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Cocktails, mocktails, and French cheese puffs at P17

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After nine years of delivering Vietnamese greatness to Uptown, P17 (formerly Parallel 17) has launched a revamped French Bistro style menu. The menu overhaul updated dinner, lunch, weekend brunch, happy hour, and of course, the wine list and cocktails.

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P17’s bar manager, Charles, concocted a drink menu, which will make you want to linger on the patio quite a bit longer this summer. The drink menu is extremely well balanced – something is offered for vodka drinkers, gin lovers, and even tequila fans. A major bonus to the menu are Charles’s “mocktails”. Non-alcoholic drinks like the Flower Child made from lavender, lime, and mint, or the Mango Madras mixed with mango puree, cranberry, and orange juice make dawdling over a weekday lunch a top priority. Move over iced-tea, soda, and lemonade, an extensive non-alcoholic drink menu finally exists!

If you’re looking for something a little stronger than a mocktail, try the Red Coral, which is a deep red cocktail mixing Mell vodka, fresh strawberries marinated in agave syrup, and kaffir lime leaf. The rim of the martini glass is dipped in sugar combined with pulverized house-dried kaffir lime leaves. The not-too-sweet Red Coral pairs nicely with an order of savory Gougeres, which are French cheese puffs made from cheese and a puff pastry-like dough. The French pastries are light, airy, and just cheesy enough.

P17’s bestselling cocktail is the Harvey. Harvey is a Great Dane who visits Charles on occasion and inspired his own cocktail. Taking after a Paloma, basil and lime are muddled together. The mixture is shaken with tequila, house-made lime simple syrup, and fresh lime juice. The cocktail is strained into a glass rimmed with dried-jalapeño dust and salt.

If you ask Charles what inspires him to create all the signature cocktails on the menu, he’ll tell you he likes the classics, but not before adding a modern twist. If a drink is typically masculine, he’ll add a feminine note (or vice versa) so the drink appeals to a wider audience. Two great examples of that are the Smoking Gun and French Quarter.

The French Quarter’s base uses the same ingredients as a sazerac, a strong rye based drink born in New Orleans. P17’s version adds a feminine touch to the rye classic with a dash of lavender-coriander simple syrup and a touch of lemon oil. The lavender, coriander, and lemon bring a hint of floral and citrus which brighten the drink.

The Smoking Gun is a riff on an Old Fashioned. Buffalo Trace bourbon gets a little help from smoky mezcal. Rhubarb bitters and fresh orange add a slight fruity note. But what really sets this apart from the typical Old Fashioned is the applewood smoked ice cube. Small batches of water are smoked with applewood chips until the smoky flavor is slight enough to be detected, more so as the ice melts into the drink.

The Brigade Fritters from the small plates menu are a perfect match to the applewood smokiness. A salt cod and russet potato mixture is formed into balls, battered and fried, and then served with a tomato and piquillo pepper chutney. Dollops of lemon aioli round out the gorgeous appetizer.

Cocktails, mocktails, Gougeres, and fritters (and much more!) are available for lunch, dinner, and of course, happy hour! Check out P17’s new concept at 1600 E 17th Ave.

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