Change Up

If Stokes Adobe beverage manager Matty Eggleston finds fresh Thai basil at a farmers market, it will end up in a cocktail. But don’t expect anything his team concocts this week to still be on the menu come October.

Apart from a few staples such as Hattie’s Old Fashioned, Eggleston keeps the list rolling, swapping in new featured cocktails every couple of weeks.

Dreamer is one standout in the current lineup, created by bartender Manny Hernandez and a finalist at a recent cocktail competition. A burst like a puree of fresh raspberries is sharpened by a squirt of lime, calmed by gentle cucumber. A smoky, grassy undertone dims the brightness – but only slightly. “It’s familiar ingredients in a combination that’s unexpected,” Eggleston says. Chareau Aloe Liqueur shares duties with mezcal, the two combining to give a low rumble and minty, vegetal snap to an otherwise spirited drink.

Hecho en Hawaii also leans on mezcal, although the rest of this frozen concoction hangs on a blend of guava, orange and passionfruit – a beach drink, complete with a decorative umbrella.

Eggleston did come across some Thai basil, and uses it to bring tempered depth to Star Map. Pineapple gomme offers a sunny disposition and yuzu curaçao brings a citrus appeal. Yet the flavors are reserved, allowing for a light, summertime vibe with just enough effervescence for some sparkle.

These are cocktails worth exploring. And should one go missing, Eggleston assures that the bar crew does remember how to make them, if you ask.

STOKES ADOBE, 500 Hartnell St., Monterey. Open 4-9pm daily except Wednesday. 264-8775, stokesadobe.com

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