Normally,when I go out for an evening of drinking, I hit the local establishments which are known for their creative cocktails and/or local beers. However, earlier this week my wife and I were invited to check out some new Veev cocktails at my local Ruby Tuesday. There are five on the menu at the moment (this changes seasonally) including a Skinny Pink Lemonade, Superfruit Cooler, Acai Mojito, Pomegranate Margarita and a Watermelon Martini. Settling in for a few hours, we decided to try them all.
Starting off with the Superfruit Cooler, I was impressed that the bartender jiggered everything and cut fresh slices of cucumber. Another nice touch was a stand up card placed at each guests place at the bar with the bartenders name handwritten on it. We ended up talking briefly about the ingredients in the drink, and I was again impressed that they use all fresh squeezed juices, fresh berries and mid to top shelf spirits. In fact, their well includes Beefeater, Jack Daniels and Smirnoff to name a few.
Moving on to the Pomegranate Margarita, the bartender asked if I wanted the rim sugared or salted (I opted for the latter). My only issue with this drink was that it called for a mixto tequila instead of the preferable 100% Blue Agave. But, I was given an option of asking for a different tequila if I had wanted. By this time, a few of the restaurant’s managers came over and we discussed their overall drinks program. They were all long timers with Ruby Tuesday and were excited by the shift in their business to use fresh, organic and housemade food and beverage ingredients. I said that I found this surprising for a major chain restaurant, but having recently had drinks at Chili’s and Red Lobster, I told them that I could tell the difference immediately. I mentioned what Dale DeGroff had done for Marriott Corp. to turn their drinks program around, and also encouraged them to attend the BarSmarts program this fall.
I finished the evening with the Acai Mojito, which turned out to be my favorite. Overall, each cocktail was well balanced and perfect for the summer. I’ll be back in the autumn to see what new creations are on the menu.
Superfruit Cooler (on right): Very refreshing, if a tad sweet. The cucumber made for an interesting touch. GSN Rating: B+
Pomegranate Margarita (on right): As I mentioned, the tequila was not up to par. I also felt that the addition of pomegranate was lost in the drink. GSN Rating: B-
Watermelon Martini: Oddly enough, this had the addition of a housemade watermelon syrup, instead of muddled watermelon. I detected some herbal characteristics as well. GSN Rating: B