Bess Bistro, the alluring and intimate speakeasy tucked away in downtown Austin, is welcoming the Texas summer with a variety of seasonal specialties and unique keg cocktails created using fresh ingredients sourced from the restaurant’s ownMorsels Farm, a one-acre organic farm on Lake Austin.
After Tipsy Texan David Alan helped reorganize the Bess bar and add more innovative and efficient cocktail offerings, Bess Bistro’s keg cocktail program was born. Utilizing the bar’s beautiful antique four-keg cooler, Executive Chef Roman Murphy and Bar Manager Miguel Lopez devised four refreshing cocktails, all pre-made using a variety of Morsels Farm ingredients, that are served on tap from the four-keg cooler. The keg cocktail program enables Lopez and the Bess bar staff to more efficiently and quickly serve quests while also showcasing beverages made with fresh, seasonal ingredients from Morsels Farm, much as the Bess food menu does.
The keg cocktails are updated several times a year, ensuring that seasonal ingredients are highlighted in every cocktail flowing from the tap. For the summer, Bess Bistro’s signature keg cocktails on tap ($8 each) include the Spring-Thyme Lemonade, made simply with thyme-steeped syrup, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and water, then mixed with added vodka; theLavender Bees Knees, a tempting mixture of gin, honey, lemon and lavender bitters finished with a dash of honey powder; the Texas Mule, Bess’ take on a classic cocktail, with Thai chili-infused tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and ginger beer, served in a copper mug; and the Patio Punch, a regularly rotating cocktail perfect for sipping on the Bess terrace.
In addition to the keg cocktails, Bess also features a wide selection of bottled beers, wines and bubblies, spirits, martinis and several handcrafted seasonal cocktails from its By Hand menu($10 each). By Hand cocktails include the classic Mint Julep with crushed watermelon, the Old Fashion with a blackberry reduction, the Negroni with sparkling vermouth and theBartender’s Choice, which includes a choice of spirits and style (refreshing, bitter or bold), and handmade tinctures made using ingredients from Morsels Farm.
As part of its seasonally inspired food menu, Bess is offering a variety of summertime dishes inspired by the fresh, seasonal offerings from Bess’ Morsels Farm, including the refreshing Burrata Salad ($14), with heirloom tomato, grilled Texas peaches, arugula, almonds, honey and a house-made peach vinaigrette; Crab Cakes ($14), served with a spicy poblano remoulade, Fresno chili peppers, grapefruit and jicama; the Morsels Farm Salad($12), a summertime salad composed of the freshest produce from the organic Bess Bistro farm; the brand new summer version of the Bess Burger ($18), served with roasted shishito peppers, a tangy kimchi barbecue sauce and aged white cheddar; the delicate Grilled Salmon ($24), served with summer squash, roasted onion and a sweet corn dashi; and the hearty Rohan Duck Breast ($26), with crispy fingerlings, Texas chevre, radish, cilantro and a house-made ancho vinaigrette.
Bess’ happy hour is every day from 4:30 p.m. to closing, all summer long on the open-air terrace, with $2 off cocktails, $5 glasses of wine, $3 beers and $6 to $8 snacks. In the downstairs bar and bistro, happy hour runs all night Sunday and Monday beginning at 4:30 p.m., and Tuesday through Thursday from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Bess Bistro is located at 500 W. Sixth St. in the heart of downtown Austin, and features seasonally inspired menus with many ingredients from local purveyors and the restaurant’s own one-acre organic farm, Morsels Farm. Bess is open for dinner service Sunday through Thursday,4:30 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4:30 to 11 p.m. For more information about Bess Bistro, the keg cocktail program and summer menu offerings, call (512) 477-BESS or visitwww.BessBistro.com.
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