Dominique Gonzales, who worked behind the bar at Shady Lady and Zocalo, was once a star of Sacramento’s cocktail scene. She’s since moved to San Luis Obispo and launched Root Elixirs, a company that specializes in craft-cocktail mixers. You can taste her work at Kru, which uses her ginger beer in its cocktail program. I recommend the Five Spice Dark and Stormy, which offers an Asian twist to the popular Bermuda-born cocktail. Gosling’s rum is infused with Chinese five spice for added aromatics and flavor, and garnished with a dehydrated lime wheel. Root Elixirs’ ginger beer adds another level of spicy intrigue, but without the cloying sweetness often found in standard sodas. The cocktail is the perfect way to get the taste buds tingling before digging into chef Billy Ngo’s sushi and Asian-inspired small plates. For those who don’t drink alcohol, the ginger beer is balanced and tasty enough to savor on its own.
$11, 3135 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, (916) 551-1559