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Gin Joint co-owner Joe Raya shares a sip of mixology’s good old days
Since opening in August, The Gin Joint has been making a splash on the local libation scene with sours, fizzes, slings, and a host of other drinks rarely sipped this century. In the East Bay locale long occupied by Robert’s of Charleston, Joe Raya and wife MariElena (Robert Dickson’s daughter) set out to offer refuge from the “cheek-clenching dyed juice” of modern day cocktails. In fact, only drinks served before Prohibition make the menu, and you won’t spot a single liquor that isn’t top shelf. Most of their offerings are exact recipes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, though Joe and his bartending team have put their own twist on a few concoctions.
One that’s perfect for jazzing up a winter’s night? The richly flavored yet surprisingly light Brandy-Pecan Flip. “A flip is a cocktail that includes a whole egg,” explains Joe. “Before Prohibition, people drank in the morning as well as at night and added eggs to their cocktails for protein.” Nutrition aside, the ingredient lends a rich, creamy consistency to this brandy and rum concoction, plus a nice layer of foam on top. “The amount of high-proof alcohol in the drink kills any bacteria that you’d usually worry about when using a raw egg,” assures Joe.
To keep the drink light—and also lactose-free—The Gin Joint finishes it out with a house-made pecan “milk” in place of cream. If you’re short on time, you can use a store-bought organic nut milk, but, says Joe, “Our recipe is easy to make at home and well worth the effort.” So this year, why not break out of your cocktail comfort zone and try The Gin Joint’s “drink proper, speak easy” philosophy on for size?