Archive for the ‘101 Best New Cocktails’ Category

101 Best New Cocktails: Taco Truck by Beau DuBois, Corner Door (Culver City), L.A., USA

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Taco Truck

Beau DuBois, Corner Door (Culver City), L.A. USA

“This is one of my favorite Negroni variations we’ve offered at The Corner Door. When I designed the cocktail, I was thinking, “I love Mezcal and I love a good Negroni. Now, a Mezcal Negroni is good but it’s still just a Mezcal cocktail wearing a Negroni costume. I decided to modify the Campari so that the recipe would be driven by the Mezcal’s presence.  Infusing the Campari with Pineapple and Cinnamon acts as a ‘tip of the hat’ to the Mezcal, providing complementary flavors without masking or blurring the balance,” Beau DuBois

60 ml (2 oz) Fidencio Clasico MezcalProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

30 ml (1 oz) Pineapple & Cinnamon-infused Campari*

30 ml (1 oz) Dolin Sweet Vermouth

2 orange twists, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a double old-fashioned glass over a large, clear ice cube.  Add the garnishes.

*Pineapple & Cinnamon-infused Campari

1 pineapple

3 cinnamon sticks

1 750-ml bottle of Campari

Remove stalk, skin and core of pineapple and rough chop into 2″ chunks. Place inside a 1 gallon jar.  Toast the cinnamon sticks until they are smoldering and place inside the jar with pineapple chunks.  Add the Campari and seal the jar.

After 24 hours, remove cinnamon, then reseal the jar.

After 72 hours, strain out the pineapple through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, making sure to press the juice out of the chunks, and bottle.

gaz sez:  I spotted this recipe on chilledmagazine.com, and immediately sought out Beau DuBois to ask him to submit it to 101BNC.  It was a good thing to do—this drink is pretty fabulous, and it’s very more-ish, so be careful—it can be fairly lethal, too.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Oban Smoke by Pat Thomas, Vintage Cocktail Club, Dublin, Ireland

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

 Oban Smoke101 BNC App

Pat Thomas, Vintage Cocktail Club, Dublin, Ireland

“I love the maltiness of Oban and of Genever, but oddly there’s too much in one and not enough in the other!!  The lemon peel infusion really takes the edge off the Genever and actually makes it very approachable for the novice Genever sipper.  Ginger liqueur adds the needed sweetness, and the bitters, a house “secret” were actually added accidentally when fooling around making the drink the first time, and it just works! A simple drink when all components are in place, and fun to experiment in making the components!” Pat Thomas.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Oban 14-year-old single malt scotchOban Smoke

20 ml (.66 oz) Domain De Canton Ginger liqueur

15 ml (.5 oz) lemon peel infused Bols Genever*

4 dash lapsang vanilla bitters**

1 lemon twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled “fancy glass.”  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  I don’t quite know where to start when it comes to describing this drink, so I’ll kick this off by telling you what a pain in the ass it was to make these damned bitters.  Worth the effort, though.  And chances are that I’ll play with these bitters in other drinks, too, so . . .  You’re going to have to make this drink in order to appreciate it, but you’ll be happy you did.  This one is pretty startling!

*Lemon Peel Infused Bols Genever

Add the zest of 3 lemons (Sicilian preferred) to a one-liter jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Add 750-ml of Bols Genever and allow to infuse for 2 weeks.  Strain through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, and return the genever to the bottle.

** Lapsang Vanilla Bitters

Add 2 organic vanilla pods to 100 grams (3.5 oz) of Lapsang souchong tea to a bottle containing 250 ml (8.5 oz) of grain alcohol.  Add a handful of bourbon barrel chips and allow to infuse for 6weeks.  Add 75 ml (2.5 oz) water and 75 ml (2.5 oz) blackstrap molasses.  Strain through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, and store in a bottle.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Bodhi Nöel by Brian Nixon, Rose’s Luxury, Washington, DC, USA

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Bodhi Nöel

101 BNC AppBrian Nixon, Rose’s Luxury, Washington, DC, USA

Bodhi Nöel Brian Nixon

“This is a play on a Classic Martinez. The flavors really play well with each other. I chose the name because Buddha gained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree which is actually an ancient fig tree and the Nöel is because on the nose this drink is reminiscent of Christmas in my mind,” Brian Nixon.

60 ml (2 oz) Ford’s Gin

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Carpano Antica Formula vermouth

15 ml (.5 oz) Fig Balsamic Vinegar

2 dashes Fee Brother’s Old Fashioned Bitters

1 flamed orange twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  This might be a play on the Martinez, but it’s a far cry from that original classic, and I think it’s the vinegar that makes all the difference here.  Best of all, the fig balsamic takes your attention away from the huge vanilla notes in the Carpano, and the choice of Ford’s gin is a very fine choice, indeed.  Well done, Brian.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Moonage Daydream by Mats Lian, Stay at Home Bartender, Oslo, Norway

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Moonage Daydream

101 BNC App

Mats Lian, Stay at Home Bartender, Oslo, Norway

Moonage Daydream Mats Lian - Copy

“This is a twist on the classic Hanky Panky cocktail, using a full bodied aged rum instead of gin,” Mats Lian.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Zacapa 23 rum

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Punt e MesMoonage Daydream - Copy

Scant 7.5 ml (.25 oz) Luxardo Fernet amaro

3 dashes Adam Elmegirab’s Aphrodite bitters

1 lemon twist, as garnish

Build on a big rock in double old-fashioned glass and stir until cold.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:   Wow!  The Zacapa, Punt e Mes, and Fernet (Luxardo is a little drier than Branca), come together in harmony well, here—each of them allows the others to be heard without retiring into the background—but it’s the Aphrodite bitters that push this drink over the top and into the realm of super-heroes.  This is a keeper.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Bending Blades by Christopher Day, General Lee’s , Los Angeles, CA, USA

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Bending Blades101 BNC App

Christopher Day, General Lee’s , Los Angeles, CA, USA

“I love how sherry, tequila and grapefruit play together. I made this to showcase that dynamic and to make a juicy drink with no juice…and a refreshing drink that is also dry. Basically, a liquid version of rolling through fresh-cut grass.” Christopher Day.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Tapatio Blanco tequila

15 ml (.5 oz) Salers Gentian Liqueur

15 ml (.5 oz) Lustau Manzanilla SherryBending Blades - Copy

15 ml (.5 oz) Giffard Pamplemousse Rose

1 lemon twist, as an aromatic garnish.

Stir over cracked ice and strain into a chilled coupe.  Express lemon oils onto the top of the drink and discard the twist.

gaz sez:   I loves me some pamplemousse, I does, and Christopher puts this fabulous pink-grapefruit liqueur to very good use in this drink.  I urge you to try this cocktail—I think you might consider offering it to your guests as a very interesting apéritif in the near future.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Gros Michel by Sean MacPherson, Room 11, Washington, D.C., USA

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Gros Michel 101 BNC App

Sean MacPherson, Room 11, Washington, D.C., USA

Gros Michel Sean MacPherson

                                                              Picture by Morgan Hungerford-West

“I named this drink after  the strain of banana, also known as Big Mike, which was the main export  to North America and Europe from South America until it basically went extinct in the 1950′s due to Panama disease.  Also, I really wanted to name a cocktail ‘Big Mike’.  I had banana walnut bread in mind and I think the nuttiness of the sherry and caramel notes from the bourbon convey that, brought together by the bitter, grassy notes from the Salers.”

45 ml (1.5 oz) Buffalo Trace bourbonGros Michel - Copy

22.5 ml (.75 oz) olorosso sherry

15 ml (.5 oz) Salers aperitif

15 ml (.5 oz) Giffard Banane du Brésil

Light dash Fee Bros. Black Walnut Bitters

1 orange twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:   This drink is named for a strain of banana.  Let me repeat that.  This drink is named for a strain of banana.  And in case you’d like to be seen as the most banana-savvy geek in the room, here’s a little more information on Gros Michel that I got from ProMusa.com, a site dedicated to “Mobilizing banana science for sustainable livelihoods,” “’Gros Michel’ is the cultivar that dominated the international banana trade during the first part of the 20th century.  In the late 1950s it was replaced with Cavendish cultivars because of its susceptibility to Fusarium wilt, which had landed in Central America in the 1890s.  The wild species that contributed to its triploid genome is Musa acuminata, hence the shorthand AAA to describe its genome group.  The Gros Michel subgroup is named after this cultivar.”  Do I hear you crying Uncle?

This is a fabulous cocktail, the likes of which you’ve likely never tasted before.  The combination of the Salers (gentian) apéritif and the Giffard Banane du Brésil, is pure genius, and Buffalo Trace is a bourbon with a broad-enough back to carry this drink to the finish line without flinching once.  And, yes, the sherry shines on through, too.  Standing ovation, please.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Jalisco Stroll by Eric Giger, Neighborhood , San Diego, CA, USA

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Jalisco Stroll 101 BNC App

Eric Giger, Neighborhood , San Diego, CA, USA

Jalisco Stroll Eric Giger

“This cocktail was created at Noble Experiment in San Diego and put onto the summer cocktail menu. The original inspiration was a Tequila Little Italy cocktail that I had made for a customer and was quickly modified and developed to what we have today after sharing the idea the fellow bartenders at Noble Experiment. We came up with a Tequila Cardinal which was great and just a hint of salt pushed it over the edge and we knew we had a winner that was odd, unique and bitter, just like our souls.

“The salt in the cocktail mellows the bitterness of the Campari and enhances the sweet notes of the tequila, bringing a nice balance between bitter and sweet,” Eric Giger

30 ml (1 oz) blanco tequilaJalisco Stroll

30 ml (1 oz) dry vermouth

30 ml (1 oz) Campari

4 drops concentrated saline solution*

1 lemon twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled double-old-fashioned glass over one large ice cube.  Add the garnish.

*Saline Solution

Combine 120 ml (4 oz) of room-temperature water with 30 grams (1 oz) of kosher salt into mixing glass and stir vigorously to dissolve.  Place solution into a bitters glass dropper bottle and use 4-5 droplets per cocktail. The saline solution is preferred over a coarse salt grinder due to ease of blending ingredients without the risk of over stirring and over dilution.

gaz sez:  Simple, elegant, and oh-so tasty.  Eric’s right when he says, “just a hint of salt pushed it over the edge.”  Try this drink without the saline solution, then try is again with the saline solution—there’s a world of difference.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Mojo Pin #1 by Mel James, BC’s Kitchen, Lake St. Louis, MO, USA

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Mojo Pin #1101 BNC App

Mel James, BC’s Kitchen, Lake St. Louis, MO, USA

“I created this cocktail when I was in the mood for something a little bit spicy and a wee bit sweet—but fresh both in flavor and aroma.   This cocktail takes the unique taste, bouquet and subtle sweetness of Hendrick’s Gin and marries it beautifully with the spiciness of Rosemary, the unique and mysterious herbal qualities of Green Chartreuse, and the familiar, curious hint of fresh green grapes and celery bitters.

“I have enjoyed this cocktail in both the springtime and in the winter. The spicy notes are quite complementary to colder evenings, and the almost garden-like aromas and flavors lean towards the springtime…especially if you add the simple syrup to quiet the peppery notes down a little bit, if you prefer.

“I named this cocktail after one of my favorite songs from my favorite musician, Jeff Buckley. The song I named it after is dreamy, sexy and soft to start, almost jazz-like – until it kicks in to a driving, emotional and passionate rock and roll song, only to gently ease you back in to the sultry jazz song that was before. I’d like to think this cocktail is something like that song.” Mel James.

60 ml (2 oz) Hendrick’s GinMojo Pin

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Green Chartreuse

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Simple Syrup (optional)

3 Dashes The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

8 White Grapes

1 Sprig Rosemary plus small sprig of Rosemary for aromatic garnish, if desired.

Muddle the grapes and rosemary in a mixing glass.  Add the gin, Green Chartreuse, bitters and simple syrup (to taste, if desired).  Add ice and shake hard.  Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass.   Add the garnish.

gaz sez:   Brilliant!  Hendrick’s is the perfect gin to use in this baby, though I’ve a feeling that G’Vine Floraison would work well, too.  The gin, the Chartreuse, the celery bitters, the rosemary, and the grapes all come together in glorious harmony in this drink. I believe that, if you make thin one once, you’ll be making it again and again—it’s a real winner.

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101 Best New Cocktails: A Simple Quandary by Scott Diaz, www.shakestrainandsip.com, Lacey, WA, USA

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

A Simple Quandary

101 BNC App

Scott Diaz, www.shakestrainandsip.com, Lacey, WA, USA

Simple Quandary Scott Diaz

“This cocktail was my official entry into the Uncle Val’s Best Botanical Gin Contest in which I was one of 4 finalists that competed in Las Vegas last year at the annual Las Vegas Nightclub & Bar Show.  I wanted to create a libation that was both unique and showcased the botanical qualities found in the gin and the notes of cumin and caraway from the American made Aquavit.  These seemingly disparate ingredients produced a cocktail that was complex, yet [far more] harmonious than one might imagine.  Cheers!” Scott Diaz

30 ml (1 oz) Uncle Val’s Botanical GinSimple Quandary

30 ml (1 oz) North Shore Aquavit

15 ml (.5 oz) Punt e Mes

15 ml (.5 oz) Bénédictine

2 Dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6

1 lemon twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  I had serious doubts that this drink would work, primarily because of the half-ounce on Bénédictine called for—that stuff’s very yummy, but it’s so powerful, too, and it can take over a drink very easily, indeed.  Nonetheless, the formula intrigued me, primarily because we seldom see aquavit in cocktails, and it was the aquavit, I believe, that saved the day in this rink.  Scott’s correct when he says that A Simple Quandary is far more harmonious than one might imagine.  This one’s well worth putting together.  Promise.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Henry Special by Carl White, Richmond, VA, USA

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Henry Special

101 BNC AppCarl White, Richmond, VA, USA

” Involving flames and moderate skill to prepare, the Henry Special is exciting to serve and satisfying to savor. Delight in a caramelized orange scent before tasting the darkly sweet bite. This full flavored original is mischievously smooth and potent.

“I got the idea after tiring of mixed drinks that attempted to disguise alcohol, usually unsuccessfully. Rather than dilute and mask the flavor of alcohol, why not celebrate the spirits? The Henry Special is my attempt at creating a sophisticated, smooth drink comprised only of hard liquors and liqueurs. This is for the people out there that enjoy drinks on the sweeter end of the spectrum. Cheers.” Carl White

100ml (3.4 oz) AmarettoHenry Special - Copy

50ml (1.7 oz) Cointreau

50ml (1.7 oz) Gin

Dash of Absente

2 small circular orange dials, as garnish

Shake over ice, and double strain into 2 or 3 chilled martini glasses. Serve neat. Flame two orange peel dials. Trace the glass rim with the dials before placing them into the drink as a garnish.

gaz sez:  This formula results in about 270 ml (9 ounces) of cocktail, so be warned.  Carl has come up with a great formula here, but since it calls for just one dash of Absente, if you try to make it in portions suitable for just one person, it’s pretty hard to make.  All that said, though, the Henry Special is very special, indeed, and there’s just about enough gin in there to take the sweet edge off the liqueurs.  I love the out-of-the-box thinking here.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Breakfast Club by Timos Spanos, The Daffodil, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Breakfast Club101 BNC App

Timos Spanos, The Daffodil, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK

“The main idea when I was designing the drink was to deliver something with a ‘country’ feel as we live in the Cotswolds in the UK. We try to support local producers, such as The Chase Distillery, and their great products. Chase Marmalade Vodka was the ingredient that I chose, and because we were already doing business with a small Artisan Marmalade Company from Gloucester I asked if they could make me a bespoke citrus marmalade for my cocktail. They created a mix of Seville oranges, lime, lemon and pink grapefruit zest which gives an incredibly tangy taste to the drink. The presentation couldn’t be anything else but a traditional English jam jar with a gingham cloth cover on top – a trademark of the country life and one of the best sellers in our bar,” Timos Spanos.

50 ml (1.7 oz) Chase Marmalade VodkaBreakfast Club - Copy

20 ml (.66 oz) Cointreau

20 ml (.66 oz) fresh lemon juice

10 ml (.33 oz) simple syrup

2 teaspoons orange marmalade

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a jam jar filled with crushed ice, finish with a gingham cover and two straws.

gaz sez:   This one’s like Salvatore Calabrese’s Breakfast Martini on steroids, and it works really well if you use a honey syrup (50:50 honey dissolved in water) instead of the simple syrup.  I admit to adding a couple of dashes of The Bitter Truth’s Old Time Aromatic Bitters to my Breakfast Club cocktail, too, but you know me—I’m a hog for bitters!

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101 Best New Cocktails: Benicio Del Toro by Michael S. Gatlin, Outliers Eatery, Portland, Maine, USA

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Benicio Del Toro

Michael S. Gatlin, Outliers Eatery, Portland, Maine, USA

“Outliers Eatery in Portland Maine has a large collection of Ralph Steadman paintings. The owner and I are both Hunter Thompson fans. All the drinks have names in reference to Hunter. This drink has a large smoky personality, much like the actor who played Oscar Zeta Acosta in Terry Gilliam’s film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” Michael S. Gatlin.

[Benicio Del Toro played Dr. Gonzo, the drug-addicted lawyer, in Terry Gilliam's move, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.]

45 ml (1.5 oz) Vida MescalSAMSUNG

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Yellow Chartreuse -

15 ml (.5 oz) Amaro Meletti

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lime juice -

1 barspoon of Laphroaig 10 year old single malt scotch

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

gaz sez:   I loves me some Ralph Steadman—he was my fave cartoonist in Private Eye  magazine back in the 60s, and his work on Pink Floyd’s The Wall was astounding—but I’m afraid I’m not too keen on Hunter S. Thompson.  I tried to read Fear and Loathing once, but I’m afraid that I just couldn’t get through it, so I put it down.  I’m a huge fan, though, of this drink—it’s complex, sophisticated, and so nicely balanced.  The barspoon of Laphroaig is an inspired touch.  This is the sort of drink that 20th century bartenders would never have put together, but these days bartenders are far braver when it comes to picking ingredients.  Nicely done, sir!

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101 Best New Cocktails: Cave Creek by Nate Dumas, The Shanty (New York Distilling Co.), Brooklyn, NY, USA

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Cave Creek

Nate Dumas, The Shanty (New York Distilling Co.), Brooklyn, NY, USA

“Allen Katz and I were working on some recipes to use to promote New York Distilling Company’s Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye . . .  The basic idea: a sour using the Rock & Rye, lemon, and grenadine was Allen’s [but] I guess I kind of commandeered it.

“Our Rock & Rye is an historic American rye based liqueur, flavored with orange peel, bing cherries, and cinnamon.  It’s lovely on its own, but it’s also a great modifier in cocktails. …But why not add a few more layers?  Splitting the spirit with Scotch gave it a little bit of earth, and subtle smokiness.  Grenadine doesn’t excite me too much on its own, so I thought a quarter ounce Campari might work with the fruity grenadine flavors, but add some excitement, even if it’s not in the fore front flavor-wise.

“It was originally made to be served up, but I thought it tasted too ‘thick’, so I decided to dilute it a bit by serving it as a highball– over ice, with a little soda water.  Finally, the lemon twist just picks things up a bit.  It has a lovely aroma, and the contrast in colors between the drink and the twist is pleasing to the eye.  We keep our garnish game pretty straightforward here at the Shanty.”

37.5 ml (1.25 oz) Mister Katz’s Rock & RyeCave Creek

30 ml (1 oz) Pig’s Nose Scotch

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lemon juice

15 ml (.5 oz) grenadine (preferably homemade)

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Campari

club soda

1 lemon twist, as garnish

Shake over ice without the club soda.  Add the club soda and strain into an ice-filled highball or collins glass.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  We’ve waited a good long time for a decent Rock & Rye to make its way back to the shelves, but it was time well spent.  Mister Katz’s new bottling is top of the line.  And Nate Dumas certainly put it to good use.  (I personally prefer this drink served straight-up with no club soda, as Nate says it was originally intended, but to each his own.)  Well done, gents!

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101 Best New Cocktails: Rye Noir by Grace Roth, Kinfolk, Brooklyn, USA

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Rye Noir101 BNC App

Grace Roth, Kinfolk, Brooklyn, USA

rye noir grace roth - Copy

“Although I work at several bars, this cocktail is not served at any of them, it is an original creation,” Grace Roth.

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Green Chartreuserye noir - Copy

60 ml (2 oz) rye whiskey

30 ml (1 oz) basil simple syrup*

15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lime juice

4 dashes Angostura bitters

2 fresh bay leaves

2 ounces stout, to top

Rinse a chilled coupe with the Chartreuse, discard the excess, and set the glass aside.  Shake the rye, basil simple syrup, lime juice, bitters, and one of the bay leaves over ice and strain into the coup. Top with the stout and garnish with the remaining bay leaf.

*Basil Simple Syrup

120 ml (4 oz) water

100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar

1 handful of basil, bruised, stems included

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely, then strain.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

gaz sez:  Disclaimer: Grace Roth’s mother is a good friend of mine.  Fact: This is a fabulous drink that displays a massive portion of creativity, a great ability to match ingredients, and bravery beyond words (for topping this drink off with stout).  Nicely done, Grace.

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101 Best New Cocktails: French Governor by Omer Gazit-Shalev, 223, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

French Governor

Omer Gazit-Shalev, 223, Tel-Aviv, Israel

“Inspired by Jose Leon Bouteiller, a Frenchman and one of the Bacardi founders.  Basically the cocktail is my answer to the question what would have happened if Bouteiller had been controlling the company, and become the Governor of Cuba, with all the French influences on taste, style and ingredients, compared to the somewhat Latin Mojito, Pina Colada etc.,” Omer Gazit-Shalev.

30 ml (1 oz) Bacardi SuperiorFrench Governor

10 ml (.33 oz) tarragon syrup*

10 ml (.33 oz) fresh lime juice

10 ml (.33 oz) pear juice

75 ml (2.5 oz) brut champagne

1 pear fan + 1 lemon twist (on the stem), as garnishes

Shake the Bacardi, syrup, and both fruit juices over ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute.  Top with the champagne and add the garnishes.

*Tarragon Syrup

Over a medium heat, dissolve 1 cup (7 oz) of sugar into 1 cup (240 ml) of water.  Bring the mixture to a boil, add 30 grams (1 oz) fresh tarragon, stir, and remove from the heat.  Allow to cool to room temperature, strain through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, and refrigerate.

gaz sez:  Keep it simple, stupid!  A great phrase that could be of service to many bartenders who over-think their recipes, and it’s something that Omer Gazit-Shalev obviously knows.  This cocktail has also taught me something new: pears and tarragon make for a beautiful marriage.  I must remember that.  Well done, Omer!

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101 Best New Cocktails: Supernature by Alejandro Gkikopoulos, Bookali, Athens, Greece

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Supernature

Alejandro Gkikopoulos, Bookali, Athens, Greece

Supernature Alejandro Gkikopoulos

“My point of view on the Tiki culture of 2015, a new classic based on the legendary Mai Tai and the always refreshing Pina Colada,” Alejandro Gkikopoulos.

dried coconut flakes and black salt, to rim the glassSupernature

60 ml (2 oz) Bacardi Superior

15 ml (.5 oz) Coco Lopez coconut cream

15 ml (.5 oz) Cointreau

15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lime juice

2 dashes aromatic bitters

Shake over ice and double-strain into a chilled coupette glass, rimmed with dried coconut flakes and black salt.

gaz sez:   This recipe seems a little obvious since it’s a Piña Colada sans pineapple juice, with the addition of Cointreau, lime juice, and bitters, but Alejandro Gkikopoulos is the first to put this drink together, and he made a damned good job of it, too.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Red Light District by Kyritsis Vasileios, The Clumsies, Athens, Greece

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Red Light District

Kyritsis Vasileios, The Clumsies, Athens, Greece

Red Light District Kyritsis Vasileios

“[This is a] twist on a classic Negroni with herbal and botanical notes and a hint of spice from the jasmine tea and green chartreuse.  I used Genever instead of Gin because I need a small touch of malty wood in my Negroni,” Kyritsis Vasileios

30 ml (1 0z) Bols Zeer Oude Jenever infused with white jasmine tea*Red Light District

25 ml (.8 oz) Campari

15 ml (.5 oz) Cocchi di Torino sweet vermouth

10 ml (.33 oz) Noilly Prat dry vermouth

5 ml (.17 oz or 1 teaspoon) Green Chartreuse

Cucumber slice and fresh oregano, as garnishes

Stir over cracked ice, and strain into a cracked-ice filled old-fashioned glass.  Add the garnishes.

Comments:

*Bols Zeer Oude Jenever infused with White Jasmine Tea

Add 6 teaspoons of white jasmine tea-leaves to  700ml Bols Zeer Oude Jenever, and allow the mixture to infuse for 48 hours.  Strain through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, and refrigerate.

gaz sez:  It seems to be a common theme, this year, to create new drinks that call for far too many ingredients, and on paper, don’t look as though they’d ever taste good.  And yet bartender after bartender seems to be pulling off this style of cocktail, and Kyritsis Vasileios has created a masterpiece here.  Well done, sir!

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101 Best New Cocktails: Raucherkerzen by Caleb Linton, Berlyn, Brooklyn, USA

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Raucherkerzen

Caleb Linton, Berlyn,  Brooklyn, USA

“I wanted to create a wintry but still good year-round cocktail using two of my favorite spirits, each of which has a very distinct and strong flavor profile. The molasses and the peat come together to create what can only be described as a campfire-like marriage while the complimentary ingredients add body, balance and accentuate the woody notes from the base spirit blend.” Caleb Linton.

Caleb added that the name of the drink comes from a German incense candle that, according to a German guest at Berlyn, smells just like Caleb’s creation.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Laphroaig single malt scotchRaucherkerzen.jpeg - Copy

15 ml (.5 oz) Cruzan Blackstrap Rum

15 ml (.5 oz) Cinnamon Bark Simple Syrup*

7.5 ml (.25 oz) St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1 orange twist, as an aromatic garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled double old-fashioned glass.  Release the oils from the orange twist on top of the drink, then discard the twist.

*Cinnamon Bark Simple Syrup

Take about 15-20 cinnamon sticks, two cups of water and two cups of super fine sugar and place in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until sugar dissolves and mixture turns to a light golden color. Let cool and strain through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth.  Bottle and refrigerate.

gaz sez:  I’ll be buying some of that German incense for sure, this drink is filled with aromas that bring huge smiles to everyone’s face.  And it’s a brilliant use of Laphroaig, too.  Nice one, Caleb.

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101 Best New Cocktails: The Present Flip by Enrique Ignacio Auvert, Restaurante Gula, Panama City, Panama

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Present Flip

Enrique Ignacio Auvert, Restaurante Gula, Panama City, Panama

Present Flip Enrique Ignacio Auvert

“This drink was inspired by a classic rum flip, but by adding a touch of spicy and aromatic notes from thyme and cinnamon that reminds us of the herbal pine aromas of Christmas.  Grand Marnier does the work giving an extra booze and enhancing the dried orange notes from the Zacapa rum. Egg adds a creamy texture and mouthfeel to this masterpiece that is finished with grated nutmeg, orange and smoked thyme to elevate thee aromatic experience.” Enrique Ignacio Auvert.

50 ml (1.7 oz) Ron Zacapa 23Present Flip

12.5 ml (.4 oz) Grand Marnier

10 ml (.33 oz) Cinnamon, Juniper and Cardamom Syrup*

1 thyme spring

1 whole egg

smoked thyme, grated nutmeg, and orange peel oils (discard the peel), as garnishes

Softly muddle the thyme and cinammon syrup in a mixing glass, then add ice and the remaining ingredients.  Shake and strain into a chilled coupe.  Add the garnishes.

*Cinnamon, Juniper and Cardamom Syrup

Dissolve 250 grams (1 cup) of sugar in 250 ml (8.5 oz) of water, over a low heat, stirring frequently.  Add 25 grams (1 oz) of cracked cinnamon sticks, 15 juniper berries and 15 cardamom seeds, soft muddle to extract the flavor of the botanicals.  Bring the mixture back to the boiling point then turn off the heat and let it rest till it reaches room temperature. Strain through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, bottle, and refrigerate.

gaz sez:  I seldom flip over Flips, but this one is so nicely put together—the balance is superb.  I think it’s the thyme that brings everything together in such an unusual way.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Negroni Svegliato by Salvatore Calabrese, Salvatore at Playboy, London, UK

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Negroni Svegliato

Salvatore Calabrese, Salvatore at Playboy, London, UK

“Inspired by The City That Never Sleeps, this is one of a selection of speciality cocktails created especially for my Bar in Las Vegas ‘Bound by Salvatore’ at the Cromwell Hotel.

“I use the traditional Italian household coffee pot to prepare a uniquely flavoured coffee, by replacing the water with Martini Gran Lusso to produce the key ingredient in this my twist on my favorite Negroni Cocktail,” Salvatore Calabrese

35ml (1.16 oz) Italian Espresso Moka coffee made with Martini Gran LussoNegroni Svegliato

35ml (1.16 oz) Gin

20ml (.66 oz) Campari

Prepare the coffee in a 3 cup Italian Espresso Moka coffee pot.  Make the moka coffee in the usual way using the Martini Gran Lusso in place of water. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator.  Pour all the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir well and strain into an old fashioned glass with an ice ball and garnish with a twist of orange

gaz sez:   maes·tro ˈmīstrō/noun: a distinguished musician, especially a conductor of classical music.  With this formula, Salvatore, a dear friend, once again proves that he’s more than worthy of the title “Maestro.”  This drink is an orchestra in a glass, and you can hear each and every instrument very clearly as they crescendo to an incredible peak on the palate.  An inspired drink.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Red Head by Mathias Alsen, Brooms & Hatchets, First Hotel Grims Grenka, Oslo, Norway

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Red Head

Mathias Alsen, Brooms & Hatchets, First Hotel Grims Grenka, Oslo, Norway

Red Head Mathias Alsen

“This was originally supposed to be a twist on the Red hook cocktail from Enzo Enrico, Milk & Honey NY. A little bit over a year ago me and my red headed girlfriend tried a red hook for the first time and we loved it, so eventually one day she asked me to make a version of that drink but with some more punch to it, so the red head started to take it’s form. The cocktail has since developed in to what it is today and is one of her all-time favorite cocktails, mine too ;) ,” Mathias Alsen

2o ml (.66 oz) James E Pepper 1776 rye whiskyRed Head

2o ml (.66 oz) cognac

15 ml (.5 0z) Mancino Rosso vermouth

10 ml (.33 oz) Campari

10 ml (.33 oz) Luxardo Maraschino

10 ml (.33 oz) Averna Amaro

5 ml (.17 oz or 1 teaspoon) Green Chartreuse

1 lemon twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain in to a chilled coupette.  Release the oils from the lemon twist onto the drink, and float or discard the twist—your choice.

gaz sez:   This drink’s all over the bloody place.  You never know what’s gonna hit you next.  For me, though, it’s that tiny amount of green chartreuse that ties it all together—pretty amazing, huh?

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101 Best New Cocktails: West Indies Pearter by Michael Stringer, Black Leaf Events, London, England, UK

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

West Indies Pearter

Michael Stringer, Black Leaf Events, London, England, UK

“I created this cocktail on behalf of Guinness for the launch of their new Brewer’s Project which bring back to life the Guinness Porters. The West Indies Pearter  is complex yet mellow, hoppy with delicious notes of toffee and chocolate.

“I found that the hoppy flavour blended perfectly with the sweetness of the cinnamon and the chocolate balanced in delicate harmony with the subtle flavour of the pear liqueur.

“I hope you enjoy making and drinking this as much as I did creating it!” Michael Stringer.

25 ml  (.8 oz) Bulleit 95 Rye WhiskeyDevin Ainslie photography

10ml (.3 oz) Monin cinnamon syrup

10ml (.3 oz)  fresh lemon juice

5 ml (.17 oz)  (or 1 teaspoon) Xanté Pear/Cognac liqueur

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

50 ml (1.7 oz) Guinness West Indies Porter

1 slice of pear and a cinnamon stick, as garnishes

Build all the ingredients except the Guinness  in a handled 1/2 pint glass over cubed ice, and stir briefly.  Float the Guinness on top of the drink and add the garnishes.

gaz sez:  Wow!  A lot of thought went into this drink, and it paid off handsomely.  This is one of the most complex and unusual quaffs I’ve tried in a very long time.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Crown Heights Negroni, Del Pedro, Tooker Alley, Brooklyn, USA

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Crown Heights Negroni101BNC - Copy - Copy

“This cocktail was created by Del Pedro, proprietor of Tooker Alley, Brooklyn.  Del Pedro was an important, early pioneer of the most recent incarnation of the craft cocktail movement. Sorel Liqueur adds a touch of Caribbean spice to this classic cocktail.” Jackie Summers, Sorel Liqueur, Brooklyn, USA

Recipe Adapted from the book Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough by Peter Thomas Fornatale.

crown heights negroni - Copy

60 ml (2 oz) Tanqueray Malacca Gin

15 ml (.5 oz) Sorel Liqueur

15 ml (.5 oz) Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth

15 ml (.5 oz) Campari

1 dehydrated orange slice, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  Del Pedro is a bartender who, in my opinion, has never received enough credit for his major role in the 21st-century craft cocktail movement.  This simple recipe proves his genius.

 

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101 Best New Cocktails: Piano by Sam Nelis, Pizzeria Verita, Burlington, Vermont, USA

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Piano

Sam Nelis, Pizzeria Verita, Burlington, Vermont, USA

101BNC - Copy - Copy

Piano Sam Nelis

52.5 ml (1.75 oz) Castello Banfi Grappa Di Brunello

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Meletti SambucaPiano

30 ml (1 oz) fresh lemon juice

15 ml (.5 oz) Hibiscus Syrup*

1 egg white

Oils from a lemon twist as an aromatic garnish (release the oils then discard the twist)

5 drops of Angostura bitters dashed on the top of the drink as a second aromatic garnish

Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass and vigorously dry shake for about 20 seconds.  Add ice and shake for an additional 10 seconds.  Strain into a chilled coup and add the aromatic garnishes.

*Hibiscus Syrup

Soak 1 cup of dried hibiscus flowers in 2 cups of simple syrup, made at a 1:1 ratio, for 7 days. Strain out the flowers through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth and store the syrup in the refrigerator.

gaz sez:  Pure wizardry at work here–this is a very brave recipe to set down, and the balance that Sam Nelis has achieved in this drink is nothing short of miraculous.  Standing ovation, please.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Il Poeta by Joy Napolitano, Prati Urbani , Rome, Italy

Friday, December 26th, 2014

 Il Poeta

Joy Napolitano, Prati Urbani , Rome, Italy

101BNC - Copy - Copy

Il Poeta Joy Napolitano

“This drink is a remake of Bobby Burns.  The angular whiskey is softened by the Martelletti  Vermouth, and the bitters and Frangelico go hand in hand.  On the second sip there will be an explosion of flavors in your mouth. A beautiful poem that will last until the last drop,” Joy Napolitano.

Smoke of a  Toscanello cigarIl Poeta

50 ml (1.7 oz) Talisker single malt scotch

25 ml (.8 oz) Martelletti Vermouth Classico

10 ml (.3 oz) Frangelico liqueur

2 drops of Bitter Truth chocolate bitters

First smoke the cocktail glass.  Stir the remaining ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

gaz sez:  Talisker is a favorite malt of mine, and it waltzes beautifully with the vermouth and Frangelico in this glass—the cigar smoke adding a fabulous dimension that really makes this cocktail stand out in any old crowd.

 

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101 Best New Cocktails: Jubilee Street by Richard Boccato, Dutch Kills, Long Island City, NY, USA

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Jubilee Street Richard Boccato, Dutch Kills, Long Island City, NY, USA

101BNC - Copy - Copy

45 ml (1.5 oz) Van Brunt Stillhouse American WhiskeyJubilee Street Richard Boccato

15 ml (.5 oz) Amaro Montenegro

Heavy barspoon Maple Syrup

Barspoon Allspice liqueur

1 lemon twist, as garnish

Build in a 9 oz. whiskey glass over a large ice cube. Stir ten to fifteen times, and add the garnish.

gaz sez:  Simplicity kills every time, and this creation, with a little amaro to add depth and complexity to an otherwise simple formula, proves the point.  And I’d like to add that I count Richie Boccato among my friends—he’s the real deal.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Gerard by Justin Taylor, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Gerard

Justin Taylor, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada

101BNC - Copy - Copy

“The Gerard name comes from the legendary Vancouver lounge that is located inside of our restaurant Boulevard at the Sutton Place Hotel. It has been around for almost 30 years. Boulevard is only 4 months old and we operate both establishments under one umbrella. The cocktails for Gerard are classically driven and represent years gone by. It is still the hang out for all the Hollywood North Celebrities we watch them stroll through our dining room and tuck themselves away in to the dark bar of Gerard,”  Justin Taylor

45 ml (1.5 oz) McClelland’s Islay Single Malt Scotch WhiskyGerard Justin Taylor

15 ml (.5 oz) Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Fernet Branca

3 dashes Bittered Sling Suius Cherry Bitters

1 preserved cherry, as garnish*

Stir over ice and strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Add the garnish.

*The type of cherry used is up to the bartender as long as it is not a glowing red maraschino cherry.

gaz sez: This is a complex cocktail, indeed, and when the scotch meets the maraschino, Fernet, and cherry bitters, you’ll swear you hear bagpipes in the glass.  A Scottish fling of mammoth proportions.

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!01 Best New Cocktails: Fall Back by Thomas Newcomb, The Cat & The Custard Cup, La Habra, CA, USA

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Fall Back

Thomas Newcomb, The Cat & The Custard Cup, La Habra, CA, USA

101BNC - Copy - Copy

“The inspiration behind the Fall Back was “Southern California Fall” or….whatever it is we experience here during the months of October through December.  A fall drink on a warm day at the beach.” Thomas Newcomb

60 ml (2 oz) Ford’s GinFall Back

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lemon juice

15 ml (.5 oz) salted simple syrup*

7.5 ml (.25 oz) ginger syrup**

7.5 ml (.25 oz) St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

1 lemon twist, as garnish

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

*Salted Simple Syrup

2:1 simple syrup with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt for every cup of water used

**Ginger Syrup

2 parts 1:1 simple syrup to 1 part fresh ginger juice

gaz sez:   Great combination of ingredients tied together ever-so-nicely with the fabulous Ford’s gin.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Cove by Takumi Watanabe, The Sailing Bar, Kibi, Sakurai, Nara, Japan

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Cove

Takumi  Watanabe, The Sailing Bar, Kibi, Sakurai, Nara, Japan

101BNC - Copy - Copy

Cove Takumi  Watanabe

“It is 80 years since the founding of Nikka whiskey.  Mr.TAKETSURU, the founder, has been called the father of Japanese whiskey, and the distillery is located in the cove of Yoichi, town of Hokkaido, so I created with the image of the cove and also made for advertising and campaign.

“The cocktail is very simple.  I have a equation for making of cocktail: equal parts base sprits, vermouth, a mild bitter liqueur, and few bitters .  [In this drink I used] 1 tsp of bitters (but not too much) and base is Japanese whiskey,” Takumi  Watanabe

30 ml (1 oz) Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese whiskyCove

30 ml (1 oz) Cynar   30ml

30 ml (1 oz) Mancino Vermouth Secco

1 teaspoon Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6

1 orange twist, as garnish

gaz sez:  Inspired!  And Japanese whisky will be see in more and more cocktails over the next 12 months.  Mark my words.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Black Spice by Marco Torre, The Palomar Restaurant, London, England, UK

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Black Spice 101BNC - Copy - Copy

Marco Torre, The Palomar Restaurant, London, England, UK

Black Spice Marco Torre

“I created this drink while working as Head bartender at Hawksmoor Guildhall in London.  I wanted to make a twist on a Rye Manhattan, one of my favorite cocktails, so I used the PX sherry instead of your regular vermouth and the Fernet instead of the Angostura; the orange brings all the ingredient together and connects to the final garnish.  At first I didn’t use the black pepper tincture, but soon realized the minty Fernet works really well with the black pepper, adding some eucalyptus notes to the finished drink.” Marco Torre

50 ml (1.7 oz) Rittenhouse 100-proof Rye whiskeyBlack Spice

10 ml (.3 oz) Lustau Pedro Ximenez sherry

5 ml  (1 teaspoon) Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

5 ml  (1 teaspoon) Fernet Branca

1 drop  Black Pepper Tincture*

1 orange twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

* Black Pepper Tincture

Infuse 2 parts of ground black pepper into 1 part (2 cups/1 cup) of high-proof alcohol (approx. 80% abv) for 48 hours.  Strain through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth.

gaz sez:  This is an inspired twist on the Manhattan, and every instrument in this orchestra can be heard in the final symphony in the glass.  Definitely one of the best drinks of 2014 as far as I’m concerned.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Digidiva by Alex Kratena, Artesian, Langham Hotel, London, UK

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Digidiva 101BNC - Copy - Copy

Alex Kratena, Artesian, Langham Hotel, London, UK

alex kratena

“What if cocktails were made in 3D & changed flavor as you drink them,” Alex Kratena.

40 ml (1.3 oz) Absolut ElyxDIGIDIVA

30 ml (1 oz) fino sherry

20 ml (.7 oz) Aqua di Cedro

20 ml (.7 oz) cypress syrup

15 ml (.5 oz) citric Acid Solution

100ml (3.3 oz) soda water

3 pcs seasonal botanicals, as garnishes

Stir all ingredients except the soda and the botanicals over ice.  Add the soda, strain into an appropriate vessel, and add the garnishes.

Citric Acid Solution

15ml (.5 oz) water

0.4 g citric acid

In nonreactive container combine water and citric acid, stir until dissolved and store in airtight container.

 Cypress Syrup

500g (2 cups) granulated sugar

250 ml (1 cup) water

5 drops cypress oil

In nonreactive container combine sugar with oil.  Place the mixture in pan, add the water and simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Allow to cool to room temperature and store, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

gaz sez: What on earth could I say about this drink?  It’s way out of my league, as is Alex.  I no longer care that I can’t ever meet Jerry Thomas. I CAN say that Alex Kratena is a friend of mine.

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101 Best New Cocktails: The Glitzy by Ronaldo Colli, Ivy Room, Albany, CA, USA

Friday, November 14th, 2014

The Glitzy101BNC - Copy - Copy

Ronaldo Colli, Ivy Room, Albany, CA, USA

“When the blast of wintery frost has you thinking of warmer weather, this is the cocktail made to transport you away,” Ronaldo Colli.

“With The Glitzy, Ronaldo pared the tart and tangy with warmth to create a drink that instantly had us scheming on how to spend our Christmas on the Mexican Riviera.

“The Glitzy is the perfect drink for a casual weekend gathering of friends for the holidays when you want to up the ante,” Stefano Turrini, creator of Dimmi

Ground cinnamon, to rim the glassglitzy

4 Orange slices

52.5 ml (1.75 oz) Dimmi liqueur

15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lime juice

7.5 ml (.25 oz)  Averna

First rim a double-old-fashioned glass with cinnamon.  Gently muddle the orange slices in a mixing glacee, add ice and the remaining ingredients, and shake.  Pour the drink, without straining, into the pre-prepared glass.

gaz sez: I don’t care what the weather’s like, I’ll quaff one of these babies come rain or come shine.  The way in which the Dimmi dances with the Averno here is just spectacular.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Café Havana,William Pasternak, Palmer and Co, Sydney , NSW, Australia

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Café Havana101BNC - Copy - Copy

William Pasternak, Palmer and Co, Sydney , NSW, Australia

“The guest can experience an evolution of flavors as the coffee [ice-cube] slowly melts into the cocktail.” William Pasternak

15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lemon juice

10 ml .33 oz) demerera syrup (dissolve 1 cup of demerara sugar in 1 cup water)

1/2 orange wheel

45 ml (1.5 oz) Bacardi SuperiorCafe Havana

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Averna

1 cube of frozen coffee (made in an ice-cube mold)

1 lemon-zest flower (made by wrapping a long lemon zest around itself), as garnish

In a mixing glass add the orange wheel, lemon juice and demerera syrup, and gently press the juice out of the orange.  Add Bacardi Superior, Averna, and ice cubes to the mixing glass, and stir.  Place 1 coffee ice cube into a chilled coupe, and strain the drink into the glass.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  If ever there was a finely balanced drink, this is it, and the amazing thing is that the drink retains its balance as it evolves when the coffee ice-cube begins to melt.  (I love this concept.)  Amaz-a-Doodles!

 

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101 Best New Cocktails: Camouflage, Simone Caporale, Artesian Bar, Langham Hotel, London, UK

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Camouflage101BNC - Copy - Copy

 

 

Simone Caporale, Artesian Bar, Langham Hotel, London, UK

“Nothing is what it seems! Pineapple, the symbol of hospitality is hiding the most unexpected flavor combinations!” Simone Caporale

40 ml (1.3 oz) ginCamouflage Simone Caporale

30 ml (1 oz) Americano Cocchi

40 ml (1.3 oz) carrot juice

15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lime juice

15 ml (.5 oz) sandalwood syrup

40 ml (1.3 oz) kombucha tea

1 dash grapefruit bitters

1 dash Peychaud’s bitters

1 pcs sandalwood incense

1 orange slice

1 incense stick

Shake all the ingredients apart from the orange, incense stick and kombucha tea  over ice, then fine-strain into a metal pineapple.  Top with the kombucha tea a,d, using the orange slice as a stand, place the incense stick in the vessel and light it.  Put the top on the pineapple and serve the drink.

Sandalwood Syrup

500 grams (2.5 cups) granulated sugar

250 ml (1 cup) water

5 drops sandalwood oil

In nonreactive pan over a medium heat, combine the water with the sugar and the oil.   Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, and when the sugar is dissolved remove the pan from the heat.   Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature and store it in an air tight container.

gaz sez:  I doubt that many of you have a metal pineapple lying around, but you might want to fashion some sort of closeable container (a Cobbler shaker might do the trick) just so you can sample this pretty remarkable cocktail from the bar that won the “Best Bar in the World ward in 2013 and 2014.  Simone really knows what he’s doing, and I love that he ventures into the unknown to bring us incredible treats such as Camouflage.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Bad Boy by Brian Van Flandern, Creative Cocktail Consultants, New York, USA

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

101BNC - Copy - Copy

Bad Boy

Brian Van Flandern, Creative Cocktail Consultants, New York, USA

“This cocktail was named after the late movie star Steve McQueen who was a notorious bad boy.   Steve loved good tequila and would very likely have enjoyed this cocktail,” Brian Van Flandern.

45 ml (1.5 oz) El Tesoro reposado tequilaBad Boy

30 ml (1 oz) Palo Cortado, Almacenista, Vides Emilio Lustau sherry

15 ml (.5 oz) Bénédictine

2 dashes of mole (chocolate) bitters

1 cherry, as garnish

Place all ingredients into a mixing glass, add large ice, stir thoroughly, taste for balance, slowly single strain into glass, garnish and serve.

gaz sez:  Cor, blimey!  This is a brill drink, indeed, and although the tequila is star of the show, she gets thoroughly upstaged by the sherry, and the Bénédictine steals a scene or two, too.  You gone and dud it again, Brian!

 

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101 Best New Cocktails: Dutch 75′ Matteo Zed, VOY “Little Jumbo” Cocktail Bar, Rome, Italy

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Dutch 75101BNC - Copy - Copy

Matteo Zed, VOY “Little Jumbo” Cocktail Bar, Rome, Italy.

Dutch 75 Matteo Zed

“This cocktail is great when accompanied with grilled meats or cured ham,” Matteo Zed.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Bols GeneverDUTCH 75

20 ml (.6 oz) litchi liqueur

20 ml (.6 oz) rosemary syrup*

30 ml (1 oz) fresh lemon juice

champagne

a spring of burned rosemary, as garnish

Shake all the ingredients except for the champagne over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.  Top with a little champagne and add the garnish.

*Rosemary Syrup

Add 20 sprigs of fresh rosemary to 500 ml (2 cups) of water, and boil for 10 minutes.  Add 500 grams (2 cups) of sugar, and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes before straining it through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth.

gaz sez:  Matteo was my fabulous host in Rome in September, 2014, and this guy knows what he’s doing.  Genever can be a tough spirit to work with in the shaker, but Matteo pulls it off handsomely with this baby.  Well done, my friend.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Branca Mule, Panos Dimou, Belvedere Bar at The Belvedere Hotel, Mykonos Island, Greece

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Branca Mule101BNC - Copy - Copy

Panos Dimou, Belvedere Bar at The Belvedere Hotel, Mykonos Island, Greece

Branca Mule Panos Dimou

“The ginger beer used here is Thomas Henry.  Fever Tree will work just as well. There are no bitters added as the Fernet is quite bitter by itself.” Panos Dimou.

3 lemon wedges

40 ml (1.3 oz) Fernet BrancaBranca Mule

10 ml (.3 oz) Luxardo maraschino liqueur

Ginger beer.

In a hard bottom glass, muddle the lemon wedges to extract oils and juice.  Add ice, the Fernet , maraschino, and the ginger beer and stir gently.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  The brilliance in this baby lies in the maraschino which adds an unexpected dimension to what might, otherwise, be a predictable sort of drink.  Nicely thought out, Panos.

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101 Best New Cocktails, Emperor’s New Clothes, Iain Yanda McPherson, Panda & Sons, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Emperor’s New Clothes101BNC - Copy - Copy

Iain Yanda McPherson, Panda & Sons, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

“Loosely based on the mojito as we wanted a rum based cocktail that was refreshing, moreish and long. Basically giving the rum some new clothes to wear for this year… J  Peppermint tea infusion should be infused for 2-3 minutes, strained and cooled before using in the cocktail. Slainte!” Iain Yanda McPhersonEmperor’s New Clothes

50 ml (1.6 oz) Ron Zacapa 23 rum

15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lemon juice,

15 ml (.5 oz) Umeshu (plum sake)

25 ml (.85 oz) peppermint tea

10 ml (.3 oz) light agave nectar

1 mint sprig and a slice of plum (origami optional), as garnish

Build in a highball glass, stir, add cubed or crushed ice, and add the garnishes.

gaz sez:  Simple, refreshing, and oh such a fine use of Zacapa!  Nicely done, Iain.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Perfect 10, Josh Powell, Somerset House, Bristol, England, UK

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Perfect 10101BNC

Josh Powell, Somerset House, Bristol, England, UK

“I wanted to make a fruity twist on a Manhattan with great body and depth. In my recipe I used Slider which is cider infused with the “highly alcoholic sloes” that Bramley and Gage used to make sloe gin.  It’s a bit of a local ingredient so sloe gin works just as well if you can’t get hold of it,” Josh Powell.Perfect 10 Josh Powell

50 ml (1.7 oz) Bulleit rye whiskey

10 ml (.3 oz) Punt e Mes

10 ml (.3 oz) Bramley and Gage Slider or Sloe Gin

5 ml (1 teaspoon) Bitter Truth Elixier  (E**X**R in the USA)

1 orange twist, as an aromatic garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.  Release the oilds from the orange twist on top of the drink, and discard the twist.

gaz sez:  This is a great twist on the Manhattan, and it owes much to the Bulleit rye—a very sturdy whiskey, indeed.  That said, the Bitter Truth Elixier  (E**X**R in the USA) brings much to the party, too, even though it’s added in a very small quantity.  The whole drink, in fact, is very well balanced and it’s very deserving of a 101 BNC badge.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Not So Dirty Martini, Payman Bahmani, Library Bar, Themidos 1, Limassol, Cyprus

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Not So Dirty Martini

Payman Bahmani, Library Bar, Themidos 1, Limassol, Cyprus

not so dirty martini Payman Bahmani

“I wanted to do something with the Dirty Martini that was playful yet sophisticated, so I decided to clean it up if you will. Instead of olive brine I fat washed the vodka with extra virgin olive oil. I was afraid the delicate olive oil flavor wouldn’t come through but it did. The healthy pinch of sea salt provided the requisite saltiness, but I still needed to capture the color and brininess of a Dirty Martini. The Amontillado sherry worked double duty perfectly here, giving it both a hint of brine and the color of a Dirty Martini,”  Payman Bahmani

2.25 oz (66.5ml) Olive Oil infused Vodka*not so dirty martini

.75 oz (22ml) Lustau Amontillado Sherry

Good pinch sea salt

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

*Olive Oil infused Vodka

250 ml vodka

2 oz (60ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine olive oil and vodka in a jar or other nonreactive container and cover. Allow to infuse for 5 hours at room temperature, then freeze for another 2 hours. Remove frozen fat that has risen to the top and fine strain through a coffee filter to capture any residual olive oil.

gaz sez:  I know Payman, and he’s a bartender who knows what the hell he’s doing.  This is such an elegant cocktail, and it’s a far cry from the hit-and-miss regular Dirty Martinis that can be so hard to balance.  Payman’s Not So Dirty Martini is a winner every single time.  Enjoy Cyprus, my friend!

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101 Best New Cocktails: Black Gold, Megan Bardoe, Lulu in the Grove, Miami, FL, USA

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Black Gold

Megan Bardoe, Lulu in the Grove, Miami, FL, USA

NY: Bärenjäger's 5th Annual Bartender Competition

30 ml (1 oz) Michter’s Rye Whiskey

15 ml (.5 oz) Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur

5 ml (1 teaspoon) Suze Saveur d’autrefoisMegan Bardoe at the Bärenjäger's 5th Annual Bartender Competition, New York, NY, October 6, 2014 (Photo by Stephen Smith/Guest of a Guest/SIPA USA)

3 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

1 Filthy Food Black Cherry, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  This baby won the 2014 Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur cocktail competition, and on my score sheets—I was one of five judges—she won it by a wide margin.  This drink rocks.  It’s got flavor to burn, it ain’t too sweet, and it’s got so much depth you could drown in a thimbleful of the stuff.  Megan: This was pure genius.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Sud Americano, Fabio Spinelli, Rita & Cocktails, Milan, Italy

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Sud Americano

Fabio Spinelli, Rita & Cocktails, Milan, Italy

sud americano Fabio Spinelli

“It’s my tropical variation of classic Italian Negroni aperitif. It’s easier to drink like an Americano is, but with more personality and aromas,” Fabio Spinelli

30 ml (1 oz) English Harbour 5-year-old Antigua Rumsud americano

20 ml (.6 oz) Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

20 ml (.6 oz) Campari

1 dash Myers’s Jamaican Rum

Splash Fever Tree Ginger Beer

1 flamed orange peel, as garnish

Build on ice and stir well, then add the ginger beer.  Flame the oils of the orange peel over the drink and add the twist to the glass.  Add a wooden stirrer, and stir briefly.

gaz sez:  This is a very worthy addition to the Negroni family, and it works with or without the ginger beer, so take your pick.  Artfully done, Fabio.

 

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101 Best New Cocktails: Johnnie Be Good, Moses Laboy, New York

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Johnnie Be Good

Moses Laboy, New York

60 ml (2 oz) Johnnie Walker Black Label scotch

45 ml (1.5 oz) sea buckthorn syrup*Johnny Be Good

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lime juice

1 orange twist, as garnish

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.  Add the garnish.

*Sea Buckthorn Syrup

Dissolve 5 oz of pure honey into 5 oz water, and add 2oz of sea buckthorn juice and 3oz of fresh orange juice.

gaz sez:  So sea buckthorn juice made its way out of Scandinavia and landed on Moses Laboy’s bar, huh?  Well played, Moses—it works really well here.

 

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101 Best New Cocktails: Grasshopper by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Clyde Common, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Grasshopper

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Clyde Common, Portland, Oregon, USA.

grasshopper jeffrey morgenthaler

“We wanted to pay homage to the classic Midwestern style of ice cream drink, so we toyed around with the recipe until we got it right. The Fernet Branca added a whole lot more complexity, but brought unwanted bitterness to the party, so that’s how we ended up with a pinch of sea salt,” Jeffrey Morgenthaler

1 1/2 ounces green crème de mentheGrasshopper2 - Copy

1 1/2 ounces white crème de cacao

1 ounce half-and-half

1 teaspoon Fernet Branca

Pinch of sea salt

4 ounces (1/2 cup) vanilla ice cream

8 ounces (1 cup) crushed ice, prepared with a Lewis bag and mallet, a tea towel and rolling pin, or a food processor

Mint sprig for garnish

1.Combine all ingredients except the mint sprig in a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth. Serve in a tall, frozen glass, and garnish with a mint sprig.

gaz sez:  I always loved Grasshoppers as well as Brandy Alexanders and Piña Coladas—my Trinity of Guilty Secrets—but Jeffrey takes the Grasshopper to new heights with this recipe.  It’s fuckin’ awesome!  St. Urho would be proud of you, Jeffrey . . .

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101 Best New Cocktails: Pearl by Christopher Marty, Marble, Chicago, IL, USA

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Pearl

Christopher Marty, Marble, Chicago, IL, USA

Pearl Chris Marty

Christopher says, “House-made cocktail onions welcome, though a store-bought pickled onion should not offend; it’s the brine that sets this cocktail off on its fantastic journey, not the degree to which the preparation of the onion itself is fancy.  Just be sure to sip the drink both before and after taking a bite of the onion–it’s hardly just for show.”

60 ml (2 oz) Ford’s GinPearl

15 ml (.5 oz) Getreide Kümmel

15 ml (.5 oz) Dolin Dry Vermouth

15 ml (.5 oz) Luxardo Maraschino

1 cocktail onion, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  Jesus H. Christ!  This is one muther of a drink.  There’s caraway, cumin and fennel in the Getreide Kümmel, and hosts and hosts and hosts of other botanicals in the gin and vermouth, of course.  (Good to see that the incredibly forthright, complex, and delicious Ford’s Gin being put to good use, too.)  Then the sweet nuttiness of the maraschino leaps into the fray and the drink’s all over the place.  And don’t forget the onion!  It’s seldom you see cocktail onions used thoughtfully, so don’t miss this treat!

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101 Best New Cocktails: the Midori Sour by Naren Young, New York

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Midori Sour

Naren Young, www.forkandshaker.com, New York, USA

Midori Sour Naren Young

45 ml (1.5 oz) Beefeater gin

15 ml (.5 oz) MidoriMidori Sour

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh honeydew melon juice

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lemon juice

15 ml (.5 oz) simple syrup

1 egg white

3 dashes of verjus

pinch of citrus salt and black pepper

Shake violently and serve up in a frozen Coupe

3 melon balls on a skewer sprinkled with cracked pepper, as garnish.

You’re welcome!

gaz sez:  Naren and I go back quite a long time now—I think I still had my long beard when we first met at the Bourbon Festival in Kentucky, so that puts it at 2002 or earlier.  Anyway, the lad’s done very well indeed for himself as a writer, bartender, bar manager, and all sorts of other stuff.  I love what he did with this Midori Sour, and I see this sort of thing as an upcoming trend—Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s already twisted the Grasshopper to make it fabulous, for instance, and that, too, made it into this batch of 101BNC.  Who’s gonna take a stab at Sex on the Beach?

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101 Best New Cocktails: Cold Stare by Peter Vestinos, The Winchester/The BarMedic, Chicago, IL USA

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Cold Stare

Peter Vestinos, The Winchester/The BarMedic, Chicago, IL USA.

cold stare peter vestinos

Peter says: “Flavor Profile- Rich, Herbal, Coffee, Smoke, Lush mouth feel from Amaro and Liqueur; finishes bitter-sweet.

“The smoke of the mescal and the floral dark coffee flavors blend beautifully together. The rich flavor of the St. G raspberry liqueur runs beneath all the other elements, typing them to gather and giving a bit of a fresh note to what otherwise could be a heavy cocktail. And the amaro acts as a “brace” to hold the cocktail upright and finish it off with a slight bitter note.   Good for brown spirit drinker.”

45 ml (1.5 oz) Mezcal Pierde Almas La Puritita Verdácold stare

30 ml (1 oz) cold pressed coffee

15 ml (.5 oz) Luxardo Amaro Abano

7.5 ml (.25 oz) St. George Raspberry Liqueur

1 dash Walnut Bitters

Stir over ice for only about 15 turns (should just be slightly diluted and not fully chilled), and strain into a footed rocks glass or coupe.  No garnish.

gaz sez:  I used Fee Brothers’ Black Walnut bitters when testing this, and they brought an interesting dimension to the drink.  The whole thing was pretty confusing, to be honest, but it was also a fascinating experience, and I highly recommend that you take this one out for a spin.  Then order it again, relax, and let it do its thing without concentrating too hard.  You can feel the Cold Stare without turning you head.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Northern Terroir by Zachary Nelson, The North Left, Santa Ana, CA, USA.

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Northern Terroir

Zachary Nelson, The North Left, Santa Ana, CA, USA.

Northern Terroir Zachary Nelson - Copy

Zach says: “This cocktail reminds me of walking through an herb garden on a spring morning.  Heavily herbaceous, yet light and wonderfully refreshing.  The use of St. George Terroir Gin adds the essence of a lush California Redwood grove while the floral notes from the rosemary garnish pull everything together and excite the palate for the cocktail it is about to imbibe.”

22.5 ml (.75 oz) St. George Terroir GinNorthern Terroir - Copy

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Green Chartreuse

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Art in the Age Sage Spirit

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lime juice

15 ml (.5 oz) rosemary syrup

1 rosemary sprig for garnish

Shake over ice and double strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Clap the rosemary sprig, and add it as a garnish.

*Rosemary Syrup

1 quart water

1 quart granulated sugar

8-10 fresh cut rosemary sprigs

Bring water and rosemary sprigs to a boil and simmer for about a minute. Remove from the heat and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolved, allow the syrup to cool, and strain it into container of your choice.

gaz sez:  Gimme that sage, gimme, gimme, gimme that; Gimme that sage . . .  Okay, that was a riff on an old song that you’ve probably never heard, but you can see where I’m coming from, right?  This one’s right up my street and it works really well without the lime juice, too.  It’s hard to figure out which ingredient pulls this drink together–is it the gin, the Chartreuse, or the Sage Spirit?–who the hell knows?  It works really well, though.  Nicely put together, Zach.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Treuse or Dare by John Staley, El Dorado Kitchen, Sonoma, CA, USA

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Treuse or Dare

John Staley, El Dorado Kitchen, Sonoma, CA, USA

“My hope is to expose as many people to Chartreuse as possible.  From the stolid scotch drinker to the dirty goose enthusiast.  Even offering it up to the young-uns in search of a round of Jäger.  Although not for everyone, I feel this drink is approachable for most without losing the integrity and complexity of its main ingredient.” John Staley

6-8 mint sprigs fiercely muddledTreuse or Dare - Copy

45 ml (1.5 oz) green chartreuse

15 ml (.5 oz) St. Germain (I know it’s a cop-out but the only one with it on our menu)

15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lime juice

3 dashes Fee Bros. Rhubarb bitters

75 ml (2.5 oz) sparkling wine

1 spiral lime twist, as garnish

Muddle the mint sprigs in a mixing glass, then add ice and all ingredients except sparkling wine.  Double strain into a champagne flute.  Top with sparkling wine and add the garnish.

gaz sez:  This is a fabulous example of how to finely balance a drink that calls for a liqueur as a base ingredient.  Other bartenders can learn lots from this formula.

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101 Best New Cocktails: Brian Mac Slivovitz, Martin Hudák, Dublin Café, Prešov , Slovakia

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Brian Mac Slivovitz

Martin Hudák, Dublin Café, Prešov , Slovakia

“In our bar (Dublin Cafe) we have a lot of guests but only one was actually Irish—Brian Lillis.  He sat every day in the same place and drank the same things like coffee, tea or fresh juice.  It was like that for four years and then he had to move back to the Ireland because of the work.  That was the perfect moment for creating something big so as a gift we gave him some mystical bridge between our two countries.  Of course the best way was [to create a new] cocktail. Our team joined together and put out a combination of national plum liquor Slivovica with grandma’s plum jam, Irish honey herbal liqueur Irish Mist, and a few drops of fresh lemon juice.  Now [we like to think that] Brian is sitting at home in Ireland and sipping his friends’ connection with honor and best memory to Slovak Dublin Cafe next home.” Martin Hudák

Dark cocoa powder, to rim the glassBrian Mac Slivovitz

30ml Irish Mist liqueur

15ml aged slivovitz

10ml fresh lemon juice

2bsp plum jam (the best from grandma)

1 dried plum, as garnish

2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, as an aromatic garnish

Rim an old-fashioned glass with the cocoa powder, and fill it with ice.  Shake well to integrate the jam, and strain into the prepared glass.  Add the garnishes.

gaz sez:  This one’s worth running if only for the story behind it, but it really is a great quaff, according to one of my secret shoppers in London.  I couldn’t get hold of aged slivovitz here in the USA, so a bartender friend in the UK tested this recipe, and she says she was blown away by how well it worked.  (Damned clever, these Slovaks!)  Congrats, Martin!  Hope that our paths cross soon.

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