Denton Dram: Black Cherry Vodka Basil Mule at 940's Kitchen & Cocktails

Every Dentonite knows that just off the Downtown Square’s beaten path is Oak St. gem 940’s Kitchen and Cocktails. This hip restaurant and bar is providing local foodies with a new spot to explore a refined yet accessible menu with items like eggplant fries and blue crab hushpuppies. However, if you swing through this trend-setting location that is fast becoming a Denton favorite, take a seat at their stunning bar top and enjoy a few drinks on offer that aren’t available anywhere else in town—cocktails on tap!

When you glimpse the exterior of this spot, it’s modest yet chic. Darkened windows, vintage neon and simple black and white appearance call to mind a speakeasy or upscale eatery from a past decade. Inside the vibe is clean and classic. An elegant backlit bar complete with white leather barstools is the centerpiece of the room. A noticeable standout on the wall is local artist Dan McCullagh’s striking painting that has become synonymous with the restaurant over the past year. Walk to the back of the space, and you’ll see their one of a kind Denton, TX neon known by guests as a popular photo spot. In tune with their industrial, cutting edge approach to cuisine and décor, 940’s is taking things to another level with drinks that are actually kegged and hooked up to a draft system. The bartending team is creating original recipe cocktails that are batched into five-gallon kegs and with the addition of CO2 can be dispensed through a tap as you would a beer. 

They have three rotating draft cocktails and if you stop by right now you’ll have the opportunity to try their house Old Fashioned, Sangria or their newest addition The Black Cherry Vodka Basil Mule. “Nobody was doing cocktails on tap,” says general manager Matt Mullins, “So I was thinking this spot would be perfect for something like that”. Almost every bar in town can make you a Moscow Mule, but 940’s has an imaginative take on this classic cocktail which consists of Zodiac Black Cherry Vodka and house-made basil syrup in addition to the usual suspects, ginger beer and lime juice. “Everybody is on the mule train this year,” Mullins says, “So I thought it would be cool to do a really good vodka mule. Now it’s the top selling drink of the entire restaurant.” The result is a well-balanced drink that is fruity and tart with a punch of spice. The cocktail is garnished with a slice of lime and basil leaf that provides the aromatics to boost the herbal flavor of the beverage. It’s an unusual but dynamic combination that is undeniably refreshing. The other two cocktails on tap are equally as enjoyable as The Blackberry Cherry Vodka Basil Mule. The Old Fashioned has the familiar warmth you expect with this classic rye whiskey-based drink with orange bitters boosting the citrus character. If you’re in the mood for a rich, fruity cocktail then the Sangria is sure to satisfy. 

Check out the 940’s Kitchen and Cocktails event on October 25th where they will be collaborating with Dark Ages Tattoo Studio for an evening of art, food and of course, drinks. They plan to unveil new cocktails on tap, so be one of the first to get a taste of these new libations. Cheers!

Photo by Lauren Coe
Header image design by Jason Lee