Posts Tagged ‘Diageo World Class’

101Best New Cocktails: Old Smoky by Jay Khan, The Blck Brd, Hong Kong

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

101BNCVoliii cover - Copy

Click on the cover to purchase your copy of the most recent volume of 101 Best New Cocktails

Click HERE to submit your recipe for a chance to be included in an upcoming list.

Old Smoky

Adapted from a recipe by Jay Khan, The Blck Brd, Hong Kong
Old Smoky Jay Khan

 

(I met Jay in Hong Kong earlier this year on a trip sponsored by Diageo World Class–thanks Diageo!)

“The drink is a variation on a Zacapa Old-Fashioned (my all-time favourite drink).  Since the Zacapa Old-Fashioned is on the sweeter side, I was always thinking to add something which harmonizes and at the same time which could also balance with those Raisined fruit flavours from the Zacapa itself.  A few early attempts were slightly more on the smokier side with 1/2 oz of Talisker, but recently i figured out [if I used just] 1/4 oz [of Talisker] and finished off the drink with an Ardbeg mist, [it would] give the drink a strong smoky nose but the taste [would have just] a hint of smoky flavor, so the Zacapa could still stand out without the scotch whiskies stealing the show.   With the addition of saline, which helps to suppress some of the bitter flavors and also helps brighten the drink slightly, this is a perfect addition to my Old Smoky recipe,” Jay Khan.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Ron Zacapa 23Old Smoky

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Talisker 10-year-old single malt scotch

7.5 ml (.25 oz) rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar:water ratio)

1 dash chocolate bitters

1 dash orange bitters

3 drops saline solution*

Ardbeg mist**

1 orange twist, as garnish

Stir all ingredients, except for the Ardbeg mist, over ice, and stain into a snifter over one large ice cube.  Spray the Ardbeg mist over the drink, and add the garnish.

*Saline Solution

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 50 ml (just over 1.5 oz) of water

** Ardbeg Mist

Fill a clean atomizer with Ardbeg single malt scotch, and release mist over the drink.

gaz sez:  I’m a sucker for smoky whiskeis, and I’m a sucker for Zacapa, too, so this baby was a natch for me.  I do love the use of saline solution here, too, and I’m betting we’ll see more of this ingredient in cocktails in the near future.  Congrats, Jay.  You done real good with this one.

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Posted in 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2014 |

101 Best New Cocktails: Nightmarcher by Sky Huo, 001, Wellington 97, Hong Kong.

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

101BNCVoliii cover - Copy

Click on the cover to purchase your copy of the most recent volume of 101 Best New Cocktails

Click HERE to submit your recipe for a chance to be included in an upcoming list.

Nightmarcher

Adapted from a recipe by Sky Huo, 001, Wellington 97, Hong Kong.

Nightmarcher Sky HUO Copy

“It’s twist of Last Word and Laphroaigh Project. Refreshing and well-balanced. An innovative tropical drink’” Sky Huo

1 fresh mangosteen

15ml (.5 oz) Don Julio Blanco tequilaNightmarcher Copy

15ml (.5 oz) mezcal

15ml (.5 oz) Yellow Chartreuse

15ml (.5 oz) lemon juice

1 dash celery bitters

smoked frozen mangosteen on pineapple leaf fan, as garnish

Muddle the pods from a fresh mangosteen in a mixing glass.  Add ice and the remaining ingredients, and shake.  Double strain into a tulip sniffer glass with a large block of ice.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez:  I first met mangosteen, and Sky Huo, while touring South East Asia for the good folk at Diageo in April, 2014.  Both were delightful.  Mangosteens can’t be found in the USA, unless you have some sort of illegal source, and my search for this fabulous exotic fruit took me to dark alleys in New York’s Chinatown where, eventually, some anonymous person walked past me in a Szechuan restaurant, and quietly left a brown paper bag on my table.  Inside I found three fresh mangosteen.  There was no extra charge on my bill.  Thanks guys!  Much appreciated.

nighmarcher mangosteen

Now to the drink:  Wow!  This is one of the most refreshing, bright, complex, and beautifully balanced quaffs I ever did sip.  (I used Del Maguey Vida mezcal, for the record).  I hate to generalize about anything, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Asian bartenders seem to have an ability to balance ingredients that surpasses most, though certainly not all, of their Western counterpart’s.  Well done, Sky.

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Posted in 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2014 |

Blast from the Past: The Cocktailian in the Country, 2005

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Here’s an article involving CÎroc vodka that I wrote in 2005, around the time it was first launched in the USA.  It was published in Entree magazine.

The Cocktailian in the Country

Winter marks down-time for Cocktails in the Country, the two-day bartender training course I hold at Painter’s the bar/restaurant/inn in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, and down-time means that I get to spend time thinking about how I might change the seminars when they kick-off again in the spring.  Change or die as far as I’m concerned.

I readily admit to not being one of those bartenders who looks for obscure Asian fruits or scintillating Chinese medicinal herbs to create cirocnew drinks.  Not that I have anything against that sort of mind-set–the world of the cocktailian bartender is far better since the “bar chefs” of the world emerged–but I do believe that everyone has their own style when it comes to cocktail creation, and what I bring to the party, hopefully, is an understanding of balance and harmony combined with a knowledge of how differing ingredients work in a mixed drink.  When a new sponsor enters the program, therefore, I have to spend time tasting the product and conceptualizing how to properly use it before classes begin.  This year CÎroc is the sponsoring vodka so I’ve been spending time getting to know its nuances.

TÜRI was the vodka we used last year, it’s a wonderful spicy product made from rye grain that we had much fun with in class–TÜRI has far more character than the vast majority of vodkas on the shelves.  CÎroc also has lots of character, but it’s an entirely different animal from TÜRI.  Made in France from grapes, CÎroc has marvelous citrus notes, both in the nose and on the palate.  It’s an ideal medium for cocktailian creations, and it’s also a vodka that I picked as being best of the bunch in a blind tasting last year.

Pete and Sal Buttigleri, the owners of Painter’s, let me experiment with cocktails in their small private bar, and it was there that they found me, one cold afternoon in mid-December, playing around with CÎroc and various other ingredients.

“What you up to now?” Sal asked.

“Vodka, Sal.  Vodka.  It’s so damned easy, and it’s so damned tough.”

Fact is, the nuances of most vodkas get buried in the mix when you marry it to fruit juices and the like.  The challenge is to figure out recipes in which the type of vodka you use actually makes a difference in the finished product.  Pete happens to be a bit of a calvados freak, and seeing his face gave me inspiration.  Pete and Sal bellied up to the mahogany and I set to work.

The Buttiglieri brothers are fun to work with, even if Pete often butts into my classes to tell the students I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.  They’re relaxed, easy-going, and let me get away with murder most of the time.  For instance, there’s seldom a course goes by without me purposefully breaking a few glasses and pouring a couple of shots of expensive liquor on the floor, and if Pete happens to be watching at the time he just shakes his head.  Pete and Sal  sat at the bar discussing all those important restaurateur details such as whether it had been worth ordering 850 cases of clam juice to get the discount, and would the new waitress make the grade by the time the Christmas rush rolled around?  I ignored them and started playing with their vodka and some Busnel calvados.

By the time I’d mixed the two ingredients together at differing ratios about six times I found a mix I thought worked well, but I needed a little something extra to round out the cocktail.  Could Kahlúa be the answer?  Sounds very weird but I wanted to play around, and the ingredients were bought and paid for by the Buttiglieri boys so what the heck?  This was going to be a difficult task, though.  Kahlúa’s a very flavorful liqueur.  Would the coffee notes hide the other ingredients?  Not if I played it right.  After a little experimentation I found that, used judiciously, the coffee flavors in the liqueur worked perfectly.  All three ingredients were detectable, and they came together in complete harmony.

“Try this,” I offered the glass to Pete and Sal just as the door opened and Sandy, the floor manager appeared.

“You guys order some clam juice?” she asked.  “It’s here.  There’s quite a lot of it.”

“Later, Gary.  We gotta make some room in the basement.”

“You’re choosing clam juice over my new drink?”

Typical owners.  No sense of priority.

The Priority Cocktail

2 ounces CÎroc vodka

3/4 ounce Busnel calvados

1/4 ounce Kahlúa

1 lemon twist, for garnish

Fill a mixing glass two-thirds full of ice and add all of the ingredients.  Stir for approximately 30 seconds.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

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Posted in Blast from the Past |

World Class Bartender: Laura Schacht, Clouds Bar, Switzerland

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

At the finals of Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition

I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

worldclass_competition_simplified_white

And some of those drinks were made by

Laura

Laura Schacht, Clouds Bar, Switzerland
Early in her career, Laura Schacht attended a workshop led by Mike Meinke which ultimately stoked her passion for bartending and gave her a foundation of skills to build upon.  Currently, as a bartender at Clouds Bar in Zurich, Laura credits her bar team for helping her become the bartender she is today. Earning a spot at the WORLD CLASS Global Final 2013 is the pinnacle of her career thus far and inspires her to work harder every day.

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartender: Jose Maria Garces Cadavid, Awa Helada, Columbia

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

 At the finals of Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition

I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

worldclass_competition_simplified_white

And some of those drinks were made by

Jose

Jose Maria Garces Cadavid, Awa Helada, Columbia

Jose Maria Garces Cadivid, a mechanical engineer by training, is currently head bartender at Awa Helada. Throughout his career he has worked in many different restaurants and bars including AWA Helada, Coco Beach Sunset Bar, Boobs bar and Yoko sushi bar. As a mixologist, he has a great aptitude for leadership and is known for his creativity, innovation and discipline. He has over 10 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and has led many professional seminars and development sessions.

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartender: Jérôme Kaftandjian, Park Hyatt Hotel, Paris Vendome, France

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

At the finals of Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition

I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

worldclass_competition_simplified_white

And some of those drinks were made by

Jérôme Kaftandjian

Jérôme Kaftandjian, Park Hyatt Hotel, Paris Vendome, France

Jérôme Kaftandjian began his career in one of the best French cocktail bars, Le Forvm, under the leadership of Joseph Biolatto and Xavier Laigle.  Following his tenure there, he began work at the Park Hyatt bar in Paris directed by Yann Daniel. There, Jerome truly discovered the world of the bar, and continues to be inspired every day by his mentors, peers and colleagues. Today, he is bar supervisor at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome.

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartender: Jenner Cormier, The Middle Spoon Desserterie & Bar, Canada

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

At the finals of Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition

I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

worldclass_competition_simplified_white

And some of those drinks were made by

Jenner Cormier2

Jenner Cormier, The Middle Spoon Desserterie & Bar, Canada

Jenner Cormier, head bartender and manager at The Middle Spoon Desserterie & Cocktail Bar, helped to open the property in 2010, followed shortly after by the opening of Noble, a smaller bar in the same building with a focus on cocktails. When first introduced to bartending, Jenner paid a visit to Barchef in Toronto where he met Frankie Solarik and a seed was planted.  He subsequently embarked on a journey to learn absolutely everything he could about the craft to which he had just been introduced. Jenner has participated in a number of competitions in his short career, winning Made with Love Halifax (2011, 2012), Best Cocktails, The Coast Magazine (2013) and many others.

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartenders: Jason Clark, Shott Beverages, New Zealand

Friday, February 7th, 2014

At the finals of Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition this year, I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

worldclass_competition_simplified_white

And some of those drinks were made by

Jason Clark, New Zealand - Copy

Jason Clark, Shott Beverages, New Zealand

With over 15 years’ experience working in the hospitality industry Jason’s career has included working in four different countries in many varied roles. Skilled in all levels of drinks service, Jason is just as comfortable mixing classic cocktails as modern marvels and takes great pride in his ability to deliver a level of service and beverage that always exceeds expectations.  He currently serves as a consultant for Shott Beverages, and has successfully made their two iconic New Zealand hospitality establishments renowned for amazing drinks whilst winning numerous awards for the venues, in just two short years.  No stranger to competition himself, he boasts a wide range of accolades won throughout his celebrated career. Jason also pens a “Life & Style” column for New Zealand’s largest news website, Stuff. Looking ahead, Jason is passionate about providing advanced training and direction to aid venues and bartenders to offer immaculate service and make exceptional drinks. He is also interested in working with chefs to design and develop food and drink synchronicity to enhance the experiences of diners.

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartenders: Emil Seth Åreng, from the Rex Bar and Grill, Sweden

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

At the finals of Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition this year, I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

worldclass_competition_simplified_white

And some of those drinks were made by

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Emil Seth Åreng, from the Rex Bar and Grill, Sweden

Emil Seth Åreng has worked in the industry for eight years, learning the craft from studying other bartenders and working alongside many of the ‘greats’ of the industry. No stranger to the WORLD CLASS programme, Emil has competed in the Regional Final for the past three years benefiting from the workshops that help take the business forward and being inspired by gurus such as Ueno Hidetsugu, Angus Winchester, Eric Lorinz and Max La Rocca. He is deeply inspired by the many great Swedish bartenders including those from Little Quarter, The Flying Elk, Tjoget, Puta Madre and last year’s WORLD CLASS finalist, Boudy Ghostine. Emil is from a very small town in Northern Sweden – the only part of the country where the famous yellow “cloudberry” grows – an ingredient he used with success in his winning cocktail.

And here’s one of the drinks he made for us while we were cruising the Med (It’s a doozy!)

When In Ibiza (this drink was paired with a chocolate dessert)

Glass: Martini

Garnish: Cherry

Method:Muddle sugar with bitters, then add hazelnut liqueur to make a quick syrup. Then add Lagavulin, then coffee beans. Add ice and stir for a long time. Strain.

40ml Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch whisky

1 Raw sugar cube

4 dash Angostura bitters

10ml Hazelnut liqueur

 

 

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartenders: Allan King Roxas from The Philippines

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

At the finals of Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition this year, I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

worldclass_competition_simplified_white

Allan King Roxas, Philippines

And some of those drinks were made by Allan King Roxas from the Philippines

With over 15 years of bartending experience, Allan King Roxas is currently the head bartender and supervisor of Dillingers 1903. He has extensive knowledge in cocktail mixing and a colorful resume under his belt. His first job as a bartender was at the Shangri-la Makati. Since then, Allanking has worked in numerous places including Piedra Bistro Bar, Fuel Bar and at Celebrity Cruises where he traveled all over America. Allanking has a deep understanding of his craft and impeccable technique and with his talent, his career is bound to elevate in a global setting.

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

SWAG!

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

One of the many benefits of being one of the judges at Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition is the swag that one ends up with!  Here are a few of my favorite mementoes from this year’s cruise around the Med!

worldclass_competition_simplified_white

swag 001A tie and pin from Trinidad and Tobago!

swag 004Copper Barspoons from Don Julio tequila

swag 028A fan from Japan

Atalay Aktas, Germany swagA Wanted Poster from Germany

Peter Dorelli hanky headAnd a picture of Peter Dorelli Trying to Keep Cool!

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartenders, 2009

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

 2009 diageo world class (3)

 I just came across a file full of pics from the 2009 World Class final in London.  Here is Sean Muldoon, one of my bosses at the Dead Rabbit in New York.  Sean wasn’t a contestant–he was just hanging with us.

 2009 diageo world class (30)

Here I am with a few bartenders at Callooh Callay.  What a great joint.

2009 diageo world class (50)

 And finally we have a pic of Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail himself, on his throne!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in World Class Bartenders 2012 |

World Class Bartender: Tom Wood, Hong Kong

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

34 Tom Wood, Hong Kong

Tom Wood, World Class Bartender from Hong Kong, strutted his stuff admirably in Rio, and he was great fun to hang out with, too!

Vesper

Glass: Martini

Garnish: Lemon twist

Method: Shake and fine strain

45ml Tanqueray 10

15ml Ketel One

10ml Lillet Blanc

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Posted in World Class Bartenders 2012 |

World Class Bartender: Dennis Zoppi, Italy

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Dennis Zoppi, Italy’s finalist in the 2012 Diageo World Class Bartender competition, certainly has a flair for the dramatic!

Classic Chic – Vesper Martini

Glass: Martini

Garnish: Lemon zest

Method: Shake and strain

60ml Tanqueray No. TEN

15ml Ketel One vodka

7.5ml Lillet Blanc

 

Twisted Chic – Bloody Experience

Glass: Old fashioned

Garnish: Tomato flower, basil leaf and lemon glass stick

Method: Thrown and strained

45ml Ketel One vodka

90ml Tomato juice

15ml Grapefruit juice

10ml Sugar syrup

5ml Tio Pepe Fino sherry

4 drops Worcester sauce

5 dashes celery salt

2 dashes white pepper

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Posted in World Class Bartenders 2012 |

World Class Bartender: Jimmy Barrat, Dubai

Friday, December 28th, 2012

 

Here’s a glimpse of Jimmy Barrat, 2012 World Class Finalist from Dubai, and one of the most creative bartenders I ever did see.

And here are the drinks he made for the Retro-Chic round

 

Rosita

 

Glass: Rocks

 

Garnish: Half slice of lemon orange and lime, and lime zest (discarded)

 

Method: Build over hand-cracked ice

 

30ml Don Julio Reposado

 

30ml Campari

 

15ml Noilly Prat

 

15ml Carpano Antica Formula

 

2 dashes Orange bitters

 

 

 

Pink Delilah

 

Glass: Martini

 

Garnish: Grapefruit zest

 

Method: Shaken and fine strain into chilled glass

 

50ml Tanqueray No. TEN

 

7.5ml Cointreau

 

2 dashes Grapefruit bitters

 

25ml Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice

 

2.5ml 1.1 sugar syrup

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Posted in World Class Bartenders 2012 |

World Class 2012: Bert Jachman, Austria

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Here’s a glimps of Bert Jachman, 2012 finalist from Austria, and below you can see the recipes he used in the cocktail mastery round, and a picture of Ueno-San and me sharing a sip of Bert’s fabulous DCI Swizzle!

20th Century Cocktail

Glass: Coupette

Garnish: Lemon twist

Method: Shake and double strain

50ml Tanqueray No. TEN

25ml Lillet blanc

15ml Crème de Cacao

25ml Lemon juice

 

DCI Swizzle

Glass: Julep tin

Garnish: Cherry, mint sprig

Method: Wash cup with mint leaves then discard, add lemongrass and mint leaves, add all ingredients except the tequila and some crushed ice, stir with the lemon grass then pour over the tequila. Top with more crushed ice.

50ml Don Julio reposado tequila

10ml Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur

1 bar spoon Vanilla essence

3 dashes Grapefruit bitters

1 fresh Lemongrass

20 Mint leaves

20ml Agave syrup

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Posted in World Class Bartenders 2012 |

World Class 2012: Giuseppe Santamaria, Spain

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Here’s a picture of Giuseppe Santamaria, Spain

Another bartender with a fabulous smile, and a whole lot of style

These are the drinks that Giuseppe made for the Classic Chic round.

Classic Chic – Rob Roy

Glass: Martini

Garnish: Orange twist and cherry

Method: Stir all and strain

50ml Johnnie Walker Blue Label

25ml Sweet vermouth

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

 

Twisted Chic – My Tie

Glass: Old Fashioned

Garnish: Orange zest, cherry and mint leaves

Method: Shake and strain over crushed ice

50ml Tanqueray No. TEN

15ml Grand Marnier

15ml Orgeat

15ml Lime juice

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Posted in World Class Bartenders 2012 |