Doppelganger: No Beer, No Wine, No Soda and No Nonsense
By Sharon Salt.
It’s unlikely that you’ve walked pas Doppelganger, as it’s in San Telmo, and not Plaza Dorrego San Telmo, more like Parque Lezama San Telmo – a fair number of blocks south of the typical hubbub. And even if you have walked past it, you likely missed it. The windows remain half-closed at all times, and its only advertisement is a small logo on the awning over the front door.
No beer, no wine, no soda. Just cocktails. They do it well, and they do it strong. A mirror in the corner reads, “This is not for everyone.”
The cocktail menu is much more extensive than I can relate to you here, and even the website doesn’t bother listing it all, instead settling for a sampling just varied enough to pique your interest. You, too, will have to come to terms with the fact that you will never get through them all. Sad though it is, I’m here to ease your suffering ever so slightly by reviewing the handful of Doppel cocktails I have had the pleasure of tasting.
Most recently, I went on Friday with some friends. We ordered eight drinks between the four of us, the idea being that we would pass them around and rate them accordingly. But in the end, all of the cocktails (minus one) were so good, we couldn’t possibly rank them. It was like choosing between good friends — it was all about your mood, what you felt like, who you felt like.
Ultimately, we decided there was no better way to rate them beyond “exceptionally good” (besides the one outlier) except to take this idea – “it’s like choosing between good friends” – and run with it. Our ratings, we decided, would be descriptions of who might order such a drink. Here’s hoping it gives you even the slightest bit of insight into what to order when – not if – you go.
Bourbon Fog Variation: Jim Beam White, Licor de Cafe, Cream
Your Bourbon Fog Variation is a slightly offbeat older woman who wears big rings and smokes thin cigarettes. She’s equal parts crass, elegant, and passionate. She is probably married but never ever mentions it, and she has a husky voice from all her years of smoking. She is overly forward, dispenses good advice, and knows more about your barrio than you do. You wish you were actually related.
Belle Poire: Aguardiente de Pera, Syrup, Lemon Juice
Your Belle Poire is a rich woman on vacation, probably in Colombia, who orders this only because she “absolutely HAD to try the aguardiente.” (Normally she’d opt for white wine and fish instead.) She’ll be disappointed when she tries to order something similar elsewhere.
Mojito: Rum, Mint, Sugar, Lemon Juice, Soda
Your Doppelganger Mojito is a young girl who doesn’t know what to order because she has only really ever had wine and beer. She won’t stop talking about how cool the bar is, and when the drink finally comes, she’s pleased that it’s not strong in alcohol but is strong in flavor, just how she likes it. Her only complaint is that it should have come with a straw. She leaves her gum in.
Lynchburg Lemonade: Bourbon, Cointreau, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Lemon Slice
Your Lynchburg Lemonade, on the other hand, is a foreigner. He lives in the “real” part of San Telmo and dresses well, always making sure to have at least one statement piece in his ensemble so others will think him mysterious. He tries to give off a kind of “You don’t want to know about my past” vibe, but he manages not to be a total prick. He’s still somehow charismatic.
Alexander Nutshell: Brandy, Frangelico, Cream, Cacao Shavings, Nutmeg
Your Alexander Nutshell is the 30-something-year-old woman who has been unlucky in love but not in life. All of her friends call about boy problems anyway because she’s so level-headed and kind. She’s always saying she’s “not really a drinker” but decides to order “something fancy” only because it’s girl’s night out.
Amsterdam: Ginebra, Cointreau, Orange Juice, Orange Bitters
Your Amsterdam is hanging out a complimentary continental breakfast. The orange juice there is from concentrate but she doesn’t notice and downs two whole glasses. Maybe she’s pregnant, and that’s why she doesn’t mind that there’s no alcohol.
(Please note: if it wasn’t obvious, this is the one and only drink we didn’t care for.)
Sea Captain’s Special: Maker’s Mark, Sugar, Angostura, Soda, Pernod, Champagne
Your Sea Captain Special is another off-the-wall hipster in the same vein as the Lynchburg Lemonade, only this guy’s actually obnoxious. His statement piece is an eye patch (or something equally ridiculous) he picked up at a flea market overseas. When he comes back from the bathroom, you’ll notice that the eye patch has switched sides. He’s a total weirdo, but you keep him around because you can’t believe he’s real.
Take 3: Cynar, St. Germain, Lemon Juice, Soda, Lemon Slice.
The Take 3 is a strikingly beautiful yet bitter girl. She is intellectual and aloof and dresses like Lana del Rey. Everyone likes having her at the table even though she suffers from Bitchy Resting Face (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v98CPXNiSk).
Additional notes: The My Beloved Shit, which was not ordered that night, but which was tried by this author before, is well worth it. Delicious. Also get the burger. It has magic sauce, magic everything. And I cannot believe I missed the ginger champagne, so I’ve already made plans to go back! (I know!!)Avenida Juan de Garay 500 and Bolívar, San Telmo Tuesday through Friday 7PM – Close Saturday, 8PM – close