Toasty Toasts

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Photo by Marc Thomas Kallweit

The Southerner’s Coffee

Southern hospitality and slow food go hand in hand, and the decadent Southerner’s Coffee at Berkley Bar (named for local wine legend David Berkley, who once had a gourmet market in the same space at the upscale Pavilions shopping center) takes a full two weeks to steep and mellow before making its way to your glass on a lazy winter evening. Once there, this sweet, luxurious tipple goes down easy; as lips meet glass, the taste of cool, house-made whipped cream is followed by a swell of toasty coffee from Vaneli’s in Rocklin and the nutty, golden afterglow of Old Forester’s classic 86-proof bourbon that’s been infused with walnut and caramel.

“We take our infusion program seriously,” says bar manager Eli Bob, who enlists fresh walnuts from Napa Nuts and scratch-made salted caramel, and takes his time producing the perfect amber liquid—the recipe took several iterations before Bob considered the flavor and texture just right—but what’s the hurry?

In keeping with the Arden-Arcade bar’s farm-to-fork and no-waste ethos, the nuts used to flavor the bourbon are saved, candied with excess caramel drippings and served alongside the drink as a side snack. “We’d milk the cow if we could!” Bob says. And with the results he gets, we’d happily wait around for him to do it. $12. 515 Pavilions Ln. 916-922-2870. Curtis Yee