Drink This Now: Pale Fire at Afterword Tavern & Shelves


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Pale Fire at Afterword Tavern & Shelves. // Photo by Jordan Baranowski

Fall is the perfect time for smoky cocktails, and there aren’t many better in Kansas City than the Pale Fire at Afterword Tavern & Shelves. Named after Vladamir Nabokov’s complex and extremely meta poem (which drew its own name from a line in Shakespeare’s problem play Timon of Athens), this drink is far more complex than it seems at first glance—and it’s extremely tasty.

The base spirit of the Pale Fire is a dark chocolate-washed mezcal. This tantalizing concoction is combined with Frangelico, amaretto, and chocolate port, then shaken up with an egg white to create a light, frothy texture. Finally, it’s topped with a torched marshmallow to transform into a campfire-in-a-glass.

The result is a complex, smoky riff on a chocolate martini, with the chocolate sweetness more than balancing out the rustic, savory quality of the smoke. Delish.

Next time you’re down in the Crossroads, snatch a little bit of the autumn sun for yourself. Stop by Afterword Tavern & Shelves, order a Pale Fire from bartender Zac, who also created the drink, and enjoy a libation surrounded by literary giants.

Afterword Tavern & Shelves is located at 1834 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108. They are open from 4-10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. on Friday, and 1 p.m. – 12 a.m. on Saturday. They are closed Sunday through Tuesday.


Categories: Food & Drink