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Southtown's new speakeasy-themed 1919 doesn't skimp on herbal essence

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

Bartender Stephan Mendez shakes and stirs at 1919.

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But if even these easy-to-like concoctions seem over the top, there's always Marsh's extensive list of single malts, blended scotches and North American whiskies; there are 10 ryes alone. (Take that, vodka.) Any of these, along with the rums and the tequilas (there are 35 of these, to which one can add six mezcales), are especially to be considered with the list of cheeses and cold cuts supplied by Luciano Ciorciari of Gaucho Gourmet. Ciorciari happened by while I was there, and we spent some time contemplating pairings with smoked speck or the intriguing Cahill's Porter, an aged, Irish cheddar.

I didn't get around to trying the porcini-studded salame with Irish whiskey, but it may happen one day. Irish whiskey, typically a little softer than its single-malt Scottish cousins, is one of Mendez's favorites. "I've loved Jameson since age 16," he says. We promise not to tell. But we don't promise to love the Jameson banana infusion he's now working on — at least not right away. •


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