We were at an event a few days ago that featured some of the best bartenders in the city and their specialty cocktails. One of them was Miranda from the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company. Yes, that’s the name of the bar. The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company was a front for America’s largest alcohol running ring during prohibition. We’ve been meaning to go to the Franklin Bar and after meeting Miranda and tasting her two cocktails, we promised her that we would go a couple of days later. And we are so glad we did!
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company has two bars, the top floor is a tiki bar which we’ve heard good things about but decided to try their other bar. We went to their downstairs bar that has a dark, warm speakeasy feeling. It’s long and narrow with the bar located in the back. The low lighting and candles on the tables just add to the charm of the place.
We arrived right when they opened and decided to sit at the bar. The staff were super friendly and the bartender, Nick, was so gracious to answer our flood of questions about the drinks. Oh the drinks! They were perhaps the best cocktails we have ever had. The creativity and the ingredients in each cocktail was so out of bounds. Nick told us that all the bartenders contribute to the bar menu. They are a seriously creative bunch!
There were many drinks and spirits to choose from. The main menu of cocktails was separated into three categories, “Crushable”, “Sippers”, and “Weird”. We went “Weird” and I’m so glad we did. We tried all five and they were all outstanding! We first ordered “My Favorite Mutiny” which was made with butter washed mezcal, habanero, chipotle, cane, cream, angostura, and egg white, and “Innocent for Ridiculous Reasons” which was made with peanut butter washed bourbon, Old Tom gin, basil, Coco Lopez, lime and Thai bitters. Folks, these cocktails were amazing. “Mutiny” had a great spicy and smoky taste from the mezcal and habanero and “Innocent” was just so delicious. Who’s ever heard of peanut butter washed bourbon? We have now and we both loved this one!
We next ordered the “Year of the Elephant” which was made with tahini washed bourbon, barrel aged aquavit, sfumato, fernet, aqua faba, eggplant, lemon and angostura. How in the world did they come up with this? It was incredible. The eggplant flavor was subtle but delicious and balanced the bourbon and other ingredients perfectly. We also tried “Turn Me On Dead Man” which was made with London dry gin, Laphroaig single malt, macadamia nut, pineapple, coconut, black pepper, szechuan and angostura bitters. Again, this was nice and spicy from the bitters and black pepper but the pineapple and coconut again balanced this drink beautifully.
The last cocktail we tried was their “Summer Palace” which consisted of blended scotch, sherry, rum, banana, lemon and black sesame orgeat. It was fantastic! The combination of scotch, sherry and rum was amazing. It was smooth and balanced perfectly. We couldn’t stop raving about all the cocktails and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite one out. We loved all of them!
If you come here, make sure you eat something before you come. The only food item was pita points served with amazing homemade spreads. They consisted of ricotta, hummus, spicy hummus and Baba Ganoush. All the spreads were made by Miranda’s boyfriend, Spencer, and they were all absolutely delicious! The ricotta was thick and rich, not thin or runny. Both hummus spreads were amazing. They were not overloaded with citrus that you can sometimes get from a store bought brand and the Baba Ganoush was smooth and creamy with the perfect amount of spice. Well done Spencer!
Overall, this was a terrific night. The decor and ambiance of the downstairs bar was exactly what we were hoping for. It you like that speakeasy feeling, this is the place for you. The staff were wonderful, informative and bent over backwards to make sure were had everything we needed. This was our first visit and it certainly won’t be our last. My only regret is that we didn’t come here sooner! I do again want to thank Miranda and the entire staff for a wonderful evening!