The Intoxicologist

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Nomad Lounge Review - Omaha, Nebraska

Last night my boyfriend and I wandered off the beaten path of the tried and true Old Market faithful and headed down to the Nomad Lounge. Elan furniture store once occupied this space, but there is no evidence of it remaining with the exception of the vast space and wood floor. Nomad Lounge has done a remarkable job with the atmosphere.

To be honest, when we approached the place we were hesitant as it appeared mostly dead. Upon entering, it wasn’t very busy and was quiet, but in a peaceful, serene sort of way. It is quite dark with lots of red lighting and candles galore surrounding the exterior walls and highlighting the bar area. The bar itself is a large wrap-around concrete bar that sits in the middle of the lounge area. The seating areas along the exterior walls are filled with comfy sofas, candle light and an array of art reflected from overhead projectors creating a unique atmosphere for this truly unexpected bar for the Old Market.

Our bartender was eager to set us up with drinks, but unfortunately was stumped with an easy request; the Bacardi Cocktail. While he did not know what a Bacardi Cocktail was, he did have recommendations from the Nomad Lounge’s cocktail list which is varied. First, every bartender should know a Bacardi Cocktail as it was the center of litigation in 1936 when a bar owner substituted another rum in place of Bacardi in the Barcardi Cocktails. Basically the only difference in a Bacardi Cocktail and a Daquiri is one cocktail uses grenadine and the other drink uses bar syrup as the sweetener. Both are basic bar drinks that should be known to every cocktail bartender.

Bacardi Cocktail

2 oz Bacardi Light Rum
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
½ oz Grenadine

Shake ingredients in cocktail shaker one third full of ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. No garnish.

I also ordered a straight up martini with a lemon twist made with Pravda Vodka. Had the martini been made with less vermouth than the free pour amount the bartender added to the drink itself instead of to the iced cocktail glass before shaking the ice away, it would have been a great martini. Instead, I got a really up close and personal taste of what Cinzano Vermouth tastes like. It’s a martini, I suppose, but not my kind of martini.

Perfect Martini

Noily Pratt Vermouth
2 oz Vodka – Chopin, Pravda, Tall Blonde, (all top of the line-choose one)
Lemon Twist

Place ice in a cocktail glass. Swirl approximately ¼ oz of Noily Pratt Dry Vermouth over top of ice filled cocktail glass. Set aside. Place vodka in cocktail shaker. Fill 1/3 full of ice. Shake or swirl for 15 – 12 seconds. Swirl iced vermouth around the cocktail glass before dumping out. Strain vodka into chilled cocktail glass. Twist fresh lemon around rim of cocktail glass and lightly squeeze over top of martini before placing the lemon twist either on the rim of the glass or into the martini itself. Some people prefer olives in their martinis and that is a perfectly good option. Skip the lemon twist in that case. Try any assortment of olives to liven things up a bit. JalapeƱo olives are my personal favorite.

The Nomad Lounge has several drinks on their menu. The Flower Island Bikini made up of Belevedere Vodka, 10 Cane Rum (my favorite rum!) blue curacao, pineapple juice, and sprite is one. This drink came served in a Collins glass over ice. It was too blue for my taste and also way too sweet. As it ended up, I didn’t care for it and our bartender took it away without charging me for it. That’s a real plus in favor of the Nomad Lounge and did lead me to order something else; their Nomad Lemonade. It had Grey Goose Citron, Tuaca (our bartender gave me a tiny taste first-kudos again!), Fresh Lemon, and Nomad’s own freshly made Simple Syrup. It also comes in a tall glass over ice. Although it could use a tad less simple syrup, this makes for a great sipping drink. It’s rather pricy at $12, but proceeds from it go toward a good cause. You can read about the cause yourself on their menu when you go check them out. Another plus to the leisurely atmosphere is there is no smoking indoors, but a nice sitting area with sofas on the patio for those of you who care to.

By the time we called it a night, the place was filling up and holding its own in the Old Market. Refreshing to see with all the places that come along and fade away.

Nomad Lounge
1013 Jones Street
Omaha, NE

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