Posts Tagged ‘diageo. @worldClassLive’

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 Bartenders: Bali, April, 2014

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Here are a few snapshots of some of the fabulous World Class Bartenders, and some of their friends, who I met in Bali, April, 2014

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Posted in world class 2014 |

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.

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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.

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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 Bartender: Kester Blake, Electric Bar System, Trinidad & Tobago

Wednesday, March 5th, 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

Kester Blake, Trinidad & Tobago - Copy

Kester Blake, Electric Bar System, Trinidad & Tobago

Kester Blake has been in the hospitality industry for over ten years and has been a professional mixologist for the past four years. He gained his academics via the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute where he pursued his diploma in food and beverage supervision.  Throughout his career, Kester has gained a vast scope of experience. He has worked on cruise ships as a bartender and held the position of bar manager at the world famous Zen night club as well as working at Club Maracas. He currently holds the position of bar consultant for Electric Bar System and is an assessor for the National Training Agency. Kester expresses his passion for the art form by dedicating time towards working with experienced individuals as well as upcoming bartenders with the same passion.

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartender: Jeff Bell, PDT, USA

Friday, February 21st, 2014

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

I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

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And some of those drinks were made by

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Jeff Bell, PDT, USA

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Jeff Bell began his career in the hospitality industry washing dishes and bussing tables at age 18. Not necessarily enamored with a life elbow-deep in suds and used dishware, Bell eventually found his proper spot in the scene—stepping behind the bar in Seattle at the ripe and legal age of 21, while he completed his philosophy degree at the University of Washington. After graduating in 2007, Bell knew bartending was his calling, and soon packed up and moved to New York City to hone his craft among the best and brightest. He met PDT Mixologist Jim Meehan in 2010 while bartending for Meehan’s wife Valerie at Maialino at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Meehan recognized Bell’s strong work ethic and offered him one shift a week as a barback. Bell jumped at the offer to work at one of the city’s cocktail meccas and pulled a strenuous five nights at Maialino and one at PDT. When a bartending position opened at PDT in the fall 2010, Bell received his due promotion. Since then, he’s fully committed himself to PDT, ultimately working his way up to the role of head bartender. Dropping his ego at the door, Bell puts the customers’ preferences first, crafting vodka, beer, and amaro-driven cocktails with equal care and the skills of a true cocktail craftsman.

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartenders, 2013: Nabil Ben El Khattab, Morocco

Monday, July 29th, 2013

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

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Ben Nabil El Khattab, Morocco

Among them was this incredible mixture of Zacapa 23, Punt e Mes,  grapefruit bitters, honey, and cinnamon

made by Nabil Ben El Khattab, from Morocco

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Posted in World Class 2013 |

World Class Bartender: Harry Glocker, Germany

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

33 Harry Glockler, Germany (2)

Here’s a very serious-looking Harry Glocker, World Class Bartender from Germany.  He’s not always this serious, though! Trust me on this!

Harry Glocker, Germany

Classic Chic: Clover Club

Glass: Cocktail

Garnish: Spray of orange flower water

Method: Shake & strain

45ml Tanqueray No TEN

2 Bsp. Raspberry syrup

15ml Lemon juice

15ml Sweet vermouth

Egg white

 

Twisted Chic: The Girl from Ipanema

Glass: Wine glass

Garnish: Seasonal fruit

Method: Shake and strain over crushed ice

60ml Ron Zacapa 23

10ml Grand Marnier

2 barspoons Raspberry syrup

½ Lemon muddled

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Posted in World Class Bartenders 2012 |

World Class 2012: Varia Dellalian, Lebanon

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Varia Dellalian, this year’s finalist from Lebanon, went to an enormous amount of trouble in her presentation for Ueno-San and me in Rio.  Just look at this exotic platter!

And these are Varia’s recipes from the Retro-Chic round:

Classic Chic – Bloody Mary

Glass: Highball

Garnish: Lemon wedge, salt and pepper rim, red chilli and celery stick

Method: Thrown

50ml Ketel One vodka

20ml Worcester sauce

10ml Lemon juice

1 tbsp Tabasco

1 dash gomme syrup

2 pinches Celery salt

2 pinches Pepper

6 pinches Salt

150ml Tomato juice

 

Twisted Chic – Mai Tai (My Golden Tie)

Glass: Rocks

Garnish: Lime shell, sprig of mint and spray of Lagavulin 16

Method: Shake and strain

30ml Zacapa 23 rum

20ml Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

15ml Lime juice

15ml Orange curacao

20ml Honey and orgeat mix

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Posted in World Class Bartenders 2012 |