Sadly, Huell Howser is no longer with us, but California Gold lives on, in a sense, at Terrine. Bartender Ryan Wainwright created a California Gold cocktail ($13) to pair with Pig & Co., a Monday night pork celebration from chef Kris Morningstar. On May 13, Morningstar prepared suckling pig five ways. When I asked front of house partner Francois Renaud to suggest a pairing, he pointed me toward Redbreast. Pours of the single pot still Irish whiskey are available neat at three different ages ranging from 12 to 21 years. Wainwright also features the spirit in California Gold, which combines Redbreast 12, lemon juice, honey and Dale’s Pale Ale shaken to a froth and served in a Collins glass with atomized Angostura Bitters.
Howser didn’t actually inspire Wainwright, so what did? The bartender said, “My motivation was a problem: how do I make a refreshing drink that doesn’t mask the malty deliciousness of the Redbreast 12 year? After running through more than 6 different ideas and hating them all I realized all I wanted on the menu was a shot of Redbreast and a beer. He combined both beverages, to good effect. “The Redbreast has lovely malty, bright, honey notes. All I did was take those notes and bring them out bolder. Honey to accent the lovely honey finish, Malty mid-palate is accented by a dry pale ale. The nose is accented by the bitters.” You get a refreshing drink with some tang that still packs a pop and pairs well with rich pork.