Starting from scratch
When Lauren left High Hat to take a road trip around the country in preparation for opening Turkey and the Wolf, she didn’t take any of the recipes she created -- like the Ruby Hendrick's, a gin, ginger, and grapefruit concoction, or her Three Ladies margarita. Instead, she opted to start from scratch at Turkey and the Wolf.
Ryan said he admires her openness to new ideas and opportunities in building Turkey and the Wolf from the ground up. “There are no rules. They’ve taken growing up in the '80s to a whole new level, and just do whatever they think sounds good. People are usually too scared to do something like that.”
In doing so, Lauren has created one of the most unusual yet approachable cocktail menus in the city. Take the Ma’am, Don’t Be Hysterical, for example.
“I was basically on the phone with a credit card processing company and they were not getting me through to the manager. I was very calm, and in the middle of me just asking for the manager again, the guy said ‘Ma’am! Ma’am, don’t get hysterical.’ Which of course led to me getting a little upset. I got the manager after that, so it all worked out. And it pissed me off so much I named a cocktail after it. It’s a funny story to tell people, people ask about it all the time.”
The drink itself seems standard enough to start with: gin, Campari, house-made blackberry syrup, lime, and… pickled Hatch peppers?
“Normally after I create a cocktail I make all the chefs try it, and ask them, what do you think would taste good in this? And they said pickled Hatch peppers, and it worked out wonderfully,” she said.
The genuine desire to create a space that brings people joy is apparent with every aspect of the restaurant and bar. The philosophy is starting to pick up some steam with the casual cocktail influence.
“People don’t want to sit in an environment where they’re not comfortable,” Lauren explained. “They want to have a good drink, they want to try new things, but some environments are so upscale, they’re just not comfortable. People want to feel comfortable and in their own element. That’s what I enjoy. So I love the movement toward more casual places. It’s more accessible to everybody.”