Although proud of their beer and liquor selection, what usually catches the eye upon entering Roaring Donkey is the stack of copper mugs behind the bar. These are the traditional serving vessels for Moscow Mules, a “buck” cocktail of vodka, ginger beer, and lime. The Roaring Donkey has about a dozen variations on this cocktail, with ingredients ranging from mescal to peach bitters, and from Fernet to a variety of house-made infusions. And a buck or mule cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime served in a copper mug garnished with a sprig of mint. a buck or mule cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime served in a copper mug garnished with a sprig of mint. An in true Petaluma fashion, they adapt to and incorporate local ingredients and seasonal changes. Along with several other bar patrons, I was invited to taste a few experiments at reshaping the Mule with some fall flavors, like cinnamon and other chest-warming spices. It’s just that kind of inclusion in the decision-making process that will make loyal fans of Petaluma patrons.
It took Brian, Kelton, and Bob surprisingly little time to “get” Petaluma and Petaluma is returning the gesture by flocking to this “clubhouse for adults” and quickly making it a local favorite. In mere months, Jamison’s Roaring Donkey has already succeeded in helping us forget the bad memories of the previous bars in this location. Just as the bar’s laminate floor was stripped away to reveal beautiful original wood flooring, these three have done more than simply redesigned this space; they have transformed it into a community gathering place. Jamison’s Roaring Donkey is destined to become a valued and beloved addition to the downtown culinary and bar scene.
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