When Wayward Sons on Lower Greenville closed a few weeks ago, I entered a state of mourning. It was a 5-minute drive from my apartment, and I loved the food. I even had my birthday dinner there last year. But every time I ate at Graham Dodds’s restaurant, there was only one consistent factor from visit to visit: the Wayward Son cocktail.
I’m partial to gin and spicy flavors, so, for me, the Wayward Son was about as close to cocktail perfection as it gets. I ordered it every single time I dined there. It’s made with New Amsterdam gin, yellow Chartreuse, lime juice, agave, cucumber, radish, cilantro, and jalapeño, which gives it a nice bite. So when I found out that Wayward Sons—which had been open for a little over a year—was closing, I lamented the loss of what had become my favorite drink.
I didn’t seek out a replacement, partly because I didn’t think a suitable substitute existed. I had been to Armoury D.E. plenty of times before because the Old Fashioneds there are smoky and stunningly good, and it’s been one of my favorite bars in Dallas since it opened in July 2015. When I went there for a drink last week, I decided to change it up on a whim. I was in the mood for gin, and the Vulgar Display of Sour (named after the Pantera album “Vulgar Display of Power”) caught my eye. I took my first sip and was visibly confused and delighted at the same time. “This tastes just like my favorite drink at a place that just closed,” I said to my friend.
A closer look at the ingredients—gin, quinquina, lime, honey, cilantro, cardamom, cucumber, paprika—revealed that the two cocktails actually were very similar. And this one, which has been on Armoury D.E.’s menu from the beginning, costs $12, just like the Wayward Son. I’ll still miss ordering my favorite drink where I originally discovered it, but my mourning phase was over. The Vulgar Display of Sour will do just fine. Better than fine.