Bartender, there’s a fish in my drink.

Uriah Price, head bartender at The Anvil Pub in north Shelby County, is shaking up the standard cocktail menu using dinner-in-a-glass infusions and other flavor boosters.

Smoked salmon, for example.

His Everything Everywhere cocktail captures the myriad flavors of a bagel-and-lox spread, down to the everything seasoning that rims the glass. The niche cocktail, as Price describes it, is made from gin infused with lemon, dill, other fresh herbs – and house-smoked salmon.

(The Anvil Pub/Facebook)

The drink was recently singled out by the New York Times as one of its food and beverage trends for 2024. But it’s just the beginning of the gourmet goodies on Price’s cocktail menu that are made with advanced techniques like using milk or egg protein to clarify brown whiskey or bathing liquor in meat fat.

“They gave me creative control over our cocktail menu and I’ve had unfettered support,” Price says of the folks behind The Anvil, whose co-owner and culinary director Sedesh Boodram has worked in top kitchens in New York (including Per Se) and Birmingham (Hot and Hot Fish Club), and has appeared in several televised cooking competitions on The Food Channel.

“They trust me to put fish in a jar with liquor and make it taste good,” Price deadpans.

Boodram, a native of Trinidad y Tobago, and The Anvil’s chef de cuisine, Pinson native Trenton Tisdale, take a creative and worldly approach by drawing culinary inspirations from across the old British Empire (including Boodram’s native country) to present an elevated form of pub dining with uber-English touches like periodic high tea and a special featuring ornately-prepared Beef Wellington.

“I think we’re a hidden gem, culinary-wise,” says Price, who has tended bar at The Anvil since it opened in 2020. “We have the two best chefs in the state, in my opinion. I just want to try to match what they put out as much as I can.”

The Everything Everywhere cocktail premiered in time for last year’s Academy Awards, when the film “Everything Everywhere at Once” was generating massive buzz.

The concept arose from a challenge from Boodram to push beyond the standard cocktail formula of two parts liquor to one part each of sweet and sour elements, and a discussion between kitchen and bar about difficulties some food ingredients present.

“Salmon was one of the things they said is really easy to do too much with and you can’t really pull it back because of the pungency and the fishy taste,” Price says. “So, I took it as a challenge.”

He starts with two large sealable jars, each with a half-pound of smoked salmon soaking in a bottle of gin. One jar also holds Yuzu and other lemons. The second jar includes fresh dill, rosemary, thyme, and citric acid as a preservative.

(The Anvil Pub/Facebook)

The mixtures sit three days at room temperature, followed by a week in the refrigerator to let the flavors blend. Then they’re strained, filtered, combined, and cut with another bottle of gin. To complete the cocktail, the infused gin is shaken with olive brine, caper brine, and dry vermouth.

The salmon brings smoke and savory umami to the mix, Price says. The herbs add sweetness. Lemon juice and yuzu extract contribute sourness. Bitterness comes from the vermouth and capers. The everything bagel seasoning on the rim ties it together.

“My fear was it was going to taste like a can of tuna water,” Price says. “It has umami but it doesn’t just taste like fish. If I didn’t tell you there was salmon in it, you wouldn’t know. You’d just be wondering what all the other things that are coming through are.”

Still, the concept of a salmon-soaked tipple is jolting enough that Price lets regulars and other customers try it before he explains the fish part.

“There’s a lot of ‘trust me,’” Price says, smiling. “I’d serve it and say, ‘Tell me if it’s good, and if it’s gross, I won’t tell you what’s in it. We’ll try something else. If it’s good, I’ll explain the whole thing.’”

So far, no one has demanded a replacement, he says.

Price’s winter cocktail menu also features his drink, Duck Duck Goose, made from bourbon washed in duck fat, a technique that adds silkiness to the spirit and boosts both its flavors and aroma. Also made with Grand Marnier orange liqueur, orange bitters, and raw sugar, it’s his dinner-in-a-glass tribute to the dish, Duck a l’Orange.

His Gold Fashioned, a take on the classic Old-Fashioned, features Old Forrester bourbon washed in pecan oil and sweetened with caramel the kitchen makes for the restaurant’s sticky toffee pudding dessert.

It’s all in an effort for the bar out front at The Anvil Pub and Grill to reflect the level of creativity and skill that Boodram and Tisdale display back in the kitchen, Price says.

“I try to complement them as much as I can,” he says. “That is the ultimate goal.”