Don’t underestimate the power of a classic cocktail mixed with a classic film. Aurora is serving up the Rosemary’s Baby, which marries the gin martini with Roman Polanski’s storied horror picture. By all accounts, it’s a runaway hit.
Audrey King, bartender at Aurora, is characteristically understated when she tells the drink’s origin story. “I woke up one day and was craving rosemary,” she says, as if that’s a quotidian craving to have on your average morning. “So then I got to playing around with infusions and gin seemed like a natural canvas for it.”
After nailing a simple but well-balanced gin infusion, she set about upping the ante by creating a martini with visual flair. Into a martini base, she adds an Aperol “sink,” which is the bartending world’s term for a liqueur drizzle that sinks like a lava lamp bubble and turns a humdrum drink into an “ooh-ahh” occasion. “The higher sugar content of a liqueur causes it to sink,” Audrey explains politely to my uninformed self, who left science behind in high school. As a “sink” agent, Aperol has the added drama of a shocking red color that, against the gin’s clarity, creates an ombre situation in a glass. It’s a teensy bit campy, a teensy bit traditional and totally fabulous in the end sum.
“We feel a responsibility to appeal to a wide variety of audiences,” Audrey says. “One of the ways we do that is through a sense of humor, like with drink name puns. We try to keep good drinks accessible, not pretentious. Low price points are a big part of it.” Famously, Aurora serves respectable $5 margaritas made with fresh squeezed lime juice, triple sec, and tequila – and nothing else.
Catch Rosemary’s Baby at Aurora while it lasts, before the menu turnover for spring. Or go DIY with their dead simple instructions listed here.