose was that idea that spurred a lady MC beverage revolution. Since Amber Rose is notable for her local strip bar origins, it makes perfect sense that her cocktail would be a riff off of a naked and famous cocktail. The mezcal is locally sourced from Dock Street Spirits in Philadelphia. Their award-winning Vicio Mezcal has smoky notes which blend well with the lemon juice and sweetness from the Yellow Chartreuse. Another twist is their use of LoFi Gentian Amaro. This specially crafted liquor adds to the refreshing fruit flavors while providing fall/winter spices. This cocktail may be named after a naked and famous, but this drink has all the attitude of Amber Rose.
Pitbull In A Skirt
“Pitbull In A Skirt” is a lyric from an Eve verse on Ruff Ryders’ What Ya Want. This pungent cocktail is in your face, just like the Philadelphian native Eve. This drink was easily the most seasonal out of the selections, featuring a base of chai infused vodka. Four tea bags per liter of Faber Vodka are infused for 20-24 hours making the chai vodka. Don Ciccio Nocino brings walnut notes that, along with the spice of the sweet vermouth and the chai, give the Pitbull In A Skirt its strong autumnal flavor profile. This drink would pair greatly with any of the heavier meat dishes Twenty Manning Grill has, especially their short rib special.
A play on an Airmail cocktail, the Illnana pays homage to Foxy Brown. When I asked why Foxy Brown had the honor of having a beverage named after her Jill said, “we wanted to have a dope MC.” The main difference between the Illnana and an Airmail is the vanilla and the banana chip garnish. The best way to consume this refreshing bubbly blend is to take a bite of the banana chip and then take a sip. Don’t let the banana chip sit in the drink, it’ll get soggy and gross and Foxy would not approve.
Modeled after a Martinez, it is obvious why Angie Martinez was chosen for this one. The Sipsmith Gin based cocktail is easily the booziest in taste out of all five of the 261 Labs creations. Bitter and spicy notes are combined with the botanicals from the Sipsmith Dry Gin. It packs a punch while also leaving a citrusy coriander aftertaste. The Maraschino liquor makes this drink pop with some sweetness.
I saved my personal favorite for last. This innovative cocktail has had a lot of thought put into it. Kimora Lee Simmons is the lady behind this Asian-inspired beverage. It’s appropriate that this beautiful drink is named after the fashion model/designer and ex-wife of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Twenty Manning Grill actually had Japanese Ambassadors from Suntory Toki Whisky come in to tell them about the whisky and help them craft a highball cocktail. Highballs are a go to Japanese drink for social aspects. Typically, before the meal is served, highballs start off with a small amount of whisky. As food is served, the highballs get stronger and more whisky is added. The main game changer in this highball is the sencha kombu syrup. Sencha is a Japanese-style green tea, kombu a type of seaweed, commonly used in dashi stock. They steep the two separately, then combine and add sugar to make a syrup. Overall, the cocktail is light in flavor, but the subtleness from the sencha kombu syrup contrast beautifully with the salt rim. Without the salt this drink would not pop as much but the delicate blend between all flavors makes this the most balanced and easy drinking beverage on the menu. Kimora would pair nicely with an spicy dish on the menu, especially the fish tacos or the green curry stir-fry.
All of these cocktails are a success in their own right. Personally, I would recommend the Kimora if you are feeling adventurous or enjoy unique flavor combinations. Although the drinks have only been on the menu for a little over a week, so far Amber Rose is the most popular. No matter which drink you choose, you’ll be enjoying an expertly crafted conversation-starting cocktail. But don’t just take my word for it, go into Twenty Manning Grill to try them for yourself! The bar is open Tuesday – Saturday 5pm – 2am, Sunday & Monday 5 pm – Midnight. Dinner is available Sunday – Tuesday 5 pm – 10pm, Wednesday & Thursday 5 pm – 11 pm, Friday & Sat 5 pm – Midnight. Tell them COOK sent you!Back to Blog