As If The Vessel Alone Isn’t An Indicator That This Specially Crafted Holiday Cocktail At Nickel City Has Got A Lot Going On.

Name: SanTaRex.

Where to get it: Nickel City (212 S. Main St., Fort Worth)

Cost: $12.

When to order: Hello, do you know what month we’re in?!

Ingredients: Tequila, Branca Menta, mezcal, cacao blanc, serrano, coconut and acid-adjusted pineapple.

Pairs well with: Something and nothing.

A little more to sip on:  Anytime a great bar from another city gets duplicated, it’s important to leave any expectations at the door — you’re going to have a great time regardless so it’s best to not compare one place to another. Keeping a relaxed and open mind is necessary when visiting Nickel City in Fort Worth, which opened back in October of this year. This is the second location of the popular and beloved Austin bar of the same name.

Still, no matter what, you can be certain that you’ll walk through those doors and see some comforting and familiar industry faces like Cubby Rossano and Justin Cade.

When we walked into the elaborately festive bar, we decided we wanted some of Santa’s best and nothing is better than a funky, kitchy Christmas cocktail. We asked Cade to do his worst and in turn, offered some of Nickel City’s best from their Miracle pop-up menu.

Because anyone would be in awe of the fabulously dizzying arrangement of Christmas decor, naturally, we were distracted by pretty colors the whole time the cocktail was being prepared.

At some point, Cade navigated the plexiglass separator and bestowed upon the bartop some of the most adorable glassware ever: a Santa T-rex shaped mug. S’cute! (Conveniently, you can purchase this and other quirky holiday glassware at the pop-up itself.)

All shiny decor aside, it was what was inside of the adorable T-rex mug that stole the show. The cocktail itself was not like any holiday drink you’ve tasted before. The SanTaRex contains seven ingredients that somehow work together in this weird, orchestral arrangement of flavors. Seriously, there’s a lot going on.

First off, it’s sort of like a holiday cocktail with Branca Menta and cacao blanc, you know, with the whole mint and chocolate thing. But it’s almost like a tiki cocktail with the serrano, coconut and pineapple punching through. That the mint garnish only adds an extra olfactory exaggeration with every sip. It’s festive while being totally weird. It’s everywhere all at once in one cute little mug.

When we asked Cade about the cocktail ingredients and the science behind how they all seemed to work together so well, he offered an explanation that was very informative. At least, we’d like to think so had we been able to hear it over the music, mask and thick plexiglass barricade. No complaints, though! Safety first.

Cade was asked to repeat his explanation thrice and after the final bout, he very clearly stated, “it’s not meant for you to understand — it’s meant for you to drink.”

Yep, we heard that one loud and clear. Welcome to Fort Worth, Nickel City!

Photos by Michael Gorsky.

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