I had full intentions of simply grabbing a cocktail while waiting for a friend, knowing full well my lovely wife had dinner waiting for me at home. But something snapped after I was seated at Hendrix’ full central bar. Perhaps it was the hypnotic rotisserie by the front entrance, spinning various meats until I got dizzy. Maybe it was the smell of rosemary lemon chicken—which had me thinking of Greek food, my all time biggest weakness—that had widdled me down to a Pavlov dog-like state.
“Can I get you something to drink?” asked bartender Dylan with a smile. My brain was screaming “cocktail” but my mouth said “meat,”and I knew I was in trouble. Maybe I’ll just take a few bites, drink my cocktail like a good boy, then get a doggie bag to rub my Pavlovian dog-belly state. The menu’s Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna seemed like a light enough option, and I thought I might talk my friend into getting the rotisserie so I could pick at it. “I’ll take the tuna and Perfect Gin & Tonic,” I said, texting my friend that drinks were ordered.
With a long-stemmed Perfect G&T in hand, a few dark juniper berries, cucumber, and hibiscus flower dance around the icy clear liquid as I ponder the cocktail’s resurgence in Orange County. For such a simple drink, the craft cocktail crowd have given it a sexy Spanish makeover. What most people don’t realize is the gin and tonic is the national drink of Spain, much like the French drink wine. Stirring my sweaty glass, my friend ordered one out of envy, getting a festive yellow flower, “they’re edible, but don’t taste like much,” mentions Dylan. Hendrix’ version is Hendricks Gin and Fever Tree Indian Tonic layered over ice…it’s as simple as that.
Big Eye Hawaiian Tuna-later, along with a couple cocktails, roasted pee-wee potatoes and chicken cracklins, prosciutto fritters, and rotisserie pickings, complete, I needed to think of an excuse for turning down my wife’s cooking. Fake a food illness? Tell her that Rainer force-fed me multiple courses? I did what any normal husband would do: acted surprised and played dumb…”Oh, you cooked tonight? I brought you home some dessert from Hendrix,” then hoped for the best.