Updated Paschall Menu Features New Cocktails
Denton’s own cocktail heaven is rolling out its shiny, gold-leafed new menu, complete with a few facelifts and, even better, some delightful new craft cocktails assembled by the best and boldest of the Paschall bar staff.
Whereas the previous menu was separated into "Citrus”, “Dessert”, “Boozy”, “Homage”, “Old Fashioneds", and sections for Tiki Tuesdays and Absinthe, it has now been simplified to the sleek, engaging sections of "Refreshing”, “Indulgent”, “Bold”, and “Inventive" - while of course retaining a cleaner, streamlined version of the aforementioned Tiki and Absinthe sections, and adding in a “Nightcap” section as well. The new menu is complete with striking minimalist illustrations designed by Matthew Long, and printed by Orbit Press; it of course retains the signature images of the red couch and hanging orb lights, while adding some other Paschall’s fixtures to the lineup.
With this updated menu look, of course, comes a host of new and improved cocktails - some of which are both old and contemporary classics, and many more that were created in house by the local talents of the cocktail bar’s many talented ‘tenders. There’s a little bit from every corner of this new menu, from Classics, to Bold, to Indulgent and Inventive. Let’s not waste another moment, then - come up those steep, dimly lit stairs, and imbibe for a moment, won’t you?
Classics: Paper Plane (bourbon, aperol, amaro Nonino, lemon juice and lemon zest)
This cocktail - invented by Sam Ross, inventor of the esteemed “Penicillin” cocktail - was named after rapper MIA’s song as Ross was working on the recipe which would be given to Chicago’s The Violet Hour. The moniker “a modern classic” perfectly sums up this drink: bold and inventive, while also simple, unassuming, and in line with time-tested standards. It's signature paper plane garnish is the only moment of flashy bravado this cocktail brandishes; otherwise, it is a bourbon-forward citrus refreshment that needs little to no introduction. The bourbon sneaks in behind curtains of semi-sweet, bitter aperol and amaro, with a nice zest from the lemon; no matter what flavors partake in the cocktail, though, the bourbon remains the star of the show - like an old fashioned crooner backed by Big Band style brass orchestration. And this drink feels like the cocktail for just such an occasion: a night on the town, full of big city swing and high-society times.
Indulgent: Narcissa (vodka, creme de violet, lavender simple syrup, spiced pear liqueur, lemon, egg white, peach bitters) - Grace Terrell
There’s something to say about creating a cocktail with a lavender flavor that does not overwhelm the entire drink with floral flavor, and as such, this gorgeous cocktail deserves to pat itself on the back. Opening with a somewhat boozy yet citrus front that comes through the egg white froth, this drink initially remains in line with the flavor of a sour - but then balances out with a nice fruity punch and a relaxed floral comfort from the lavender and creme de violet. It's a drink that tricks you with its elegant simplicity, but as stated above, it's no simple task to both reign in the potent lavender and maintain a complex, complete flavor profile. It's indulgent, but not in a way that weighs one down with heavy cream, syrup, or sugar, nor in a manner that would ruin one’s palette for the rest of the night. It’s the kind of indulgence that can be had briefly, like a quick dip into the pool; a nice ponderous gaze into reflective waters to delight in the beauty staring back. With a deep spice and fruit flavor that evokes spiked eggnog and chestnuts by the fire, this drink is perfect for a night spent in close company, indulging in rich conversation but ready, at a moment’s notice, to take flight into a free-wheeling evening.
Bold: Doomsayer (Mezcal, Amaro Nonino, Cocchi Ross, Agave, angostura and peychaud's bitters, activated charcoal) - Zach Painter
Let’s just start with this: the Doomsayer is, unsurprisingly given its name, the most metal cocktail you've ever had. Take the ass-kicking smokiness of mezcal, goth it up with a touch of activated charcoal, and throw in orange zest lit aflame atop the drink as a garnish, and you get this dark little delight. Yet the drink itself is not just black as midnight - though it does have a finish that Dale Cooper level coffee-lovers would find Damn Good - it manages to retain a level of flavor that hints at the citrus of the amaro and the sweetness of the agave, but even the drinkers most opposed to sweetness would be unphased. It is bold in the way that a sludgy doom-metal riff leaves you wincing at its heft; the consummate cocktail for a night of heavy-lifting, hard-rocking, and living brashly on the edge.
Bold: Visions of Gideon (scotch, Cocchi rosa (quinine fortified white wine), aquavit, peach bItters, saline solution) - Aurora Arellano
If Zach's cocktail was bold like a midnight coffee nightcap, Aurora's Visions of Gideon is a sneakier, daywalking type of bold; the kind of supremely drinkable cocktail that deceives with its ease of passage. It opens with the tart peach bitters clinging delightfully to the lips, which gives way to a slightly smoky, peaty scotch flavor that’s complemented by the brine of the saline. It finishes, then, with the dry effervescence of the quinine-fortified cocchi rosa on the back end; a slightly medicinal flavor that is a desirable taste in a single malt scotch and, as such, melds perfectly with this scotch cocktail. It's definitely the drink for an afternoon spent drinking with friends - whether evading the sun or basking in it, defying the oppressive waves of heat. It evokes sangria at a garden party - but for those of us who like a little more peat in our planters, so to speak.
Nightcap: Revolt of the Masses (Plantations five year rum, Fernet Branca, lime zest, angostura and chocolate bitters, simple syrup) - Joe Carr
This is the sort of elevated, nightcapping digestif that both high society and the average joe can appreciate - made by none other than a Joe himself, Andy’s manager Joe Carr. The molasses of the rum works wonders in collaboration with the chocolate bitters and lime twist garnish, conspiring to create a very minty, decadent mouth feel that doesn't overpower, and certainly doesn't hold back on the booze. It still manages to be light, but perhaps deceptively so, for this spirit-forward cocktail will certainly be perfect for your end-of-night imbibing. For all you bar-closing drinkers, this is a nightcap that won't leave you asking for more at five minutes to close. Instead, bask in the rich, refreshing tropicality of this old fashioned-style cocktail, and then call it a night - there’s no need for any midnight revolts when you’ve got a drink like this to wrap it up.
Inventive: Shang Hai Lu (sloe gin, ginger liqueur, allspice dram, pomegranate juice, lemon, soy sauce) - James Hoger
If there were such a thing as a sweet counterpart to a Bloody Mary, this would be it. While up front, the floral plum sweetness of the sloe gin rules the day, the whole affair finishes similarly to a Mary: the umami of the soy sauce blending with the counterpoint kick of the allspice to create a spicy, savory flavor; the citrus of the lemon and pomegranate brightening the drink; the tangy spice of the ginger liqueur. All of these moving parts perfectly emulate, respectively, the savory worcestshire, the spicy pepper, the horseradish kick, and the zest of lemon/lime.
It's the best of both worlds: fruity, tropical vibes blended with a nice, savory punch. Not everyone is down with savory flavors in their cocktails, and as such, this is the perfect drink for someone looking for umami that doesn't overpower. If there ever was a lu'au in cocktail form - and not just the sweet fruit flavors, but the smoky roasted meat flavors as well - it would find its home here in this gorgeous snifter glass. Whether you’re actually feet-in-the-sand, awaiting the exhuming of a full-body, beautifully roasted hog, or you’re jazzing up a backyard BBQ replete with poolside open flames and tropical accoutrements galore - this is the drink for you.
Inventive: Earl of Carlisle (scotch, aquavit, velvet falernum, pineapple, espresso, house bItters, lemon) - Alyssa Cortez
It doesn't always take an impressive resume or a knowledge of classic cocktails to make something amazing, nor do the ingredients have to make sense on paper - even someone simply manning the door, like Alyssa, can put together a number that sends you spinning. His Grace The Earl of Carlisle is a beautifully juicy aristocrat - maintaining that affluent vibe with a nice dram of scotch, mixed with and elevated by its compatriots aquavit and velvet falernum - but not too high-faluting to mix in some pineapple and espresso. Like the eponymous Earl who brought Scots to the Caribbean, the scotch is tamed with plenty of fruity, citrus acidity from the pineapple, falernum and espresso, and just the right amount of spice and kick from the aquavit and bitters, to make it more than a delectable glass of punch; although this would wow any party or prom of even the highest caliber. It’s a punch-bowl vibe, for only the finest of society. One could fill up a few fine crystal glasses with this during a nice gathering of fellow connoisseurs. We bow to you, Earl. If Capri Sun grew up, faced the harshness of reality, and created a punchy pineapple cocktail with a spirit fit only for the boldest among us, this would be it.
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of these delectable drams - it’s time to really get your fill, and come out to Paschall’s to truly appreciate the art behind every cocktail, new and old, subdued and bold. Whether you’re kicking off an afternoon of whimsical teetotalling, or ending a night on a calm note after some brash decisions - there’s something for everyone to appreciate in this corner of Denton.
Photos by Garrett Smith
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados