Forget Amorentia. When it comes to muggle problems (read: adulting), there’s only one potion that can cure our heartaches (and every kind of pain there is, tbh) — a damn good cocktail. Sometimes all we really need is a drink or two… or four, if only to remind us that there is still some fun left in this world. It’s not to say that alcohol is the best solution. But if you have just enough of a buzz, you might believe, even for a little while, that there a lot of things to love about your life after all.
And who better to talk to about the art of making cocktails than our faves from 12/10? Head bartender Royce Pua shares with us the recipe for the White Widow — the most revolutionary drink he’s made so far. He shares that, much like a love potion, it’s meant to be very approachable at first glance. “I made this drink thinking of a lady in white and stilettos with burgundy lipstick. It looks so simple but when you get to know the drink, it becomes complicated and sophisticated.”
Bar magician: Royce Pua, @roycepua, 26, head bartender at 12/10
Clear and deadly: Much like a love potion, the drink is meant to be approachable at first glance.
It’s a pretty simple drink to make, having just four ingredients (five if you count the cherry garnish). But it can pack a slight punch if you let it. You can immediately taste the sweetness, and then the smoky flavor follows. But feeling the kick of the two kinds of tequila in it? Not so much. “Some people hate tequila, but this (drink) brings out the good in the tequila and leaves out the bad,” Royce says, sharing the chemistry behind the cocktail. That means no burning sensation in your chest, no reaching your hand out for a chaser right away. If anything, it’ll even get you to go for more rounds of draaanks and conversations if only because it won’t hit you as hard as you expect it to.
“With any drink that we make here, it’s not just about mixing alcohol. It’s letting people experience something different,” Royce says. “So once you get a taste of whatever cocktail that we serve, there’s a specific direction that cocktail is going to make you feel. For this (White Widow), it’s really love and lust. If you taste it, it’s rich in flavor.”
The White Widow by Royce Pua
1.5 oz. Cocchi Americano
0.5 oz. 1800 Blanco Tequila
0.5 oz. Fidencio Mezcal
0.5 oz. raspberry eau de vie
1 pc. Brandied cherry (optional for garnish)
But while they won’t be serving White Widow cocktails anytime soon (they’re about to run out of one ingredient that’s hard to source), the new cocktails of 12/10 will fill that void just in time for Valentine’s Day. With a new cocktail menu, owner Gab Bustos, head bartender Royce Pua, and the rest of the 12/10 team are really focused on revolutionizing what people think of cocktails. They’re not just creating drinks but intricate c dishes as well. “It’s almost like you’re drinking food — liquid food. So it gives you this experience that you can only find here,” Royce says.
We’re all familiar with the scenario of waking up with chicken nugget munchies on our bedside table after an epic night out. We might not remember how exactly we got home, but we remember the short period of relief from our everyday worries. Life didn’t seem so bad then, and we’ll always have our cocktails to thank for that.