PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen
Backed up with just the right amount of citrus to stop the heat of some of Rhombus Guys’ spicier pizzas, this beer-tail from bartender John Rian comes packed with a little something extra and will make you dream of warmer weather.
John Rian @ Rhombus Guys
How did your bartending journey begin?
“I started bartending at Olive Garden. It was fun bartending over there but Olive Garden is a little too corporate. Drew (a Rhombus Guys manager) came over here and said, ‘This is the sunny side of the street’ so I moved downtown. I like it here. It’s that neighborhood kind of feel in the heart of the city.
“Bartending is something that I always kind of wanted to do. The classic thing that I always kick back to is the Billy Joel (lyric from ‘Piano Man’), ‘John at the bar is a friend of mine.'”
What is your cocktail style?
“Scandinavian. One of the cocktails that I created for here is a Swedish mule, using Proof’s aquavit. I like aquavit because I’m a Scandinavian so, at meals and stuff like that, I’ve done different cocktails with wine and other things. I’m always trying to experiment with new things and see what happens and see what sticks. We have such a huge back bar that we can do a lot of fun things to play around with.”
When I think of pizza, I go to pizza and beer. Convince me otherwise why I should have a cocktail with my pizza.
“This does have beer in the cocktail. I’m playing into that a little bit. This is for sure a beer town. However, you can craft pretty much anything with different fruit flavors. Like in the summertime, of course, you want something fruity and easy. Certain citruses and stuff like that can also cut the spiciness of pizza. People have red wine with certain pizzas. Why can’t spirits also be in that same sort of thing? I think with spirits, you can bring a lot more flavors in a cocktail then necessarily just a beer. There are a lot more layers to cocktails.”
What else should we know about what Rhombus Guys is brewing up?
“We have a great line-up of our beers and we do growler sales too so you can take it home. You can take the Phantom beer home and make this cocktail at home. There’s also a new pizza every month and there’s new beer coming from the brewery. Plus, we’re always messing around with new cocktails.”
1 1/2 oz. Deep Eddy Ruby Red grapefruit vodka
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. honey syrup
Rhombus Guys Brewery Phantom IPA
Slice of grapefruit
Pour into glass with ice and stir well. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
Rian says that the citrus flavor of the Phantastic can cut the heat from pizza so this goes well with the Girlfriend Diavolo or Louisiana Saturday Night pizzas.
606 Main Ave., Fargo