A few months back, Palmieri’s quietly turned into Bo Henry’s Cocktail Lounge, keeping the only bar on the Westside open and creating many happy customers. The bartenders (lovingly called therapists on the bar’s Web page) have remained, including Phil Dybedal, who was ready to make us some cocktails of his own design. The decor inside, however, has changed. New owner Robert Eringer, Montecito resident, journalist (sometimes for this paper) and writer on all things international and skullduggery-like, has hung paintings around the bar, many by Thomas Van Stein, and decorated an alcove with a bust of Van Gogh. It’s a pretty idiosyncratic, writer-friendly, yet still pleasantly divey bar.
Mr. Dybedal’s drinks included the Tequila Mockingbird, a mix of Hornitos Tequila, Creme de Menthe and lime juice. He says the taste divides the bar 50-50, but we liked it — minty and not too sweet.
And a full-pint glass of booze called the Dirty Irwin comes from his college days: Shock Top lager, Stoli Orange vodka and orange juice, designed for buzziness and long summertime sips. (The original dorm recipe is pure undergrad poverty inventiveness: Aristocrat Vodka, Keystone Light and SunnyD. Yikes!)
And since the bar just got in some St. George Absinthe, Mr. Dybedal made us The Gidget, which combines the anise-heavy liqueur with Malibu Rum and pineapple juice. We’ll say that this mix could help bring in drinkers wary of the particular taste of the green concoction.
We’re glad Bo Henry’s will keep the Westside happy and lubricated, and we’ve made The Gidget our Drink of the Week.
1 1/2 ounces absinthe (preferably St. George)
1 ounce Malibu Rum
4 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
Shake all liquids over ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
Yield: 1 drink
Bo Henry’s Cocktail Lounge
1431 San Andres St. 966-7898 or www.bohenry.com