Southern Happy Hour: Rolf and Daughters in Nashville
Sample bracing Italian aperitivos and sorghum-spiked sours at Rolf and Daughters, one of Nashville's coolest new drinks destinations.
Matt Tocco (who amassed a fan base for his craft cocktails at The Patterson House) runs the bar. His use of fresh ingredients and bold flavors, such as bitter Italian amaro, has made Rolf and Daughters—a neighborhood restaurant serving Mediterranean fare with Southern undertones in a historic factory in Nashville's Germantown—a cocktails hotspot.
Think industrial chic with a warm, rustic edge, thanks to exposed brick and plenty of gleaming wood. Communal tables and a lively bar scene welcome locals who drop by after work.
Expect buzz about the general coolness in Germantown and satisfied moans over the Garganelli with pork ragu and homemade sourdough bread.
Spark your appetite with a Buon Appetito ($10) made with Campari, Cocchi Americano (a fortified wine flavored with cinchona bark, citrus peels, spices, and other botanicals), grapefruit, lemon, and soda water. "This cocktail is designed to stimulate your senses, not dull them," Matt says.
BEST BAR SNACK
Country Pâté, House Mustard, and Pickles ($10). "It's a great sharing dish to eat at the bar," says chef Philip Krajeck.
Try the Cumberland Sour ($11) with George Dickel, lemon juice, sorghum syrup, apple shrub (fruit syrup fortified with vinegar), wheat beer, and Angostura bitters—"a whiskey sour with complexity," says Matt.
Don't be pigeonholed by the menu. "Bartenders get tired of making the same thing; we like making custom drinks," Matt says. (Pssst: If you don't see Matt's signature Burn the Witch [$12] on the menu, he'll make it anyway. Trust us.)
TRY IT AT HOME
Combine 2 Tbsp. Campari (an Italian bitter aperitif), 2 Tbsp. Cocchi Americano (an Italian fortified wine), 2 Tbsp. white grapefruit juice, 4 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, and 4 1/2 tsp. simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover with lid; shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a 12-oz. glass with ice. Top with a splash of club soda and a grapefruit twist. Cheers!