The Junction opened down the street from the Magnetic Field in 2011, creating a corridor of excellent craft cocktails on Depot Street ,where there was little more to drink before but beer.
The restaurant and bar has simultaneously developed the menu in both the kitchen (courtesy of Camp Boswell) and the bar (most recently courtesy of new bar manager Jason Crosby) into something of quality that draws visitors from Asheville and beyond into the RAD.
Crosby joined the team just this spring, taking over for original bar manager Sharon Wallace. Crosby says that he intends to elevate the bar program even further than his predecessor, whose reputation as a great bartender is well-known. "My goal is, in [a given] amount of time, to be the the best," Crosby says.
Though Crosby is a fan of the classics, he developed a taste for drinks with a tropical edge to them while working at a Brazilian steak house. Don't think Malibu Rum-spiked concoctions with umbrellas, but rather grilled fruit, quality rums, agave and spices. "I'm a huge fan of drinks from warm climates," Crosby says. "Margaritas are huge for me — they're either great or bad, and there's very little in between."
To that end, Crosby has added two distinct margaritas to the Junction's drink menu: The Homegrown with local rosemary and Hellfire bitters and the Deja Vu with fresh watermelon and local lemon balm. He's added a number of ingredients to the menu — distinctive bitters, shrubs and liqueurs — with the intention of striking balance with his drinks
"One thing that I try to achieve is that a drink is supposed to hit on three senses," says Crosby. "It should have great aromatics, it should be visually stunning as well, and I try to offer complexity with the drinks."
Crosby has provided a recipe for the Backwoodsman, the visually attractive, aromatic and flavorful drink that he made for the owners of the Junction, Charles and Tanya Triber, when he was interviewing for the bartending position. "I guess they liked it," he laughs.
1 cup mango juice
Slice a peeled mango in half and grill each side on high until caramelized. Puree mango with the juice.
In a large rocks glass:
1 3/4 ounce of cachaca
1/3 oz pure ginger juice (Can be found at Greenlife)
2 wedges of lime, squeezed or muddled and left in glass
1 oz simple syrup
Splash club soda
Garnish with lime zest