Friday, April 30, 2010

The Mint derby...

Who said high society isn't fashionable?

It is Kentucky Derby weekend; which means putting on your best Sunday dress and head down to the races, or in Las Vegas, the Sports Book. Perhaps you prefer to enjoy the day at home relaxing in the spring weather with a classic mint julep in your hand.

The mint julep has been a Kentucky Derby staple and this year Woodford Reserve Bourbon is going all out. Now you may not be using a pure silver Tiffany Julep cup to enjoy this classic beverage but the original should always use crushed ice.

The true debate is sprung by the floral herb, mint. Experts have put all egos on the line claiming at which point the mint should be added to this drink to keep it a "classic." Some argue just a garnish should suffice whiles other steep the leaves in their simple syrup to add flavor. I personnally think the best solution is a gentle muddling of about 6 leaves to extract just enough of the oil to flavor your beverage. Here's my version, of course you can adjust the sweetness as you wish of just drink the bourbon neat!

6 Fresh Mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
2 ounces Woodford reserve bourbon
Crushed Ice

In a high ball glass; add the mint leaves and simple syrup and gently muddle for 5 seconds. Add the Woodford reserve bourbon and stir. Top the glass with crushed ice, garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy.

To really get in the spirit, pull out a Julip strainer and use it to sip the drink without touching the ice ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Leblon Brazillionaire

Congratulations to LeBlon Cachaça, the WINNER of the 1st Annual WSWA Mixology Competition sponsored by The Tasting Panel MagazineLeblon Cachaça is produced at their distillery in Patos de Minas, Brazil where Leblon combines traditional approaches with creative European winemaking techniques  to create a Cachaça that is extra special.

The winning cocktail is called LeBlon Brazillionaire and was created by Mixologist Tobin Ellis of BarMagic, It's a delicious concoction made with Leblon Cachaca, Cherry Heering, Passion Fruit Puree, Fresh Lime Sour, Cilantro Leaves and drops of Spicy Sriracha Sauce.
As promised, here is the recipe for the winning cocktail so you can make it at your bar, restaurant or home bar.

2 speared Marasca Cherries
1.5 oz Leblon Cachaca
3/4 oz Cherry Heering (a Danish cherry liqueur)
1 oz Passion Fruit Puree (The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley)
1 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Sour (3:2 ratio of Lime to simple syrup)
8-10 fresh cilantro leaves
2 drops Sriracha Sauce

Combine ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vegas to allow Drive thru wine and beer at "Starbucks"

Las Vegas, The city of sin and the true wild wild west is now pushing the limits on the beverage world and your local morning routine.

According to the New York times and as some have discovered, Starbucks the "wal-mart" of the coffee world has begun expanding their empire in some select cities to include a selection of brews and wines.

It may not have the "Starbucks" name but if you look at the fine banner print you sure can see its logo. Their location in Seattle which is up and running is named "Roy Street" and besides offering the regular Starbucks goodies, Roy street brings alcoholic drinks, up-scale bartistary (yes I invented a new world, sometimes you just have too) and lush decor.

The next state said to launch will be Nevada, with a few of these "boutique" stores popping up with drive through beverage service. Yes, thats right. "Can I get a poppyseed muffin and a Coors light to go please, I'm running late for work" It took a while to jump through the county hoops but it was no problem for a corporation of Starbuck's size.

I am interested to see how this operation works out. It will either be a much needed change if done right or a sorry attempt to improve a now aging brand.


Classic Cocktail Series: The Pear Martini