Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Campari America Spirited Connections Interview Series: Tristan Willey on Sustainability

This year my Campari America Interview Series takes a bit of a turn, and that turn is towards socially conscious bartenders using their platforms for greater good.  This year we will talk to some amazingly talented people who are not only interested in making delicious cocktails, but also in creating bar programs that give back to the community and bring awareness to subjects not often discussed within the food and beverage industry.  I am really excited about this series and about some of the people we have lined up for interviews this year, so stay tuned!

This month I have the privilege of interviewing one of my personal favorite bartenders, Tristan Willey.  I met Tristan when he was working at Long Island Bar, and quickly realized that he is an incredibly diverse talent who has some amazing ideas about building bar programs, new innovative products, and I have to mention, he's an incredibly nice guy.  If any of you have sat at a bar stool during one of his shifts you know what I'm talking about - expect big smiles, warm welcomes, delicious drinks, and unexpected technical lessons about how to make your drinks better.  This month we are talking about sustainability, which is a bit of a buzzword in the drinks-media world right now, and is something that more and more smart and socially conscious bar programs are integrating into their daily rituals. 

Tristan Willey - Photo by Tristan Willey

My takeaway from talking to Tristan: yes, pay attention to your products, your supply chains and your waste, but most importantly, get outside and realize why we need to do more to protect this planet we spin around on.  After all, we only have one.

- - -

Gastronomista: Tristan, tell us a bit about how you became a bartender and what you're up to these days?

Tristan Willey: I came up as spirits professional in NYC through both distilling and bartending avenues.  Working at Kings County Distillery, first learning to bartend at Amor y Amargo, and then going on to open Booker and Dax and then again enjoy my time behind the bar at Long Island Bar.  Working on some new spirit projects I have taken the time to get back to my home and out into nature in New Mexico, and while out here frolicking in around the mountains I am working with a lovely restaurant group to get some new cocktail programs off the ground.

Long Island Bar - Photo by Tristan Willey

Grastronomista: Sustainability—and in particular, ensuring bar programs are environmentally friendly—is a subject close to your heart. Why are you so connected to sustainability?

Tristan Willey: So.  Damn.  Important.  I don’t believe that sustainability and conscious effort towards properly executing a responsible program are mutually exclusive with anything at all.  I don’t think you should even know if a bar if sustainably run or not, it just should be.  It shouldn’t even be a story anymore, and I think people are even slightly worn out on it even as a new emerging story, it should be native and inherent common sense to protect not only our resources, our immediate environment and community, and ultimate (as dramatic as this sounds) our future.  Our cocktail bars are a major cog in society, a major industry that happens to be the spear point of the massive spirits industry, and shouldn’t be written off by our own team as too small on an individual instance to have a significant impact.  Save the world by taking care of it, and while you are at it, get out of the bars and get outside for a bit.

Winter Hike - Photo by Tristan Willey

Gastronomista: How do you define a sustainability mission for a bar?

Tristan Willey: Currently sustainability comes down to some innovative products and creative re-use, but more often than not it really is centered around something we do every single day in management, a close eye on the details and a care for the minutia.  We are so tuned into to doing it with a budget that we harangue staff about 1/16th of an ounce differences in recipes and pours, we comb through balancing cocktail costs and time sheets, we can certainly turn that attention towards making every small detail count towards keeping our bars efficient and eco-friendly.  A bar should be taking every available step to simplify their program to its essentials while prioritizing less waste.  Maximize your impact with cost, guests, and sustainability by focusing on simple impact in your genre.

Ice - Photo by Tristan Willey
Gastronomista: What are the top 3 things up and coming bartenders can do to pursue a more sustainability minded bar program?

Tristan Willey: Know your products.  By knowing the history and details of what you are using you can control a multitude of issues, one of them is sustainable use.

Eliminate thoughtless waste.  Be the efficient bartender you claim to be, efficiency in movement and process saves things like wasted water, ingredients, and energy. Everything you do adds up to greater impact.

Use ingredients to exhaustion and follow their chain through your doors… as simple as a lemon, store them properly to avoid spoilage, use them for twists, juice them, old juice goes to the kitchen for cooking, compost pith.  Everything has a full circle path, don’t skip steps.

Campari Cocktail - Photo by Tristan Willey

Gastronomista: You have worked in some of the most creative bars in the country, how do you see bar programs embracing waste and becoming more conscious of recycling?

Tristan Willey: Look to Lighthouse in Brooklyn.  If anyone wants to be schooled up on how to creatively create recycling opportunities such as water purification with used oyster shells, or donation of recyclable glass, Naama Tamir is showing the world how it can be done.  For a primer take a listen to Damon Boelte’s interview of their team on the Speakeasy on Heritage Radio.  It is humbling just how integral to a business you can make sustainable and world improving practices.

Wild Turkey Behind the Barrel - Photo by Tristan Willey

Gastronomista: You recently relocated to New Mexico, how has your move to the southwest impacted your mission towards sustainability and environmentally-conscious bar programs?

Tristan Willey: I have become so much more aware of supply chain.  In New York I took for granted the availability of products, as if they just naturally existed in my immediate vicinity, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Creating an international product catalogue is really fascinating and eye opening, and the diversity that brings attention to is wonderful, but thinking about how those products get around the globe can be challenging.  I have been looking locally to find things that be used without ever being put on a truck.

Columbia Coffee Country - Photo by Tristan Willey

Gastronomista: What are your favorite bars right now?

Tristan Willey: On my brief trips back to the city I most recently have been reverting to the unerring classics like Littlebranch, The Brooklyn Inn, Bemelman’s… in these weird and stressful times we are clawing through, I love how stalwart the old guard feels, and how reassuring it is to have a classic drink in something that represents stability and a stoic face.  Back in New Mexico there are two bars in Santa Fe I love, the first is Coyote Café which has re-found the happiness, excitement, and love of fun and wild cocktails that seems to have been lost along the way, they love whimsy and pomp and circumstance, and do it all with a smile.  There is a beautiful old restaurant on Canyon Road in Santa Fe called Geronimo that is housed in a 400 year-old building - the very heart of the 8 seat bar is flanked on all sides with fine dining tables and big, wooden vigas that are mounted to the surrounding walls, there is an old stucco fireplace in the corner and some cocktails come straight from their garden… my very first visit set it in my heart as a happy and hidden place instantly upon wandering in.

Santa Fe - Photo by Tristan Willey

Gastronomista: If you could visit any bar anywhere in the world, at any point in history, what bar would you visit?  Who would you have a drink with?

Tristan Willey: Hmmmm… London60’s… perfectly trim suit on… hotel bar, a cocktail bar where there was still some importance to how entered and who you were with… and I’d be on a date, sipping martinis and manhattans, with… a first date.

Martini - Photo by Tristan Willey

Gastronomista: What drives the creative process for you when you're creating cocktails?  Any tricks of the trade you can share?

Tristan Willey: Find the perfect name for a drink, and then craft the drink to match it?  No, I find inspiration right now from two things, the refinement of the classics and the occasionally new ingredient.  More and more I am trying to find ways to mimic the simple and time refined classics, which is providing the biggest challenge I’ve met behind the bar, doing something simple brilliantly.  Someday, I guess…

Mini Boulevardiers - Photo by Tristan Willey

Gastronomista: This series is sponsored by Campari America, can you recommend a sustainability minded cocktail for our readers made with their products?

Tristan Willey:  This cocktail is a recreation of a favorite spicy old fashioned recipe inspired by the  New Mexican landscape.  It is made with local Santa Fe Honey that’s been aged with the iconic New Mexico Red Chile Pods from Hatch, New Mexico.  In lieu of Mole bitters I mixed Kakawa drinking chocolate from Taos into the Wild Turkey 12 year.  Enjoy!

Old Santa Fe - Photo by Tristan Willey

Old Santa Fe
Created by Tristan Willey

2 oz Wild Turkey 12 year
1/4 oz Red Chile infused Santa Fe Honey
1 Tsp Kakawa Drinking Chocolate

Build over a large cube, and garnish with an orange wheel and a sprinkling of red chile powder.

All Photos by Tristan Willey

Follow Tristan on Instagram: @Tristan.Willey

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Last Laph - A Tiki Drink for Scotch Drinkers

One of the things that excites me the most about the cocktail industry is creativity.  Bartenders using unexpected ingredients in new and innovative ways, and thereby expanding the imbiber's assumptions and expectations.  Specifically, the entire Tiki category has been dramatically challenged by bartenders in recent years, and I think it's fair to say that Tiki is no longer defined by Rum but instead by tropical flavors and an eccentric presentation (emphasis on the eccentric presentation).   

Needless to say, delicious and creative cocktails excite me.  And this is one of them.  The Last Laph was created by Justin Lavenue of Austin, Texas, a recipe that is just too good not to share with all of you.  It has all of the things one could ever hope for in a wintery Tiki libation: ginger, pineapple, fresh lemon juice, absinthe, and Laphroaig, an peaty Islay scotch.  Ok, I know it sounds like the flavors in this drink should not work together, but it does.  This drink is a tropical take on the peaty modern classic, the Penicillin, and one can hope that it has the some of the same illness-blasting benefits.

Tiki demands a great vessel, and I must admit that it was the vessel that inspired me to share this recipe with all of you, dear readers.  These are goblets carved from Black Zebra Marble, found in a Rock Shop in an old mining town in Colorado.  They begged me to buy them. 

Almost immediately I thought of this Peaty Tiki libation, a medieval tropical drink of sorts.  This recipe recommends Laphroaig Select, although in full disclosure I made these for friends and we finished off the entire bottle of Select - oops.  I substituted Laphroaig Lore (which is a much more expensive bottle), which is a bit crazy, but also delicious.  Better spirits make better drinks, right?!  I highly recommend this bottle for sipping as well - it's incredibly rich and peaty with subtle influence from the sherry casks.  It's a gem.

Enjoy fireside in a Scottish Castle or beachside on a remote island - either way I can guarantee happiness.


The Last Laph
Created by Justin Lavenue

3/4 oz Laphroaig Select
3/4 oz Ginger Liqueur (or 1:1 Ginger Simple Syrup)
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3 dashes Absinthe

Garnish with a few Pineapple Leaves and two Luxardo Cherries

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Campari America Spirited Interview Series - Simon Banks

Winter is not messing around this year - it is cold cold cold and the snow has been falling at record rates!  All this cold weather means one thing - Hot Toddys!  Warm, boozy remedies for the cold weather just outside.

A few weeks ago I stumbled into Comida at The Source in my hometown of Denver, Colorado and was instantly impressed with their cocktail program, and notably, their seasonal "Some Like it Hot" Cocktail Menu!  Why yes, I would like a hot cocktail made with gin, Aperol, and fresh grapefruit juice!

The man behind the menu (and the bar program at Comida) is Simon Banks, an up and coming talent in the bar world who has an affinity for dive bars, American Gin, and hot cocktails.

Without further ado, Simon Banks:

Gastronomista:  Simon, how did you become the head bartender at Comida?  What do you love about running a cocktail bar in the Denver area?

Simon Banks:  E, it's a pleasure to be interviewed by such a Bon Vivant like yourself. Like all things in my life, its been a long road of education and hard work that has brought me to Comida and the position of bar manager and director of beverages here. I started tending at Magnolia Bar in Louisville, KY, when I was 22, and fell in love with this industry from the first drink I poured. Magnolia Bar, aka MAG BAR, the best dive bar in Louisville, schooled me on the basics and every other bar since has added knowledge to my general philosophy that I carry with every movement.

Back to the Comida story though, I was having a hard time finding a bar in Denver that fit my style and would pay the bills and as fate had planned, I stumbled upon a job posting on Sirvo.com for Comida. I had a working interview November 8th, Election Night, and The Source was packed to the gills, after the night was over I was hired on the spot. Comida opened up their new restaurant in The Stanley Market Place in Stapleton December 14th, and Cristina, the former bar manager at The Source was moved over to the new location, and Rayme, the owner, decided with the rest of the management staff, that I was the best fit to move up. It was destiny.

The Krampus - Dark Rum, Leopold's Blackberry Liqueur, St. Elizabeths Allspice Dram, Cherry Bitters, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, and Muddled Pineapple

Running a cocktail and beverage program in Denver is incredible, because it is a major world destination. People from all around the country and globe visit here, not only because of legal cannabis, but also because of the fine arts scene, sports scene, food scene, etc... The other week I had two German guests, one was a gin collector and we got into talking about the new American small batch gin movement and how American small batch gin is the best gin being distilled in the world right now.

Everyday I come to work I meet worldly people and I love that; being able to provide my guests with a solid beverage program and a wonderful dinning experience is my passion. A good bartender will craft a great cocktail you'll enjoy, but a great bartender will provide you with an amazing experience you'll remember for a long time. Drinks are momentary, but memories can be life long. It's always and always will be about the people and relationships you build.

Pear Mimosa served with an Angostura Bitters Soaked Pear Slice

Gastronomista:  What drives the creative process for you when you're creating cocktails?  Any tricks of the trade you can share?

Banks:  Before I started 'tending I cooked for a living. The last restaurant I cooked for was a gastro pub with a focus on pork and twists of eastern European peasant food. I was the day cook and ran five stations by myself for about 80-100 seats within about a hour and a half time period, also coming up with two daily specials and a weekly special. Food and beverage are brother and sister and if you know how to balance flavors in food, then crafting a balanced cocktail is second nature. When I get off work, go home, take the dogs on a walk, bust out my laptop and research spirit history, bar technique, product, etc... Knowledge is power, and history should not be forgotten.

There are five main flavor profiles in my opinion: rich, dry, spice, tart, and herbal, and many sub modifiers within these as well. People are creatures of pattern and habit, and we all like certain flavors. One of these five profiles is the foundation for your cocktail, then you add the modifiers to fit a persons personal taste. Having a menu that covers these five is crucial and necessary, and also having a menu that changes with the seasons should be a standard you hold as well.

Gastronomista:  What bars do you frequent in Denver or Boulder?  Are there any innovative cocktail programs that excite you?

Banks:  Ah, bars I frequent, yes. The Larimer strip from 20th to 29th in Denver is called "black out alley" by us industry folks. So many great bars and restaurants and if you know the bar staff, you're in for a hell of a good night or some Sunday Fun-Day shenanigans. El Charrito, corner of 21st and Larimer, is my neighborhood watering hole. It's a five star dive bar and if you haven't visited it, go. Great tequila selection thats very reasonably priced, great happy hour and the food is pretty traditional with some amazing special tacos of the week as well, my favorite being the fried catfish taco with a  house made cole slaw. The staff are all good friends of mine and I also DJ there the last Wednesday of every month. The Crimson Room makes the best gin fizz in Denver, Colt and Gray is beyond perfection with anything they do and of course you must visit Aloy Modern Thai for the best mai tai using Mekong rum. Scruffy Murphy's is the archetypal Irish pub, with a great selection of Scotch priced for the working class. Basically, I'm a dive bar man, gotta stay true to my roots.

John McClain - Rye, Cointreau, Drambuie, Rhubarb Bitters, Muddled Cherries

Gastronomista:  If you were to visit any bar anywhere in the world, at any point in history, what bar would you visit?  Who would you have a drink with?

Banks:  Any bar in history huh? Well, thats super vast, but I know exactly what year and where I would go. Milk and Honey, 1999 and I would have a pour of Woodford Reserve with my father, the late Hugh Banks. I owe so much to Sasha Petraske and it's a shame I'll never be able to meet that man, or have him whip me up a cocktail. If you haven't researched Sasha's life, it truly is inspiring. My father passed away when I was six and he was a bourbon drinker. Every time I drink bourbon or a nice rye I cheers to my pops. If he only knew, I think he'd be proud, most likely pissed I have tattoos and dreadlocks, but I think he would be proud of the direction I've taken and the things I've learned so far in life.

Gastronomista:  Comida is a Mexican Restaurant that has an extensive Tequila offering.  How have you seen the trend towards Tequila grow within Colorado?

Banks:  Tequila, tequila, tequila. All spirits have trends, some drop off as the wheel turns and others pop up as mister popular. Tequila is on a rise, but mezcal and American small batch gin are going to be the new trend, mark my words! Colorado, due to the heavy Latino population, is a very popular state for tequila. Tequila is also one of the healthiest spirits to drink.

Comida Hot Toddy - Bourbon, Hibiscus Flowers, Candied Ginger, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Angostura Bitters

Gastronomista:  What other Mixologists inspire you and why?

Banks:  My top 5 influences:

1) Mr. Jaime Boudreau, owner and operator of Cannon in Seattle. This man is all about bitters and in fact, stained every piece of wood in his bar with Angostura bitters. He's a genius and I can't wait to meet him one of these days.

2) Sother Teague, owner and operator of Amor y Amargo in NYC. I've picked apart this mans business strategy and he truly is one of the wisest people to study if you plan on opening up a cocktail bar, which eventually I plan to do myself.

3) Dushan Zaric, owner and operator of Employee's Only in NYC, his bar prep and house made product program is unmatched in the American market

4) Dale DeGroff, where would be with out him?  The Rainbow Bar completely changed the cocktail game, hats off to you sir.

5) Sasha Petraske, rest in peace man, you created a speak easy out of necessity and laid the foundation for a whole new movement.

I could go on and on about contemporary bartenders and the old guard as well, but I would bore you. Each of these guys with their concepts and execution I have studied and learned from the best I can with the resources available to me and each one molded my style without their knowing, so here's a thank you to them, cheers guys.

Reindeer Games - Gin, Aperol, Passion Fruit Gum Syrup, Lemon, and Grapefruit Juice

Gastronomista:  I love your seasonal Hot Toddy Menu you created this winter.  What inspired a hot drinks list, and what are some of the best surprises to come out of the process of creating them?

Banks:  Thanks E, I love it too. Well, it's winter and we're in Denver and it's cold as hell some days and nights. My second week working at Comida I started to catch a chest cold and all I did was eat Thai food and drink Hot Toddy's. Hot Toddy's were originally created as a medicinal drink to kill a cold. Tons of bitters, lemon, rye, honey, throw some fresh herbs in there, throw some ginger in there, shit, throw some garlic in there. Just make something that's healthy and has medicinal properties and drink it. It's going to help you get better, trust me, plus a little buzz helps you pass out. So after I got promoted I was thinking, what menu do I launch? And boom, it hit me, hot cocktails for winter.

Naming them was fun, I just thought about my favorite holiday themed people/movies/etc and built cocktails that would fit into the five categories of flavor. The only hot cocktail recipe that I didn't create from scratch was a borrowed old timer drink called, "Tea and Krampus," which originally was a cold cocktail. I added some ingredients, took some out and make it hot. Fun surprises that happened? Lots of them. The Reindeer Games toddy has a passion fruit gum syrup, and adding hot water reactivates the gum arabic, causing little tiny looking clouds to form in the cocktail over time, that was really cool. Also our House Hot Toddy has hibiscus flowers in it, so over time seeping, the cocktail turns red, a bleeding heart of sorts. The Home Alone Toddy is a hit or miss for some people, either people like the herbal medical profile or they hate it. So I'm going to remove the ginger simple syrup from it and up the amount of fresh lemon juice and white vermouth, hopefully the lack of any kind of sugar will appease guests and make it less like, "a mint cough syrup, " HA! as some guests have described it.

Gastronomista:  Campari America is sponsoring this series on great Mixologists in smaller cities.  Do you mind sharing the recipe for the Reindeer Games made with Aperol?

Banks:  I'm honored to represent Denver, Comida and most importantly myself. E, it's been a pleasure.

The Reindeer Games Toddy
Created by Simon Banks of Comida

1 1/2 oz Fords Gin
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Passion fruit Gum
1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Fresh Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
Garnish with a Lemon twist

Build this cocktail in a nice glass or a mug, first starting with Aperol and the passion fruit gum, then add your fresh juices to your jigger to help wash out any left over passion fruit gum, the acidcity will help strip this from your jigger, then add your Ford's gin, spritz the lemon zest over the mix and drop it in, then add 212 degree water to your glass/mug to a level of temp and dilution you prefer.


For more follow Comida on Facebook or stop by and visit them IRL:

Eat Comida at The Source
3350 Brighton Blvd #105
Denver, CO 80216

(303) 296-2747

Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

DIY Bitter Aperitivo & Soda

To say that I have an obsession with bitters is an understatement.  The Negroni is my favorite cocktail, I have made jewelry as an ode to the ruby-hued libation, and have considered painting my entire house red in tribute. 

While the recipe for the Negroni (and its sister cocktails) is incredibly well known, the recipe for its critical ingredient, Bitter Aperitivo, is not.  In fact, all of the producers who make aperitivi keep their recipes incredibly secret, usually known to only one or two highly trusted employees within the company.  Sometimes 3-4 ingredients are made public, but the remaining 20+ herbs, roots, and citrus ingredients remain a mystery. 

I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when I saw the YouTube video of Japanese Bartender Hiroyasu Kayama making a fresh Bitter Aperitivo Cocktail.  It is the closest I have come to understanding the full recipe for a Bitter Aperitivo - all the while perfectly capturing the discipline of Japanese Bartending.  Behold:

And yes, I am just crazy enough to try to do this at home.

Some of you may be wondering, why in the world would you spend so much time and effort sourcing a wide array of herbs and spices when you can just buy a bottle of Bitter Aperitivo, especially when there are so many different brands to choose from.  Good question.  Maybe because I'm a little bit crazy, and maybe because I have a closet stocked with Everclear and I'm bubbling with all kinds of creative ideas of how to use it!  After all, many of the big name Bitter Aperitivi are made with grain alcohol as a base, so naturally Everclear is a perfect choice for a base spirit.  Everclear is a high proof spirit, so it naturally draws more flavor out of the herbs than vodka. With the intent to follow Kayama's recipe and make this cocktail "fresh" there is less time for the herbs to seep - therefore the higher the proof the better!

When I first started this experiment I dutifully transcribed the recipe from this video, including the ingredients and measurements.  On a second pass I noticed a completely different list of ingredients in the description of the video, some of which seem to be lost in translation and some are nearly impossible to find in the States (I'm looking at you, Tonka Bean). 

I went to a local health food store that had a wide selection of herbs and started pulling the ingredients.  Even with the combined ingredients from the video and from the description under the video, I had a difficult time finding everything.  So, I improvised. 

One ingredient that I added was Rhubarb Root because I knew that Rhubarb and Orange are primary flavor compounds of Aperol, and I figured that the Bitter Aperitivo was a more bitter and herbal forward recipe. 

The cochineal, the red insect that gives many aperitivi their signature hue, was also difficult to find so I substituted for a beet dye that was a bit more magenta in hue, and worked rather nicely. 

I brought all my ingredients home and spread everything out.  "Now what", I thought. The video does not give the specs to the recipe, instead shows Kayama adding what can only be interpreted as a pinch here and a pinch there.  So, I did the same. 

I added a pinch of each ingredient to my mortar bowl, smelling the mixture every so often.  There were a few ingredients that I added more of, such as the Rhubarb Root and the Orange Peel, because the more I added, the more it began to resemble the apertivi I know and love. 

I ground all the mixture to extract the flavors, and transferred the dry ingredients to my mixing glass.  I added 1.5 oz of Everclear, and 1/2 oz of water to help the beet coloring dissolve properly.  I added a bit of 1:1 simple syrup to sweeten the concoction just a bit, and strained it into a cocktail coupe.  Top with soda water, and garnish with a citrus express.  I used Meyer Lemon because they smell wonderfully exotic and it pairs nicely with this bitter mixture.  I also added a whole licorice root stick and a few whole cardamom pods as a garnish, adding another aromatic layer to the nose of the cocktail.

Although I don't think that this was a perfect replication of some of the Bitter Aperitivi that are incredibly well known, I do think that it was an amazing start.  What is even more exciting is the possibility of adding different ingredients to gradually tweak this recipe to make my own house Aperitivo with my own specs based on my own preferences. 

I'm also excited about the idea of using local ingredients to give an Apertivo a connection back to the land.  After all Aperitivi and Amari were originally made from local ingredients as a method to preserve plants to be used to aid digestion and to alleviate an array of ailments. 

This recipe is by no means perfect - but it is an exciting start.  Enjoy.

DIY Bitter Aperitivo & Soda
Interpreted by Gastronomista

Makes One Cocktail

15g (One Pinch) Ground Caraway Seed
15g Angelica Root
15g Calamus Root
10g Ground Cinnamon
15g Licorice Root
15g Coriander Seed
30g Orange Peel
30g Rhubarb Root
3-4 Cardamom Pods

1-1/2 oz Everclear
1/2 oz 1:1 Simple Syrup
4 oz Soda Water
Meyer Lemon Peel to Garnish

Grind all dry ingredients with a Mortar & Pestle until smooth.

Add dry ingredients to a mixing glass and add Everclear and Simple Syrup.  Stir and double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and top with soda water.  Garnish with a Meyer Lemon express, a few Cardamom Pods, and a Whole Licorice Stick. 

Note: I decided to serve this cocktail in coupes, because I wanted less soda water and no ice.  A Bitter & Soda is typically served in a highball glass over ice, and this cocktail could be served the same way.

Styling Notes:
Mixing Glass - Robin Mix
Cocktail Coupes - Parched Penguin
Stone Spice Grinder - Tom Dixon

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Everclear. All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

O.M.G. I Need - Shinola/Saved Wine Corkscrew

Every once in a while I come across an obsession worthy drinking accessory that sends me into a tailspin of desire - hence my series, O.M.G. I Need

The latest obsession-worthy drinking accessory is the brass SAVED Wine Corkscrew created in partnership with Shinola.  The ornately detailed solid brass corkscrew is designed by tattoo artist Scott Campbell, the creative force behind Saved Wines and Saved Tattoo located in Brooklyn.  I already want pretty much everything made by Shinola, but this opener really put me over the top.  It is great for gifting and is a chic accessory on any bar top or bar cart.  Drooling?  Me too.

The SAVED Wines Corkscrew is available exclusively from Shinola.com for $125. 

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