Adam Seger is a natty guy. The first time I met him, he was wearing a gray blazer, bespoke black dress slacks with white chalk stripes and a multi-hued dress shirt.
And whether it's a savory batida made with heirloom tomatoes or a mango-habanero daiquiri spiked with an edible nasturtium flower and Chinese five spice—a mixture of peppercorns, star anise, cloves, fennel and cinnamon that smells like Zanzibar's spice plantations—his drinks are just as exquisite.
The Green City market is Seger's muse, and since last year he's been concocting a weekly offering of Green City Market-based seasonally-focused cocktails at the Nuevo Latino restaurant Nacional 27. Seger, who's as much a chef as mixologist, reveres fresh fruit like some cooks admire foie gras. As Seger puts it, "I think about food and how I can translate that to a liquid form." If that weren't enough, Seger's also a wine guru, having passed the Advance Court of Master Sommeliers exam.
The best drink in the house is:
The 'Luxe' El Corazon—we take our signature cocktail, 'El Corazon,' a passion-pomegranate margarita with a salt and Tellicherry peppercorn rim that we normally make with Corzo Blanco tequila, and instead substitute ultra-smooth Corzo Anejo and a seasonal fruit that we squeeze to order. We have used fresh blood orange, raspberries, local peaches and Michigan sour cherries. We then add a float of Del Maguey single billage mezcal for smoky complexity. It's sweet, savory, smoky and yummy...
Patrons might score a free drink if:
They order something really cool and ask questions about what else to try.
Little known fact about this joint:
If you have dinner any time on a weekend, you can come back any time later that night for dancing and not pay a cover charge.
For good grub before or after a shift, you hit up:
Shiu Wah in Chinatown, for peapod shoots wok-seared in chicken fat, sake steamed whole fish with aged soy and Chinese sausage, plus deep-fried squab with aromatic salt. It's BYOB and open until 2 a.m.
When you're not boozing here, you prefer to patronize:
Sidetrack; I drink my version of Champagne cocktails there: Chandon Brut Napa Valley with a few generous dashes of Angostura bitters and a twist. Bartenders Rick and Carlos make the best ones.
Another bartender/owner we should know is:
Dave Johnston at Brasserie Jo. He just put 20 incredible beers on tap and he makes his own Parfait Amour Liqueur.