When you’re sick in Cambodia, one of the first things you do is sip on lemongrass tea to boost immunity. In South Africa, tamarind is used to help alleviate heart disease, treat cancer and calm wounds. In many countries, herbal ingredients hold a lot more meaning than just something to flavor your tea. With this in mind, Kyle Darrow, lead bartender at Red Owl Tavern, challenged his bartenders to choose a country and create a cocktail using only ingredients indigenous to that region. Darrow wanted to give voice to countries not typically represented on American drink menus, like Peru and Scotland.
“The result is a conglomerate of beautiful, one-of-a-kind, genuine cocktails with exotic flavor combinations that tell an overarching story,” Darrow says. Guests can taste the healing qualities of that lemongrass and tamarind, available daily by request. They can even take a trip to Japan with the shōchū, black sesame, and egg whites, or jet to India for a taste of Tanqueray mixed with banana and coconut. Each cocktail is 100% distinctive, just like each individual country— proving that learning about culture is sometimes just as simple as taking a sip. 433 Chestnut St., 215.923.2267, redowltavern.com