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July 12, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
If Columbia had a beach, The Dirty Money would be the perfect cocktail to sip on the sand, Vault bartender Manning Weiss says.
The cocktail was crowned Vault’s signature drink a few months ago because of its popularity. Bartender Karen Ernst says it takes a little longer to prepare than most mixed drinks, but it’s worth the extra effort. To mix it, Vault bartenders first muddle a cucumber slice, two mint leaves and a sliver of avocado. They combine these ingredients with lime juice, simple syrup and two ounces of New Amsterdam gin, strain the mixture twice and top it with Sierra Mist. Light green and cloudy, almost like a margarita, The Dirty Money is served in a short tumbler with a cucumber slice as garnish.
WHERE: Vault, 23 S. Eighth St. under the Tiger Hotel lobby
WHEN: Sun. through Thurs., 5 to 11 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The light, brisk drink is sweet but not cloying. The cucumber and mint flavors reach the palate first, followed by a hint of avocado that adds to the drink’s complexity. Surprisingly, the flavors play well together.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Ernst says. “I love the cucumber. It’s a very refreshing summertime drink.”
Vault offers $4 drink specials to patrons who “check in” using Facebook or Foursquare or use the password posted on the Facebook page, and The Dirty Money is occasionally featured in those specials. “We try to mix it up,” Weiss says.