If you are a fan of speakeasy bars, The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company is a place you need to check out. The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company was a front for America’s largest alcohol running ring during prohibition. Alcohol is alive and well here, and the cocktails are among the most creative and delicious you will find anywhere in the city.
This place is a personal favorite of ours. The low lighting, candlelit tables, excellent service, and amazing cocktails are reason enough to love this place. We were here last week because they were launching a pretty big event. The speakeasy bar in located on the lower level the building. The upper level used to be a tiki bar but it’s now a mezcal bar!
If you have never tasted mezcal, you don’t know what you are missing. It’s different from tequila in many ways. Most noticeable is the taste. It has a much more smokey taste. But more on this later. We arrived about an hour before the mezcal bar opened, so we had to wait at the speakeasy bar. I know. Poor us. Seriously though, this place is now the best of both worlds!
Eric commented that he felt that he died and went to heaven. We love speakeasy’s, and now there is a mezcal bar as well. I see what he meant! I started by ordering a drink similar to the Minutiae, but with the flavor of lemon meringue. It is a particular favorite of our bartender Chris. This drink was absolutely delicious and light. Eric ordered, “Ain’t Even Olde Timey”, which is made with calvados, cognac, amaro abate, allspice, lemon, ginger, and a whole egg. It was wonderful and was the perfect cocktail to order on a chilly night. The cognac, allspice and ginger reminded us of the holidays.
We still had time to kill, so we ordered another round of drinks. I got “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, which was made with Nutella washed Rittenhouse rye, averna and Grand Marnier. Eric ordered “Daddy’s Medicine”, which was made with angostura, rye, benedictine, lemon and ginger. Once again, both drinks were fantastic. Who would have ever thought to wash rye with Nutella? The creativity level of the cocktails at the Franklin Bar is really amazing. Well, it was finally a little past six o’clock, so it was time to head up to the mezcal bar!
Their mezcal bar is still a work in progress, but it’s progressing nicely. The space is much smaller than the speakeasy but it’s still cozy and quaint. There were still tiki decorations throughout but the staff assured us that they were coming down in the next week. While remnants of a tiki bar remained in the decor, the menu was anything but. It was all mezcal and it was beautiful. At the time we were there, they had around 30 or so mezcals available, but they were hoping to increase that to round 70 over the next few weeks.
We started off by ordering the “Sadaukar”, which was made with Espadin mezcal, abano, averna and Jamaican jerk bitters, and “Whispers of the Old Gods”, made with Espadin mezcal, green chartreuse, Dolin blanc, lime and egg white. Both drinks were delicious. We just loved the smoky flavor of both. They were well balanced and so full of spice and flavor.
During the Franklin Bar’s mezcal bar launch, they were offering free food that paired perfectly with the drinks. We ordered the street style fruit plate, that consisted of watermelon, mango, papaya, cucumber with salt, lime and chili. We also tried their guacamole, that was made with avocado, chicharron, lime, salt and salsas on a fresh tortilla. Finally, we tried the Mexican street corn, made with fresh corn, Mexican crema, lime, cojita cheese and chili. All the food we tried was delicious. We really loved the street corn! The sweetness of the corn, mixed with the crema, lime and chili was so good. I have a feeling that this dish will be their most popular one.
We decided to order one more round of drinks before calling it a night. We got the “Oaxacan Old Fashioned”, and the “Mexican Firing Squad”. The old fashioned was made with Espadin mezcal, blanco tequila, demerara and mole. It was smooth and smoky, and the mole just elevated the flavor. The firing squad, was made with Espadin mezcal, blanco tequila, lime, pomegranate and molasses. It was fantastic. The sweetness of the pomegranate and molasses just balanced the smoky flavor of the mezcal and tequila perfectly. I loved it!
If you love mezcal and tequila like we do, you have to visit the Franklin Bar and give them a try. Just like the cocktails downstairs in the speakeasy, the mezcal drinks are just as creative, and just as delicious. We now have the best of both worlds in one place. Thank you Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company!