The first evening I slipped into Coup d’etat in Uptown was the first time the expansive space was lit like a Christmas tree. A muralist was putting the finishing touches on the wall inside the private dining space and the food pouring forth from the kitchen was hearty, delicious, and paired perfectly with the cocktails. Outside, the winter wind whipped down Lagoon Avenue, but inside the view of snowflakes skittering across the sidewalks appeared like spilled glitter from a Baz Luhrmann production.
The restaurant is the work of Jester Concepts, the same team behind Borough and Parlour—likely my favorite drinking hole on the planet. On that night, my friend Shawn Jones was behind the bar, mixing cocktail creations as only he can. He was the one that served me my first Duck, Duck, Grey Duck.
The cocktail is the original creation of barman Jesse Held. It’s mixed in the style of an Old Fashioned with tequila and an Earl Grey tea infusion instead of bourbon, and the whole thing is sweetened with a touch of Velvet Falernum. Garnished with a swath of fresh orange peel, the result is filled with familiar flavors and yet tasted at once suddenly new. The spirit washes over the tongue, with a subtle sweetness and a whisper of light smoke. The tea brings sophistication with every sip, and the sunshine flavor of the orange cuts through everything before the drink threatens to turn heavy or overly herbal.
Now, on the eve of the restaurant’s first anniversary, as the snowflakes stir again, it’s the perfect time to play a solo game of Duck, Duck, Grey Duck.