Six years ago, the Idaho Statesman’s restaurant reviewer wrote that he’d tasted “the best burger in the Valley.”
“By like a mile,” he drooled, his words and face melting like a slice of American cheese.
The high-end patty — a freshly ground fusion of beef brisket, pork belly and seasoning — exploded “through the roof on flavor and richness,” the review raved. “Going to this after eating any pre-formed, mass-produced patty served at most restaurants in the Treasure Valley is like turning on taste in high-def.”
At Capitol Bar on State Street, Kevin Hopper likes to keep his holiday drinks simple. And the trick to that, he says, is simple syrup.
“It’s so easy to prepare and it just makes making a drink a lot easier,” Hopper says.
This winter, Hopper is shaking up the Woohoo, a minty combination of house-made chocolate simple syrup and Wondermint schnapps, an artisinal spirit that blends peppermint extract, bitter almond, rosewater and absinthe.
Jeff Larsen and George DuBois got the same advice in the 1990s: Put your name on the waiting list to get a liquor license in Boise.
DuBois took that advice. Larsen didn’t. Those decisions have come to shape their lives.
"Mezcal is a new addition to bars in Boise, “so at my little bar, I went from zero to two or three,” says Kevin Hopper, bar manager at the Capitol Bar in Boise, ID. Besides the mezcals, the bar carries five brands of tequila, priced $5 to $10.
“I have to have Patron because customers call for it,” he notes, “but I also like tequila the El Espolon and Lunazul brands..."
With Gem State distilleries celebrating the first-ever Idaho Spirits Month during July, now was the perfect time for Old Boise Vodka to make its debut. Distilled by Andrew Koenig at Koenig Distillery in Caldwell, it’s named after Boise. And it sure makes a refreshing Moscow Mule on a hot summer evening.
"Serving up classic cocktails like Manhattans, Martinis, and Gimlets. Maybe a beer is more your speed, they offer American craft beers from local breweries like Sockeye, Mad Swede, and Boise Brewing, as well as offerings from other parts of the region..."
Kevin Hopper, bar manager at Capitol Bar, shows you how to make a classic margarita with a juicy twist:
Cinco de Mayo Margarita
1.5 oz. premium tequila
.75 oz. Cointreau
.75 oz. fresh lime
In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup. Fill with ice and shake for a good 20 seconds. Pour contents of shaker, including ice, into glass rimmed with chile salt. Top with splash fresh orange juice and garnish with an orange peel.