Posts Tagged ‘Woodford Reserve’

101 Best New Cocktails: Leaving Manhattan by Joanne Spiegel, Mercury Bar West, New York City.

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Leaving Manhattan

Adapted from a recipe by Joanne Spiegel, Mercury Bar West, New York City.Leaving Manhattan

“Leaving Manhattan, as you know, won first place in the final for the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience. The challenge was to enhance or contrast the existing flavors and notes of Woodford Reserve.  It being a cold winter’s day when I pondered on this, I thought touching on chocolate and wood notes would be a good place to start. I felt the use of Punt E Mes would add to the sweetness but would also bring enough bittering elements that once combined with the bittering elements of the orange bitters I would achieve an intriguing balance—plus I read somewhere that Italians love drinking the stuff when eating dark chocolate so in it went!

“For the garnish I had found the dark chocolate stir sticks in a tea house and I thought with the use of the tea syrup and the chocolate already this a perfect fun garnish—the orange spiral added a pop of much needed color and personally I can’t get enough orange essence and oils when I sip bourbon.” Joanne Spiegel.

60 ml (2 oz) Woodford Reserve bourbon

15 ml (.5 oz) Punt E Mes

7.5 ml (.25 oz) dark crème de cacao

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Lapsang Smoked Tea Syrup*

2 dashes orange bitters

1 chocolate or orange flavored stir stick wrapped with orange spiral**

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

* For the Lapsang smoked tea syrup, combine 4 ounces hot strong lapsang souchong tea and 1/2 cup granulated sugar; stir to dissolve the sugar. Let cool to room temperature before using. Refrigerate leftovers.

**When preparing garnish, peel orange spiral next to glass so essential oils spray over glass and cocktail. Wrap spiral around chocolate stick and rest garnish on the lip of the glass off to one side.

 Note:  Bartenders from sixteen cities across the country came to The Dream Hotel in New York City to show off their twist on the Manhattan cocktail at the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience, an event presented by Woodford along with Esquire magazine, and it was New York bartender Joanne Spiegel of Mercury Bar West that took top honors.  gaz was a judge at this event, along with David Wondrich, Leo Robitschek of Eleven Madison Park, and Chris Morris, Master Distiller for Woodford Reserve.

 gaz sez: I wrote about this drink in the San Francisco Chronicle, and I was amused to see the following comment from a reader: I might order it in a bar, but to make this at home? Nah. I am not going to galavant all over Clement St. looking for some obscure tea to make some syrup.  Now I’m the first to admit that some cocktail recipes have gotten a bit out of control of late, but to think of Lapsang Souchong tea as being too exotic brought a smile to my face.  Look in your local bloody supermarket, man!  Joanne did a fabulous job with this drink, and she deserves a round of applause.  Let’s hear it for Joanne Spiegel!

See more of this year’s 101 Best New Cocktails here   Click HERE to submit your recipe for a chance to be included in an upcoming list.

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101 Best New Cocktails, 2012: Butter Pecan Sazerac by David Nguyen-Luu, Rockpool Bar and Grill, Perth, Victoria Park, Australia.

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Butter Pecan Sazerac

Adapted from a recipe by David Nguyen-Luu, Rockpool Bar and Grill, Perth, Victoria Park, Australia.

“Working for the Rockpool group, I have access to one of the best kitchens in Australia, guided by one of the best chefs in Australia (Neil Perry). Rockpool Bar and Grill has always been about twisted classics, thus I created this twist on one of my favourite classics. This is a great digestif with a very silky, buttery texture in the mouth and a great full-flavoured finish. Enjoy!! For more information on Rockpool visit!” David Nguyen-Luu.

Absinthe, as rinse

30 ml (1 oz) Pecan-Washed Woodford Reserve Bourbon*

30 ml (1 oz) Hennessy VSOP cognac

15 ml (.5 oz) brandy de jerez

5 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

5 ml (.17 oz) sugar syrup

1 orange twist, as garnish

Rinse a sazerac glass with ice and absinthe. Shake over ice and double-strain into the glass. Run the twist over the rim of the glass, then add as garnish.

* Pecan-Washed Woodford Reserve Bourbon: Roast 200 g (8 oz) pecans at 350°F until golden. Melt 150 g (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter with 100 g (1/2 cup) muscovado sugar in a large pot. Stir in the nuts and one 750-ml bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon. Let settle overnight in fridge. The next day, strain bourbon from butter and pecan mixture using muslin cloth, leaving pecan washed bourbon.

gaz sez: Jeez, this is one helluva drink, and yes, it’s worth going to the trouble of making the pecan-washed whiskey. It’s actually a very simple process, and the resultant drink is something that your customers are likely to return to your joint for over and over again.

It’s also great to hear how proud David is of the place where he works, and the chef there. Loyalty such as his comes only from great management. Congrats to David for this great twisted classic, and to the Rockpool group for being supportive of their workers.

This is one of 2012’s 101 Best New Cocktails.

Click HERE to submit your recipe for a chance to be included in next year’s list.

Click HERE to order 101 Best New Cocktails 2012

Click HERE to order the Annual Manual for Bartenders: 2012.

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