Alys Beach, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast along Scenic Coast highway, 30A has long had a reputation for originality, details and high standards, so it’s no wonder that it attracted such a wonderful new bottle shop and tasting room. NEAT offers two distinct experiences under one roof.The Bottle Shop features a carefully curated collection of artisan spirits, wines, and craft beers. Next door at the Tasting Room, guests are offered a unique environment to discover a new complement to the offerings in The Bottle Shop. At NEAT, a knowledgeable fun staff, well versed in making craft cocktails, adds to the experience. Each month brings a new cocktail menu fully utilizing their well and ingredients with each new cocktail recipe. The recipes themselves are created and submitted by each of the staff and are either entirely original or something they had tasted elsewhere and felt would be a nice addition to their menu. The atmosphere between the cocktail and wine experience provided by the tasting room is also largely aided by the full bottle shop, where you can purchase all the products used each month and much more.
For bartender Hunter Church, “Working with so many fantastic bottles allows a great deal of creative freedom, and ensures the quality of drinks our customers have come to enjoy.”
Attending college as a biochemistry major, Hunter looks towards distillation in his future, so he is particularly interested in exploring the flavor nuances and build of spirits and how they interact in a cocktail. “Hopefully it will be beneficial down the line,” he says. “Since we’re encouraged to bring our own recipes to the table I wanted to craft one that has the taste of a classic, but also something you can’t quite find anywhere else.” He lucked out, as one of his first recipes turned out to be a fast favorite at NEAT and is now featured on their monthly list.
Sharing this fan favorite, Hunter explains Et tu Brute is a rum based spin-off of a boulevardier, invented in the 1920’s using whiskey. Says Hunter, “It really embraces the bold spices of the fall yet introduces a slight acidity and nose of citrus that brings to mind summer.” His rum of choice? Papa’s Pilar. Along with Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, they hold the sweetness and body of the drink, while the Bruto Americano maintains the balance with its strong bitter character and underlying spice notes. Chicory-pecan bitters bring it all to the forefront and adds a Southern taste. Hunter adds, “The expression of orange rind over the top of the cocktail makes the dormant acidity of the Bruto pop, rounding out its edges.”
We encourage you to serve this recipe at your next gathering or while sitting on the back porch as you usher in the cooler temperatures of a much longed for Fall. We think you’ll agree this is a drink you’ll want to add to your collection.
ET TU BRUTE
- 1.5 oz Papa’s Pilar
- .5 oz Bruto Americano
- 1 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
- 1 dash of chicory pecan bitters
- Stir with ice and pour into cocktail glass.
- Top with orange peel expressed over the top.
Written with Hunter Church / Photography by Scott Speakes