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TRIBEZA Talk | July 2014

Rum Revival

With its noise-proof brick walls, tropical greenery, potent punches, and Cuban-inspired street food, Pleasant Storage Room offers a reprieve from the bustle of downtown. And bar manager Alfonso Hernandez is stoked about the rising temperatures. “Rum is a flavor associated with summer. It’s from a region that knows hot weather,” says Hernandez, a longtime lover of the spirit. Since its official opening in late April, the once well-kept-secret rum joint on 4th Street has acquired a growing fan base serious about their rum. “In the past 10 years, there’s definitely been a resurgence of craft cocktails,” he says. As a result, classic recipes are being revisited. “Rum played a big part in early-20th-century cocktails. During Prohibition, there was an influx of Americans traveling south to Cuba to set up their own bars.” Hernandez’s inspiration to open a rum-centric bar stemmed from his interest in the rum culture. “The bars in the Caribbean are a place to get away. We wanted the same thing, a space that was comfortable,” Hernandez says. Stop by for the Perfect Mai Tai (recipe follows, combine all ingredients over ice in your favorite tiki glass), and we predict you’ll have no trouble settling into vacation mode.

THE PERFECT MAI THAI

  • 1 oz. Clement VSOP Rhum Agricole
  • .75 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • .5 oz. orgeat syrup
  • .5 oz. Clement “Creole Shrubb” Liqueur d’Orange
  • 2 dashes Bittermens ’Elemakule Tiki Bitters
  • Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum Float

This Summer, It’s the Little Things

As a Texas native, fashion stylist and assistant manager at Moss Designer Consignment, Mallory Hublein knows how to keep it fresh during the sweltering summers. Hublein’s style channels both casual-cool and a spunky rock ’n’ roll vibe. Having styled shoots for local bands like Little Radar and editorially (Chrome Magazine), Hublein has had her hands in both women’s and men’s fashion.

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Mallory’s Summer Closet Must-Haves

  • Boyfriend jeans ($69.95, The Gap) “It’s an easy, cute look for the summer.” Tip: “Roll up the bottoms and wear with a strappy sandal or heel.”
  • Embellished Sunnies ($495, Neiman Marcus)
  • Mini-purses— The Clutch ($150, Spartan) “Minimal is in.”
  • Leather accessories (Noah Marion Quality Goods) “Trade out that carabineer for a leather key-chain.”
  • The Traditional Swimsuit($145, Stag Austin) “The board short is out. Try wearing a pair of swim trunks that hit right above the knee.”
  • The Lace-up Sneaker ($92, Service Menswear)“From leather to chambray, these are inexpensive summertime shoes.” Tip: “Customize your pair by swapping out the laces.”
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Spreading the Gospel of Mezcal: Cesar Aguilar on Mezcaleria Tobalá

Cesar Aguilar saw possibility in the formerly vacant room above Whislers, the bar he owns with Scranton Twohey. Last December, Aguilar approached his partner and said, “Let me do a mezcal bar.” Aguilar’s initial experience with mezcal came from curating the bar menu for his previous employer, La Condesa. After accompanying the guys from Wahaka Mezcal on several trips to Oaxaca (where the majority of mezcal originates), and even taking part in a traditional Oaxacan sweat lodge ceremony, Aguilar felt moved to play a larger role in the mezcal movement. With Twohey’s experience and Aguilar’s passion, Mezcalería Tobalá was born.

Echoing the style of small bars in Oaxaca, the design is intentionally raw and rustic. Aguilar hopes guests to feel like they’ve stepped into “an old man’s living room.” Ascend the staircase outside of Whislers and push open the unmarked door to Tobalá. The room is dimly lit and Billie Holiday is on the record player. Squeeze in between the canoodling older couple and the group of twentysomethings at the 1950s standing bar and order a copita of mezcal with a side of orange slices sprinkled with sal de gusano (a mix of dried chiles, spices, Oaxacan salt, and ground larvae). The orange is refreshing, but something in the “worm salt” makes consumers thirsty, resulting in a need for more mezcal. Aguilar will gladly educate you with a rare selection of Espadin and wild mezcals found behind him in a 1940s Mexican cupboard including Tobalá Mezcal, distilled from the rare agave for which Aguilar’s bar was named.

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Sit Back & RELAX

This season, we’re lounging on the patio in the Little Albert Chair by Moroso ($628, Urbanspace Interiors). Not only is this eye-catching armchair weather resistant, it’s a work of contemporary art. Designed by Ron Arad, the chair was inspired by a piece in Arad’s upholstered series that paid tribute to his exhibition in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Credits

Photography by Daniel Brock

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