370 Seventh Avenue, Downtown San Diego
The Cat Eye Club is a weird hybrid— a Tiki bar with a speakeasy vibe. It might be too dear to refer to it as a “Tik-easy,” but stranger things have come out of the place, especially on Thursdays. That’s Voodoo Night at the Club, when magic music (live or DJ-fueled) fills the air and flaming Tiki drinks emerge like disembodied spirits from the Club’s purple-tinted semidarkness….
This weekly Thursday night creep-hop’s Rhum Rhapsode rum-centric cocktail program inspired Club bartender Ashleigh Labron to conjure up her inaugural voodoo cocktail—Calypso’s Curse.
Because the cocktail is garnished with a flaming piece of lime, Lebron had to learn to restrain her bartenderly instincts.
“When I served the drink,” she says with a laugh, “I eventually learned not to put the straw into it right away,” she says with a laugh. “Otherwise the straw melts.”
In developing Calypso’s Curse, Lebron was angling for something seductive and powerful—necessarily in that order.
“The way this cocktail sips, it’s strong but you don’t taste it,” she says. “So it seduces you with balanced flavors—and it packs a punch before you realize it.”
Punch is the right word for it.
“It tastes a bit like a rum punch,” she says. “You taste the rum, with its aged warm flavor. Then in the middle you get the passion fruit flavor and a little lemon and lime. At the end, there’s a pleasant hint of the bitters.”
And what better way to celebrate voodoo culture than by naming a cocktail after a famous enchanting island woman who shares a name with a famous enchanting island musical form?
“I named it Calypso’s Curse,” Lebron says, “because I was thinking of the goddess from Greek mythology who seduces the hero Odysseus to stay on her island for seven years before he begs the gods to intercede so he can go back to his wife.”
CAT EYE CLUB’S
2 oz. 1888 Double-aged Rum
½ oz. John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum Liqueur
½ oz. Lime Juice
½ oz. Lemon Juice
½ Red Passion Fruit Syrup
½ Pomegranate Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Pour ingredients into ice-filled tin, shake, pour over crushed ice in Tiki glass, garnish with half a lime soaked in Cruzan 151 Rum, apply open flame to garnish—and stand back.