When you see Harrison Elkhay burning a small plank of wood with a blow torch, at first you think, “Is this man an arsonist, or is he making me a cocktail?” Then the magic happens. A flourish of a long, copper spoon, a flick of the wrist, a flash of smoke, and you’ve got it: the Xaco Taco Smoked Old Fashioned.
Gone are the days when old fashioneds were only for bourgeois older men wearing velvet smoking jackets. Xaco Taco has put a Mexican twist on a classic cocktail for everyone. This bourbon drink is a harmonious concoction of Old Forester bourbon, sugar, cherry, orange, and mole bitters, garnished with fresh fruit and served in a smoked glass. Harrison, Vice President of Operations for the Chow Fun Food Group, says that he wanted to give patrons the ultimate sensory experience. “Creating this drink, flaming the wood, it creates that visual sense, it creates a great smell for the drink – an added smell you don’t get a lot with other old fashioneds.”
Inspiration for the smooth libation also comes from Harrison’s love for Kentucky bourbon – a passion he discovered while on a birthday trip in Louisville. Previously, the restaurateur lived in San Francisco, where he was exposed to high-end cocktails, but he never experienced authentic bourbon culture. He recalls fondly, “From there, it’s been an appetite that has grown.” It’s this experience and passion that Harrison wants to share with his customers – with a special “flare” of course. 370 Richmond Street.