This is how we felt after trying a root-beer-float drink at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club. When we first heard rumors of burly, bearded men holding frothy girl drinks at Davey's -- the epitome of a smoky dive bar -- we had to check it out.
"It's one of our signature drinks," confirms Michele Markowitz, owner of Davey's and inventor of the float. "Since we don't serve food, we make up drinks."
Made from root-beer schnapps, Barq's root beer, vodka and milk -- as well as some other secret ingredients -- it's served in a beer mug with a generous heap of whipped cream on top. The result is a rich, zesty drink that tastes just like a root-beer float without the ice cream.
We don't know if we were more surprised by the fact that Davey's makes girl drinks or by the revelation that the place serves anything that could be deemed "signature." As one of our friends remarked, "That's where you drink PBR in a can."
But Markowitz says Davey's has been serving its root-beer float for about six years -- though it was originally made with Coke. A few weeks ago, some customers suggested using root beer instead. "It makes it foamier, and it has that root-beer bite," Markowitz says. "There are elements in root beer of ginger and vanilla, which come through." Since then, she's noticed that more people have been ordering it; she attributes the drink's new popularity to the fact that it's "different -- it's sweet but not fruity."
Davey's other signature drinks include the Cleopatra Martini -- "a ladies' drink," Markowitz says -- which is red and Manhattanesque; its crowning touch is a cherry soaked in grain alcohol and two different liqueurs. There's also the Absolutely Screwed Screwdriver, made with Absolut Citron and "special additives." And a $1 shot called the Silk Panty is shiny and pink.
The thought of drinking something called a Silk Panty so close to Ray's is somewhat frightening, but we'd do it, because we like cheap shots. But we've decided that had we not been such girl-drink drunks before, the root-beer float would have been our gateway drink.