Photo by Grace Silipigni
Saltine has been pegged an urban seafood destination and leading happy hour bar, but this month the Norfolk hotspot takes on a new persona—a swanky speakeasy. The Hilton lobby bar was selected as one of only 13 properties nationwide to put secret cocktails and mocktails on the menu. So whether you’re partaking in dry January or warming up with a finger or two of bourbon, Saltine’s Chief Mixologist Mark Beyer has a concoction for you.
As part of Hilton’s speakeasy approach, the hotel chain introduced four new cocktails to Norfolk created by mixologist and wellness expert Elliott Clark, better known as the 'Apartment Bartender.’ Beyer has mastered Clark’s creations and shakes them up incognito throughout the month of January.
Urban Bourbon. Photos courtesy of Hilton Norfolk The Main
For the mocktails, Beyer pours a quaffable Paloma Undercover bursting with the same citrus flavor as its tequila counterpart. In the glass is a sweet mixture of Seedlip Spice 94, grapefruit juice, lime juice, soda water and a housemade brown sugar syrup. The Tamed Tiki brings ginger to the forefront with coconut water, lime juice, orange juice, ginger beer and a housemade maple simple syrup (like Will Ferrell in Elf, this syrup is good enough to drink from the bottle).
On the boozier side are the Urban Bourbon and Café Cognac, both of which are dangerously good at disguising the addition of liquor. The Urban Bourbon arrives with a hibiscus-lemon-mint syrup, lemon juice, Angostura bitters, soda water and bourbon whiskey. “Pro tip: order with Tarnished Truth’s High Rye Straight Bourbon Whiskey,” advises Beyer. Café Cognac presents itself as a digestif complete with cognac, coffee liquor, vanilla syrup and Angostura bitters.
Enjoy these cocktails for a limited time during Saltine’s normal operating hours, open Sunday–Thursday 11:30 a.m.–midnight, Friday 11:30 a.m.–1:00 a.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.–1 a.m.