The Bazaar's "New Way" Dirty Martini
You've heard of José Andrés' "Olives," a dish consisting of real and spherified olives. It's a tribute to Ferran Adrià, who first made them at El Bulli, where Andrés trained. As cool as it is to experience the contrast, Andrés' "New Way" Dirty Martini is a next-level move—a cocktail that if it doesn't change your life, forever shifts your perspective on a genre. If you're a dirty martini drinker, this is a checklist item. If you can't make it out to Los Angeles you can use José's recipe to make if for yourself.
Recipe adapted from ThinkFoodGroup beverage director, Lucas Paya.
Garnish with Flourish
Chicago restaurant Travelle offers a vodka Martini garnished with olives stuffed with caviar and a spritz of truffle mist.
Part decoration, part cocktail ingredient, it’s often the first thing a customer notices when a drink is set in front of him or her.
In the case of over-the-top, whimsical or artistically inspired adornments, garnishes can tempt with striking visual appeal. A smacked sprig of a fresh herb, or the oil from a swath of orange or lemon peel can offer up intoxicating aromas as the glass is lifted.
And of course, a zesty squeeze of lime or a salt-crusted glass adds to a cocktail’s flavor with each sip. Unlike the dark days of cocktails, when puny, half-dried-out lemon slices or bright red, artificially flavored cherries ruled the condiment tray, today’s garnishes are an integral part of a great drink.
“The right garnish completes a cocktail and enhances the more subtle flavors,” says Taha Ismail, the beverage director for the five restaurants of the Washington, D.C.-based Mike Isabella Concepts. He’s seen an uptick in savory garnishes, including herbs, oils and vegetables such as radishes and green peas.
Ismail’s Smile Like a Donut cocktail ($13) at Greek restaurant Kapnos mixes Beefeater 24 gin with Idoniko brandy and house-made grapefruit tonic, garnished with dill, juniper berries and dehydrated grapefruit. The Hannibal ($12), served at the company’s new Greek restaurant Kapnos Taverna, shakes up mezcal, Curaçao, lime juice and ginger, finished with a chili oil float.
How does Ismail select garnishes? “Stick to the flavor profile of the drink and maintain a balance, making sure the garnish doesn’t upstage the cocktail,” he advises.
Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen in Morristown, NJ, serves its Pizza Connection amaro cocktail with a dehydrated lemon chip floated on top to resemble a pizza.
To assure that the drink—rather than the garnish—is front and center, design a tipple’s adornment according to how many ingredients it has.
“If your drink [has] a simple one or two ingredients, it’s because you are supposed to be enjoying those two ingredients,” says Richard Ellman, owner and mixologist of the 137-seat global cuisine restaurant Oak in Dallas.
Thinking beyond the citrus
Citrus has always been a favorite tipple topper among bartenders, as it can add a refreshing, mouthwatering squirt of acidity—or more depth of flavor from the peel’s essential oils. But some bartenders now eschew the traditional forms in favor of more creative flourishes.
“Instead of your simple lime wedge on a Margarita, try a kaffir lime leaf,” says Ellman. “It will have the added zest necessary to the nose of the drink, without overdoing the citrus on the palate.”
He also recommends creative touches, such as torching a lemon to add a touch of smoke to a sip, and creating candied lime wedges to better balance citrus and sweet.
Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen in Morristown, NJ, uses dehydrated fruit for striking drink toppers. For instance, the Pizza Connection ($15) has Nardini Ruta Aqua Vitae, Cocchi di Torino, Solerno and Nardini Amaro Bassano, with a dehydrated lemon chip floated on top to resemble a pizza.
Head bartender Christopher James believes the “oversized swath of citrus” as a garnish is overdone: “It should only be used for certain drinks, not for everything with a citrus peel.”
Colin Anderson, bar manager at the 44-seat contemporary Mediterranean restaurant Cure in Pittsburgh, PA, agrees. “I think we were all getting sick of garnishing drinks one or two ways: either with a citrus peel or with a cherry.”
If bartenders do use citrus peels, Anderson says, they should trim the edges for a sleeker appearance. “It makes the drinker realize, in the slightest of ways, that the bartender cares about the look of the drink.”
Fresh herbs can add another dimension to cocktails: Anderson notes that herbs work wonderfully with fresh citrus, including orange peel and rosemary for rye whiskey sips, and lemon and thyme for gin. James is partial to fresh thyme, and also likes using rosemary that’s slightly dried.
“Over-the-top, yet whimsical garnishes are really popular right now,” says James. Jockey Hollow’s Martini ($15) uses baby clothespins to hold a long lemon twist to the side of the glass.
The Martini at Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen is garnished with a long curl of lemon peel clipped to the side of the glass with a tiny clothespin.
The concept’s Teach Me How to Dougie cocktail ($15) mixes Purity vodka, Clear Creek Douglas Fir eau de vie and lime a mizuna leaf floated on top resembles the Douglas fir tree on the pine liqueur’s label. “If [garnishes] have a certain level of whimsy, it kind of balances out the over-the-top factor.”
Matt Tocco, beverage director of the 200-seat Pinewood Social in Nashville, TN, has also seen a trend in over-the-top garnishes. He attributes this in part to the rise in popularity of Tiki bars and drinks.
Pinewood Social’s cocktail A Stranger in the Alps ($12) is made with Junipero gin, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, Luxardo Bitter and Braulio Amaro. It’s served with a long “pigtail” lemon peel twist wrapped around a chunk of ice, and drizzled with Clear Creek Douglas Fir eau de vie.
“It looks a lot like a crown of thorns,” Tocco says of the garnish. Any garnish “should be echoing, complimenting or mirroring other flavors in the drink,” he says. “It also shouldn’t take forever to make.”
Cure has topped sips with components including candied fruit, caramel candies, Pop Rocks and agar gelatin pebbles, Anderson says. The restaurant’s cocktail Gin ($10) uses Old Tom gin, riesling-based vermouth, preserved peach liqueur and catnip tincture. It’s finished with a lemon wheel placed on the rim of the glass, along with a syrup of lemon oil, mint leaf and fragrant red agar pebbles.
But what about the fear of a garnish looking too precious or ostentatious? “If it complements and enhances the drink and one’s senses, it will not come across as pretentious,” says Anderson.
Ellman notes that as long as a garnish is practical—and actually adds something to the cocktail—it can be as over-the-top as you want. The State Fair Cocktail ($12) served at Oak mingles Pama pomegranate liqueur with fresh lemon, topped with prosecco and lime cotton candy.
Foaming in the glass
One drink embellishment that comes under fire for being too fussy is foam. “I’m not a fan of foams and airs that are just floated on top,” admits Ismail. “They can look good, but they rarely add anything real to the drink.”
A staple in molecular gastronomy—and mixology—foams are meant to add texture, aroma and a hint of flavor. When done right, they can be striking additions to cocktails.
A Stranger in the Alps, a cocktail at Pinewood Social in Nashville, TN, is garnished with a long “pigtail” lemon peel twist wrapped around a chunk of ice, and drizzled with Clear Creek Douglas Fir eau de vie.
Chef José Andrés’ concepts have long used airs in dishes and sips at The Bazaar by José Andrés, a 417-seat modern Spanish molecular gastronomy restaurant in Los Angeles, the Truffle Noir ($17) mixes mezcal, Drambuie, blueberries and lime, garnished with truffle salt air. The “New Way” Dirty Martini ($17) tops the classic drink with a spherified olive and olive brine air.
Less is more when it comes to most foams, says The Bazaar bar manager Vahan Petrossian. “Garnish conservatively to enjoy the essence of the air.”
Modern foams typically use soy lecithin and need to be made à la minute, which can be tricky for busy bars. “An iSi whipper works great with some egg whites, a sugar (liqueur), acid (citrus) and a double charge,” explains James.
A challenge with foam finishes is when—and how—to actually sip the drink through the whipped layer on top. Cure has solved that dilemma by “gluing” a dehydrated piece of citrus to the rim of a glass with a highly concentrated complementing flavored syrup, and then dropping the foam on top.
Cure’s Rum ($10) mixes rum with Lillet Blanc that’s infused with oranges and cinchona bark, preserved-rhubarb liqueur, and sumac bitters a dehydrated orange wheel set on the rim of the glass is topped with a rich Campari syrup and a mountain of sumac foam. “The guests can, at their convenience, pick up and crunch into citrus, foam (holding the acid component usually) and sugar,” Anderson says. “It is a well-rounded garnish.”
Another garnish technique that can pose a sipping conundrum is the glass rimmer. Many bartenders will run a citrus wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass and then dip the rim into a sugary or salty mixture. But a full rim is often too much.
You should just rim half the glass, or at least leave a portion unrimmed, Anderson says. “This allows the guest to opt out of having every sip be sugary sweet” or overly salty or spicy.
And look beyond the expected plain sugar and salt by adding spice, like a touch of cinnamon to the rim for an Apple Martini, Ellman says. “Think about ways you can bring out a flavor that might be subtle or nonexistent without it.”
Use a light hand with flavorings, though, says Ismail. “Don’t overpower a drink with heavy salts and spices on the rim,” he cautions. “Balance isn’t just for the drink it’s for the garnish as well.”
The Bazaar by José Andrés in Los Angeles makes a “New Way” Dirty Martini that’s topped with a spherified olive and olive brine air.
Not every funky garnish flavor is going to be a fit. Ellman prefers a simple lemon peel or plain olives in a Martini, rather than overtly flavored varieties such as those stuffed with blue cheese, which can overpower the delicate gin or vodka and vermouth.
Michael Pickering agrees. “I wish blue-cheese olives would go by the wayside,” says the beverage manager for the 192-seat restaurant Travelle in Chicago. “Especially if it’s a gin Martini, the funk muddles all of the botanical notes.”
Pickering’s A Martini ($22) drops olives stuffed with caviar into the Boyd & Blair vodka-based sip, and spritzes it with a truffle mist. The vodka’s neutrality doesn’t compete with the other ingredients’ distinctive aromas and flavors, he says.
No matter the ingredients, each garnish should ultimately serve a purpose, and not just exist for its own sake, according to Petrossian. “A garnish is more than a dangled ornament on your glass,” he says. “It is an opportunity to highlight an extra dimension to your cocktail through aromas and/or flavors.”
The Bazaar on a Budget
So, our dirty little secret until this week was that we'd never been to The Bazaar.
When asked about the cocktails at The Bazaar by José Andrés, the Beverly Hills restaurant located in the SLS Hotel, we simply responded with mumbles and derps, like cowards. We know. We know. Yes, The Bazaar is an icon of molecular gastronomy. Yes, it offers up Spanish fare with the avant garde, whimsical twists Andrés is famous for. Yes, it's crazy expensive. So we recently stopped in to investigate how to have the Bazaar experience without having the bizarre experience of having to sell your blood plasma to pay rent next month.
Below are a few tips on Bazaaring, so that if you drop a (somewhat) reasonable amount of cash you'll have the most rewarding time.
1. Get someone else to pay. That's our handiest tip.
2. If you fail on tip #1, then we suggest that you nab a seat at the bar instead of the restaurant itself. Bar Centro -- dimly lit and sleekly furnished -- offers a full cocktail menu of stunning, playful beverages, plus the spectacle of their fabrication. Don't beach yourself on a couch across the room when you can be up in the bartenders' space, watching them manipulate ingredients, set things on fire and chill glasses with clouds of liquid nitrogen. For added flourish, bartenders tend to spill beads of the chilly liquid onto the bar where they dance like the mercury from a cracked thermometer then vapor up like Halloween effects. Sideshow: No extra charge.
3. Visit on a Monday or Tuesday. There are fewer crowds early in the week, and fewer crowds means a better chance of finding a spot at the bar. It also means that the bartenders have more time to show off.
4. Order wisely. It's hard to go wrong with their cocktail menu, to be honest. The Bazaar, which opened in 2008, has set a tone of creativity, whimsy and luxury that countless other bars continue to strive for. But it's truly shocking how many dudes in khakis walk up and order -- wait. Are you ready for this? Sugar-free Redbull and vodka. From The Bazaar. It's criminal. So if you're going to have an "experience" there, do it it right. Order one of their expertly crafted cocktails and enjoy the flavors, the complexities and yes -- a few extra calories.
As for cocktail suggestions with the most bang: you could start your night off with the LN2 Caipirinha ($20). A waiter trained in the art of Caipirinha (a traditional Brazilian cocktail that's made with cachaça, sugar, and lime) wheels a gilded cart up to your barstool, then whips and mixes the ingredients with liquid nitrogen. The result is a cloud of vapor and a hand-churned frozen concoction garnished with edible flowers and served with a tiny wooden spoon. It's tart, sweet, and pleasantly icy. And yes, very fun to order.
Lead bartender Rob Floyd's Smoke On The Water (blackberries, scotch, Islay mist, flame, $18) was also a favorite, with an assertive tart berry flavor mellowed by the smokiness of the scotch. And ex-Rivera bartender Amanda Gunderson makes a bitters-heavy Mayor of La Cienega Blvd (Angostura, agave, lemon, rum, $16) that is complex and deep - a cocktail that would have fit in perfectly at an opium den.
And if you ask really, really nicely, you may get to try a few reworked garnishes, like a maraschino cherry that's been turned into a "spherification" using an alginate bath, the olive brine "air" that tops their "New Way" Dirty Martini ($16) or our favorite garnish, a tiny Japanese peach, the harvest which Andrés purchases in its entirety. Because when you're José Andrés, you can do that.
5. Try a few nibbles. Tiny Japanese tacos ($10) are wrapped in transparently thin slices of cucumber, stuffed with a sweet lump of barbecued eel and topped with a crunchy chicharron. The chicken and béchamel fritters ($10) were crispy on the outside and creamy inside, and debunked the myth that high end tapas had to be light and unsatisfyingly small. We deemed these little croquettes "chicken pot pie wearing a new outfit." Sophisticated, but filling is the way to go when ordering and sticking to a budget.
And if you're broke but still hungry, there's a Souplantation a few blocks away. No judgment.
Whimsical and Fun! :) Opening Night at The Bazaar (or, The Traditional and Molecular Cuisine of José Andrés) [Review] w/ Pics!
As I stood looking at close to 20 varieties of potted plants, and the utterly playful, bizarre and interesting decor by Philippe Starck, I wasn't quite sure if I was prepared for a night of dining at The Bazaar. Thanks to the extensive and brilliant coverage by Eater LA, I learned about the famous Spanish Chef José Andrés and his newest (and first) endeavor into Los Angeles: The Bazaar (located inside the new SLS Hotel).
As we were waiting to be seated, one of the staff was kind enough to show us around the hotel, and the rooftop Pool Lounge, where Chef Andrés has created some interesting Appetizers and Tapas to enjoy with the gorgeous scenery there.
According to his bio, Chef José Andrés is largely credited with popularizing Spanish Tapas in the U.S., and he studied under the famous El Bulli's Ferran Adrià. Since then, he's opened up some interesting restaurants on the East Coast, and has won a variety of awards such as Chef of the Year by Bon Appetit magazine. For his L.A. debut, his concept for The Bazaar sounded very interesting: He wanted to recreate the experience of eating at a "bazaar," a marketplace where multiple vendors sell different foods to sample.
And with that idea, The Bazaar is made up of multiple sections with completely different themes: Bar Centro (a bar, lounge area), Rojo (a more "traditional" dining area with traditional Spanish Tapas), Blanca (a more modern dining area with modern creations), and Patisserie (for Sweets and Desserts). In addition, they want to have roaming Carts with specialty items being served from time-to-time.
After seeing the lobby and entrance area, I knew this was going to be an interesting evening. :) Stepping inside, I was greeted by a framed video monitor of some fancy-looking maitre d' talking about something and looking very focused. From there, it was a visually stunning and engaging landscape by Philippe Starck. Where XIV was inspired by the chateaus of France during the reign of Louis XIV, The Bazaar felt wonderfully playful and whimsical.
Essentially, The Bazaar has an "open tab" and allows the customer to move from one section to another by informing their server first. The server would prepare a table in the new section reserved just for that party, and move them over, as well as the running tab. I decided to try Rojo first, with its dark wood feel and brilliant red, this was the dining area focused on Traditional Spanish Tapas, but the waitress explained that you could order anything from Blanca at Rojo, and even the fanciful drinks of Bar Centro if you wanted, and they would be brought over to your table.
I started with a signature drink showcasing the "Molecular" (and creative) style of Chef Andres: "Magic Mojito". When I saw the ball of Cotton Candy in a glass arrive, I knew it was only going to get better from here. (^_
) The waitress strained the Mojito over the middle of the Cotton Candy, so that the edges still had the fluffiness. I took a sip (and bite :), and the Mojito washed over the Cotton Candy in my mouth almost simultaneously, and you got this wonderful, fun mixture of textures of the sweet Cotton Candy, with the refreshing Mint and Alcohol of the Mojito itself. It was a great combination and really fun. :)
For starters, the Jamon Iberico de Bellota (Hand-sliced, Acorn-fed, Free-range, Iberico Ham from Spain) arrived first. It was served with Toasted Bread and Fresh Tomato Puree and Spanish Olive Oil (on Marble Plates(!)).
The Iberico de Bellota was simply stunning. There was this gorgeous aroma and taste that went beyond any Iberico Ham I've had in the past. A very clean Pork base, fresh, with a good saltiness that was divine with the sweetness of the Fresh Tomato Puree on Toasted Bread. Outstanding! :)
The next starter arrived from the Blanca section: Olives Ferran Adria. Named after his mentor (and a tribute), this showcased a bit of the "Molecular Cuisine" of Chef Andres, with Olives being pureed and combined with Calcic, before being dropped into an Algin bath which causes the spherification.
It was absolutely fascinating looking at these spheres (I had seen similar creations with the cocktail spheres at Providence), but these were perfectly formed: One bite, and Pop! The pure liquid essence of Olives washed through my mouth. It was really fun and the clean, concentrated essence of Olives in liquid form was a blast as they burst. :)
I decided to try their "Salt Air" Margarita from Bar Centro: Instead of the rim of the glass being layered in salt or sugar, there was a layer of what looked like "foam" on top. When I took a drink, this "foam" dissolved almost instantly, and it was almost like you were inhaling "salt air" with each sip of the Margarita. This was another fun drink, with just the right balance of alcohol to sweet and salty, but I preferred the Magic Mojito more.
Next up was another dish from Blanca: Organized Caesar Salad (with Quail Eggs and Parmesan Cheese).
This was a deconstructed / "organized" Caesar Salad, with the salad being wrapped in ultra-thin Jicama slices, with "Air Croutons." Each bite of these little rolls conveyed the essence of a Caesar Salad, with the grated Parmesan Cheese on top, and a dab of the Caesar Salad Dressing at the bottom of the dish. The final roll contained a Quail Egg to represent the egg normally used in a Caesar. It was cute in concept and tasty, but nothing outstanding.
Their Mozzarella-Tomato Pipettes (with Micro Basil), however, quickly brought things to another level. It was shocking and intriguing to see a plate of bite-sized Cherry Tomatoes punctured through with a little Pipette containing some kind of liquid.
The waitress explained that as you bit down and removed the Cherry Tomato from the Pipette, you should squeeze the Pipette at the same time, releasing the Liquid Mozzarella and Olive Oil mixture. This sounded fun :) - I took a bite and squeezed the Pipette and what you got was the essence of a classic Caprese Salad with the wonderfully sweet Cherry Tomatoes, Micro Basil, and the Mozzarella and Olive Oil Liquid. Really fun and different! (^_^)
Their "New Way" Dirty Martini arrived next. This was a Dry Martini, Olive Spherication, and Olive Brine Air. Like the previous creative drinks, this was a lot of fun: As you drank the Dry Martini, each sip led to some of the "foam" on top of the drink to dissolve immediately and give off a truly Olive-like, Briny aroma!
Back on the Rojo Menu, there's a section called "Latas Y Conservas" where Chef Andres pays tribute to the top-notch canned products of Spain, only here, they basically prepare a variety of fresh seafood and plate it in a clean, empty Can, to make it look like you're partaking in one of the interesting Spanish canned products.
Their King Crab with Raspberry Vinegar arrives first, and the Can presentation is cute and engaging.
The combination of flavors are even more engaging: Fresh chunks of Alaskan King Crab (so sweet and clean-tasting) combine with fresh Raspberries, Micro-greens and a Raspberry Vinaigrette in unexpected ways. The fresh, tart and sweet Berry aromas work surprisingly well with the King Crab. It was different, interesting, and something reflective of the mixing of different aspects to create something unexpected.
Continuing on, the Espinacas a la Catalana (Catalan sauteed Spinach with Apple, Pine Nuts and Raisins) arrived next. I wasn't sure about this dish, but it came highly recommended from the energetic waitress, so I relented. :)
Spinach can be quite mundane at times, but this version was really surprising: I'm not sure how they got the Spinach to become so light and airy(!), but this was like the good essence of Spinach, with the Apple Puree, Pine Nuts, Apple Chunks and Raisins combining to elevate this into one of *the* tastiest Vegetable dishes I've had in a long time. Airy, tender, a great balance of savory and sweet, and juicy(!). Excellent!
The next dish was also from the traditional Rojo Menu: Vieiras con Romesco (Seared Sea Scallops with Tomato-Almond Sweet Pepper Sauce). The Sea Scallops were wonderfully fresh and sweet, but surprisingly, the Tomato-Almond Sweet Pepper Sauce tasted. boring: Mainly salty with some notes of Tomato but little else. I was hoping to taste some Almond or have a spicy kick from the Peppers, or something. The Scallops were great, but the Sauce could've used some adjustments.
Speaking with one of the Rojo Chefs, they recommended another from the Latas Y Conservas (Canning) menu: Mussels Escabeche.
Taking a bite. I suddenly felt all was right in the world. These were absolutely outstanding! (^_^) The fresh Icy Blue Mussels from Canada were so sweet, succulent and tender, bathed in the Escabeche Sauce of Carrots, Onions, Rosemary, Orange Peel, all pureed and then emulsified with Xanthan Gum. I was so happy eating every bite of this dish! :)
Testing out the Bazaar concept, we move over to Blanca, where they focus on the Modern Tapas and Modern Cooking dishes. True to its name, this section of the restaurant is bright and adorned with shades of white everywhere.
Fascinated by the Molecular-style of cooking, I ask if I can watch them make the Dashi "Linguini" with Tomato, Lemon and Caviar. :) The chef explains that they take Agar Agar and combine it with a house-made Dashi Broth, which results in a large "sheet" of gelatinous Dashi.
Then, they take a Pickle Slicer, and cut beautiful, thin slices of this gelatinous Dashi, which results in "Linguini"-like Noodles!
While visually, it looks like translucent, golden "noodles" of some sort, they actually have a texture like a soft Linguini! :) Except, each bite results in a rush of flavor of fresh Japanese Dashi Broth. The bits of American Sturgeon Caviar and Lemon Zest combine to make it another fun, tasty dish, but a bit on the salty side.
Their Tortilla de Patatas "New Way" (Warm Potato Foam with a slow cooked Egg 63 and Caramelized Onions) is another stunner: It arrives in a Martini Glass, and looks more like a fancy dessert than the "Tortillas" dish I thought was ordered.
I take a spoon and dig in, all the way to the bottom and scoop a piece of all the layers: A gorgeously light, airy, creaminess is all I can taste. :) The kitchen uses N02 gas to aerate the Potatoes via a canister, like Whipped Cream, and their "Egg 63" refers to cooking an Egg at exactly 63 degrees Celsius, which cooks the Egg through, but is at just the right temperature to prevent it from hardening up. The result is a super-creamy, soft Egg that's even softer than a Poached Egg.
Their Taylor Bay Scallops with Beet Nitro, Pistachios and Arugula arrives next in wild fashion: The beautiful plate is still "smoking" from the Liquid Nitrogen at the bottom of the dish(!). It looks really cool, and I'm excited to try it. :)
Unfortunately, it's a bit too tart and salty for my tastes: The Liquid Nitrogen crystallized the Beets, and I'm not sure if they were marinated or pickled, but the result of the crystallization is that the Beets tasted surprisingly salty and tart. The Raspberries were mainly tart as well, and while the nuttiness of the Pistachios helped with the overall flavors, there wasn't enough balance.
The final savory course was also from the Blanca menu: Japanese Baby Peaches with Yogurt and Olive Oil. This was described as an "International Dish" with Japanese Baby Peaches, Greek Yogurt, Hawaiian Red Sea Salt, Middle Eastern Za'atar spice, Italian Balsamic Vinegar, and Spanish Olive Oil. :)
This was another amazing dish! The Japanese Baby Peaches had a very delicate, fragrant aroma that was the essence of Spring, and the dish skated the line between savory and sweet perfectly, with the Greek Yogurt and the Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil bathing the Japanese Baby Peaches with little accents of flavors without overpowering. Brilliant. :)
The first dessert was from the Blanca menu: Traditional Spanish Flan with Fresh Cheese and Fruit. The Spanish Flan was decadently smooth and creamy (not very cake-y or harder like some Flans can be). The waiter mentioned that it's because this Flan was cooked at a specific temperature as well (like the Egg 63) which allowed the texture to be so supple and creamy. The liquid Caramel was nice as well.
The surprise was the Goat Cheese "Cream" accompanying the Flan. There were pungent notes of Goat Cheese, but it was blended nicely with Milk and Sugar, and made into a "Whipped Cream" in a way. Eating it with the Flan and liquid Caramel and Berries, it made for a challenging dessert (^_
), and even though I love Goat Cheese, this was maybe a little to strange for me. The Flan itself was outstanding!
Their Beet Meringue with Pistachios and Berries arrives soon after. It's another truly challenging dessert with its play on flavors, textures and expectations: The Beet Meringue(!) is literally Beet essence in Meringue form. Very bizarre and it tastes like salted Beets. However, when combined with the Beet Sorbet, Pistachio Cream and Pistachio Cake, it helps balance things out almost perfectly the Beet Meringue still overpowers the rest of the dish, and I find myself focusing on the Sorbet and Pistachio Cake over everything else. It's definitely creative and interesting, but challenging also.
At this point, I wanted to move to Patisserie and try their "Sweet Little Snacks." :) The Patisserie is led by Pastry Chef Michael Gillet, and it occupies a cute section of the restaurant next to Bar Centro with many of their items in sample form, on display.
The menu is adorable with a pink ribbon binding all the pages together, and Chef Gillet brings out a small sampler of Chocolate-covered Pop Rocks(!) to each new party as they're seated. Imagine the wacky Pop Rocks candy, but covered in Chocolate and when you eat it, an effervescent popping and fizzing occurs with each bite. It's fun and a nice grown-up version of the classic kid candy. :)
The Maldon Salt Chocolate Mini-Tablet arrives first. This is "one of Chef Andres' favorites" according to the waiter and I eagerly try a bite. It's a good-quality Chocolate, literally with some Maldon Salt in each bite, so it's an alternating Salty and Sweet taste. I suppose it's like the situation where people add salt to their Watermelon. it's OK, but I need time to get used to it first.
I order some Gyokuro Asahi Japanese Green Tea at this point. The Tea is very fragrant and light and smooth, and it helps clear the palate between these dessert courses. No complaints. :)
The Hot Chocolate Mousse with Pear Sorbet and Salty Hazelnut Praline arrives just after the Green Tea. The Dark Chocolate used in the Hot Chocolate Mousse adds a slight bitterness, and the Pear Sorbet by itself is refreshing and sweet, but when you scoop it all together (with the little Chocolate Spheres and Hazelnut Praline Cream), it's a perfect match! A really nice combination of flavors and textures (Mousse, Sorbet, Crunchy Spheres, etc.).
The Apples "Carlota", Bread Pudding with Saffron Sauce arrives next. Named after one of Chef Andres' daughters, this is another interesting challenge of flavors: Chunks of Apples with Bread Pudding are fine, with a slight tart sweetness. But then the Saffron Sauce comes into play, and you get this strange, interesting play of the beautiful Saffron herb that I normally associate with savory dishes, mixed in a dessert. It's fun and challenging for me, and overall, I think it works. :)
The final dessert is the Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Apricots and Muscat Gelatin. The key to this dessert (like many of the dishes here) is to taste all the layers in one bite. With that, the luscious Panna Cotta, Apricot flavors and the Muscat combine into a beautiful symphony of sweetness. Nice. :)
Lastly, we moved over to Bar Centro to try one of the roaming carts making a Nitrogen Caparinha. This sounded like too much fun to pass up and it turned out to be really cool! :)
Beverage guru Lucas Paya brings over the cart and I watch in complete fascination as he pours Liquid Nitrogen into a container and then the Caparinha beverage.
The end result was a cocktail drink that you had to eat, instead of drink. :) Topped with Micro-Tarragon and Edible Flowers, the Tarragon went a long way, infusing each chilled bite of the cocktail with a really fragrant herbal sensation. A fun way to end the evening! :)
For the opening night to the public, service was surprisingly good: Plates were cleared away quickly and the servers all seemed to know many things about the menu and each dish ordered. Tapas Plates ranged from $6 - $32 (for a sampler platter), with most dishes averaging
$9. Desserts at Patisserie ranged from .75 - $45 (for an entire Cake), with most desserts about
$12. Our total came out to be
$125 per person (including tax and tip) (and we over-ordered).
The Bazaar turned out to be bizarre at times, but also so much fun! :) While the concept seems like a gimmick (technically at any restaurant you can just order drinks from the bar at your table, and get dessert delivered over), there's something engaging and interesting about physically moving to a new dining area with a completely different setting, and trying other portions of the menu. I'm new to the Molecular Cuisine movement, and while this wasn't as crazy as some of the stuff I've seen on TV, the combination of tasty classic Spanish dishes along with the Modern interpretations is something worth attention. I can't wait to go back to try the Carrilleras de Cerdo con Naranja (Braised Pork Cheeks with California Oranges), or their "Rossejat" de Fideos (Traditional Paella-style Pasta with Monkfish and Shrimp, cooked in a Seafood Broth), but most of all, I can't wait to go back to have more fun with my food. :) The Bazaar was the most fun I've had eating in quite some time.
(inside the SLS Hotel)
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
3. The Bazaar, Los Angeles
Photo by Ernesto Andrade
Jose Andres is the founder of this culinary heaven. The place serves the best Foie Gras in cotton candy and Philly Cheesesteak. The menu here is Spanish styled and is a combination of traditional and modern forms of cooking, embraced by molecular gastronomy. There&rsquos these unique techniques employed, not just to the main course menu, but to the cocktail menu as well, like the "New Way" Dirty Martini, which is a martini with olive brine air and olive spherification. I bet you're trying to figure out these molecular gastronomy recipes, but some of them are top secret!
Address: S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, United States
Catching you off guard are the weirdest restaurants in the world!
MxMo LXXVI: Fire!
Since I’m officially doing the whole blog thing again, I am participating in Mixology Monday, hosted this month by Muse of Doom at Feu de Vie. The theme this month is “Fire”, so I decided to do a video post. I haven’t done one of these before, and to be honest, I’m a little self-conscious. Hopefully it’s cool.
1.5 oz Lavender-infused gin (Beefeater)
.75 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin)
Dash of lemon juice
Dash of simple syrup
Light a teaspoon of lavender on fire and then place a large glass over the smoldering flowers, so that it fills with smoke. Stir the drink and then strain it into the smoke-filled glass.
Big thanks to Muse of Doom for this hosting MxMo with this exciting theme.
Tag Archives: bazaar
The opening night of the Bazaar by José Andrés was supposed to be last Monday (11/10), but was delayed until last night (11/17). The restaurant is described as “a modern-day indoor piazza where guests and locals alike can enjoy pioneering culinary creations and intricately-concocted libations throughout several spaces: Bar Centro, Blanco, Rojo and the Pâtisserie.” It sounds a little intimidating I know, but when you walk in the front door the friendly staff are ready to lead you through the evening… and what a fun evening it was!
There were four of us for dinner, my husband Peter, my sister Janet and her husband Paul (whose birthday we were celebrating). We started off with drinks at Bar Centro, which offers a traditional bar menu and modern “new way” drinks. I ordered the “New Way” Dirty martini with spherified olives and brine “air”. I was really excited to try Ferran Adria’s “liquid olive” and it did not disappoint. If you haven’t seen the video clip of Ferran Adria making the liquid olive at el Bulli, then you may not appreciate it as much as I did. The segment was on Mark Bittman’s “The Best Recipes In The World” show on PBS. Episode 9 titled “The Cutting Edge”. It’s worth searching for online if you missed it.
Between the four of us we shared twenty dishes (including two desserts) from both the Rojo (traditional tapas) and Blanco (modern tapas) menu. In addition to cocktails we also tried the White Sangria (which was fantastic), Spanish Marge wine and then finished the evening with Pedro Ximénez Sherry.
Our server Skyler was fantastic. He was enthusiastic, paid great attention to us and really knew the menu inside and out. Simply said, Skyler was a wonderful guide on our trip through the Bazaar!
My favorite dishes (that I would definitely order again and again):
Philly Cheesesteak Air Bread filled with cheese and topped with Kobe beef $7.00
Mozzarella Tomato Pipettes with Micro Basil. These were so fun to eat! At the same time you bite the tomato, you squeeze the pipette into your mouth, a really tasty combination of olive oil and a creamy liquid mozzarella. $8.00
Organized Caesar with Quail Eggs and Parmesan Cheese . This plate was so beautiful we sort of just stared at it for a minute. There was only one quail egg and I was lucky to grab it! Delicious. $9.00
Japanese Baby Peaches with Yogurt and Olive Oil. Sweet and Tart. $12.00
Olives Ferran Adrià. Our server Skyler scooped out the liquid olives from a jar tableside (below). The plate came with 4 olives, each on it’s own spoon. $10.00 for four “olives”. If you don’t want to spend the $10 for four liquid olives, just order the “New Way” Dirty Martini… it comes with the olive!
Croquetas de pollo – Chicken and Béchamel Fritters. They tasted like chicken and dumplings mixed inside, crispy on the outside. $7.00
Watermelon Skewers with Pedro Ximénez reduction and Tomato Seeds. A GREAT palate cleanser $15.00. Jicama Wrapped Guacamole with Micro Cilantro and Corn nuts (above right) $10.00
Carrilleras de Cerdo con Naranja. Braised Pork Cheeks with California Oranges. $8.00
Gambas al Ajillo. Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic and Guindilla Pepper. $12.00
Patatas Bravas “New Way Jose”. José’s fried potatoes with aioli and spicy tomato sauce. $7.00
Tortilla de Patatas ‘New Way’ – Warm potato foam with a slow cooked egg 63 and caramelized onions. $9.00 (I watched former Top Chef contestant chef Marcel Vigneron make this. It was fun to see him working the foam!)
Bogavante a la Gallega , Galician-style Lobster Medallions with Olive Oil Crushed Potatoes and Smoked Paprika. $15.00
Selection of five cheeses , served with “picos”, Spanish crispy bread, quince jam and almonds and ‘Pa amb’ tomaquet – Toasted sliced rustic bread brushed with fresh tomatoes. The Idiazábal cheese was my favorite. $25.00
Tempura Avocado with Ponzu Air . $8.00
‘Rossejat’ de Fideos, Traditional fried pasta, paella-style with monkfish and shrimp, cooked in a seafood broth. $10.00
Butifarra con ceps y montgetes del gantxet ‘Daniel Patrick Moynihan’. Homemade pork sausage with white beans $9.00
Lomo de corder con patatas y trufas, Lamb Loin with Mushrooms and Potato. $14.00
Desserts: Apples Carlota, bread pudding and Traditional Spanish Flan with Fresh Cheese and Fruit.
Ingredients: Cognac or brandy, orange liqueur (such as Cointreau), lemon juice
Backstory: The sidecar is named after the oddball motorcycle attachment first appeared around the end of the first World War. It’s locational start is a bigger debate, whether that was in a fancy hotel in Paris or a fancy gentleman’s club in London. Either way it was a massive hit, with its use of uniquely French ingredients such as Cognac and Cointreau.
Why it’s a classic: “It’s boozy and acidic with a dry finish. I like to take a page from the brandy crusta and finish it with a half-sugar rim, making it into a sort of deconstructed cocktail. Great aperitif or, if truly in the mood, a perfect nightcap.”—Laboy
2 oz Cognac
¾ oz Cointreau
¾ oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Twist the rim of a coupe into a plate of sugar so it attaches to the glass’s rim. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into sugar-rimmed coupe and garnish with an orange peel.
“Trisol” for crispier, less greasy frying! – Adventures in Molecular Cooking 
“Trisol” for crispier, less greasy frying!
I first learned about Trisol on the Chadzilla website (link below). It’s one of my favorite “molecular gastronomy” blogs and I’m always inspired by the photos and information they post.
“We have been working with incorporating the Adria’s Surpises product Trisol into fried food textures. It’s a wheat starch that can be used in a dry mix with AP flour (70% flour: 30% trisol) or in batters. The great benefit is that it buys time for the chef if the fried product has to sit a minute. This could obviously be seen as advantageous during large groups or parties, but the real advantage is the texture which is amazingly crispy.”
More about Trisol (as noted on La Tienda’s website):
“Trisol : Is a soluble fibre derived from wheat, especially recommended for the preparation of frying batter and tempura, the result being a crunchy, not at all oily, texture. It is also perfect as a substitute for sugar in the preparation of doughs for biscuits. Characteristics: Available in soluble powder form with neutral taste and smell. It keeps tempura crunchy even with the most moist products.”
I immediately purchased the Trisol and when it arrived a few days later, I was surprised to find it came in a bowling bag size tub! The previous Textura products I’d ordered came in cute, little “V8” juice size cans containing just 100 grams in each. The Trisol tub weighed in at 4 kilos (8.8 pounds)! What a great excuse to have a good old fashioned FRY-UP! All in the name of “research” of course.
Trisol Fry-Up Test #1 – Buttermilk Onion Rings.
Using a simple buttermilk recipe, I incorporated the Trisol:
I sliced the onion rings and placed in a large container.
Poured buttermilk over, covered and placed in fridge for about 1/2 an hour.
Next I prepped two bowls of all-purpose flour then added salt & pepper.
Then I added Trisol to each.
In one bowl I had 70% flour to 30% Trisol.
In the other bowl I had 50% flour to 50% Trisol (just to see if there was a huge difference after frying).
I mixed them both (separately) then heated up vegetable oil for frying (to 350 degrees).
I then drained the onion rings from the buttermilk, but reserved the buttermilk in a shallow pan so I could coat each piece twice.
1. Take wet (from buttermilk) onion ring
2. Dredge in flour / Trisol
3. Dip in buttermilk a second time
4. Dredge again in flour / Trisol
5. Fry in batches for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Drain on paper towels and add salt immediately (while still hot).
The first batch I fried were the 30% Trisol (as noted on the Chadzilla site). They were still crispy after I left them sitting on the counter for four hours. GREAT for dinner parties!
T he 50% Trisol were lighter in weight and much crispier of course, but they were almost “too crunchy”.
Trisol Fry-Up Test #2 – Asparagus, Tofu Squares and Mozzarella Sticks.
My sister Janet’s kids loved fried foods. They’re not allowed to have them very often though, because my super-healthy sister does NOT. Needless to say, she was less than thrilled when I showed up at her house carrying the tub of Trisol, for “deep-frying research”.
The twins (ages 13) helped me clean and trim some asparagus and then I asked Janet what things we could grab from the fridge. This is when it got fun! After searching through all the drawers, we decided to fry mozzarella sticks, jalapenos and tofu squares (just for my sister).
We marinated each item separately in buttermilk, then got to the fry-up. This time I decided to test 60% flour to 40% Trisol. Following the same instructions as above, we first fried up the asparagus, then jalapenos, tofu squares, and finally the cheese (in case it oozed).
Janet made a huge garden salad and we sat down to our “Deep-Fried-Enjoy-It-Now” (because it will NEVER happen again dinner)! And what did my marathon-running-healthy-eating sister think of the Trisol? She LOVED it. The fact that it wasn’t so greasy made her enjoy it, and we were all shocked to see her reaching for more.
We dipped some bites in ranch dressing, others in ketchup and ate the asparagus on it’s own. I was surprised how much I liked the tofu, since I had cooked it up especially for my sister, but we were fighting over the last, crispy square. The Trisol did a great job holding the tofu wetness inside and I’m definitely going make agedashi tofu soon.
After trying the three Trisol recipes, I liked the 60/40 combination the best. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) I still have half a TUB (four pounds) of Trisol left, and it’s taking up space in my small kitchen. I really don’t deep-fry too often at home, but I guess I’ll have to plan a few more fry-ups in the near future, all in the name of molecular “research” of course!
Mozzarella Sticks, Tofu Squares, Onion Rings, (jalapeno underneath)
- Fresh orange Cocktails
Add a slice of fresh orange to a rocks glass.
Get some raw sugar cubes, usually found at a store like Whole Foods. If you can’t find cubes, just regular raw sugar works. Add one or two cubes worth of sugar.
Add 2 or 3 drops of orange bitters and a couple of to three drops of Angostura bitters to the sugar. If you’ve got sugar cubes, place the 2 cubes on a cocktail napkin placed on top of the glass after dropping the bitters into the cubes, then dump them into the glass with the orange. The napkin soaks up the surplus bitters. Throw away the napkin.
Add a really few drops of whiskey. Muddle the sugar with the fruit, but not the peel, until the sugar is nearly dissolved. Muddling the peel releases a bitter taste from the rind.
Add 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of whiskey (15-year, 107 proof Pappy VW is that the best). Stir with some good ice cubes. Stir some more.
Add more bourbon if you wish.
How can we make cocktails at homelike a PINK MARGARITA Cocktail?
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The Pink Margarita is very much like a classic margarita except for the addition of a dash of grenadine. The dominant flavors are lime followed by orange, followed by a hint of cherry.
The great thing about The Best Margarita Recipe is that you can literally add all the ingredients at once, in a pitcher, and leave it until you’re ready to serve.
BUT just in case you need a step by step here it is:
Start by making the simple syrup if you don’t have any on hand. Mix 7 ounces of sugar with 7 ounces of water. Microwave until the sugar has dissolved. You should have about 9-10 ounces so there will be a little extra for rimming the glasses.
Now pour all the ingredients into a large pitcher.
Grandfather to the fashionable martini, the Martinez maybe a drink of gin (Old Tom, if you can try Ransom or Hayman’s), Italian vermouth, maraschino or curaçao, and bitters. It is a sweeter drink than the standard dry martini, but the flavour is complex and refreshing. Assembling the ingredients requires some outlay of funds, but if you’re within spitting distance of a good craft-cocktail bar, you ought to be ready to sample one there.
I wouldn’t say a Martinez is on my list of weekly cocktail treats, but I do enjoy one every few months approximately . I consider the drink important not just from a historical standpoint, but also as a glimpse of how diverse the planet of cocktails are often.
- Gin & Tonic
Your favorite drink recipe is here and knows How can we make cocktails at home like Gin & Tonic Cocktail.
London Dry gin, tonic , lime wedge Backstory:
It might seem hard to write down the history of a drink which each ingredient is within the name. Seems self-evident, no? Still, some genius was the primary to mix the 2 , during this case, the clever gents within the army of British Malay Archipelago Company. It wasn’t just a tasty thanks to get their jollies off while bored. With malaria present in 1800s India, the soldiers had taken to mixing the bitter cure-all quinine with water, sugar, lime, and, yes, gin.
“It’s the right , go-to warm-weather drink. the stunning botanicals of a well-made gin combined with an honest quinine and a healthy squeeze of a lime wedge are just what the doctor prescribed.” Laboy Starter recipe:
Gin or vodka, French vermouth , orange bitters (optional for gin, not necessary for vodka) Backstory:
Mr. The bond may have made it a household name, but the foremost famous of all cocktails had been around a century earlier. The sweet vermouth brand Martini appears in 1863, which can lend the drink its name. At an equivalent time, though, in San Francisco , something called the Martinez had become a well-liked local libation. The Martinez not only had gin and vermouth but also bitters and Maraschino. Once those latter two ingredients were stripped away, the classic Martini had emerged. it is a drink so simple that each Martini lover eventually settles on their own preferred recipe, whether it’s one that’s super-dry, way-dirty, on the rocks, or off.
“Elegant botanicals from the gin are rounded out by the French vermouth, then tied together either by a brine-y olive or the citrus essence of a lemon twist. This classic is as elegant because it gets for the mature imbiber.” Laboy Starter recipe:
We presume the cocktail was first poured in Manhattan, but whether that was at the snooty Manhattan Club within the 1870s or in other locales on the isle within the years beforehand has yet to be determined. The drink has always had Italian vermouth, bitters, and whiskey, but over the years that latter ingredient has jumped around between bourbon, rye, and even Canadian Club. As rye made its triumphant return within the last decade, it’s come to rule the roost. And new variants of the easily-made, 2:1 cocktail have also emerged, many with Brooklyn neighborhood names just like the Red Hook and Bensonhurst.
“A Manhattan brings the spiciness of rye balanced by the sweetness of wine vermouth. this is often an excellent entry-level cocktail for the person just discovering American whiskey, yet still a joy for the more developed cocktail consumer.” Laboy Starter recipe:
Here, with the daiquiri, you’ve got what I call an ideal litmus-test cocktail. Whenever I buy a replacement rum, I nearly always want to undertake it two different ways—sipped with touch ice, and mixed into a daiquiri. I find that the lime and sugar during a daiquiri complement the rum and highlight its flavors. I learn more about a few rum mixed into a daiquiri than I treat just sipping it on its own. the sole exception, I find, are rich, funky rums, like rums Agricole. These tend to overpower the opposite ingredients.
A drink backed by a brand and even trademarked, the Dark ‘n’ Stormy still manages to feel hardly corporate while evoking relaxation and island life. The story goes there was an Englishman living in Bermuda who created a dark rum he named after himself Goslings. Also on the small island were Royal Navy officers who liked mixing Mr. Gosling’s rum with the beverage that they had been brewing to assist combat their own seasickness. The drink was delicious, and therefore the intriguing color and appearance of the cocktail led to its fanciful name.
“This may be a year-round, tasty, highball cocktail. Combining delicious dark rum, with spicy, sweet beverage and therefore the acidity of a well squeezed lime wedge, it’s perfect for many all occasions.” Laboy Starter recipe:
An unlikely cousin to the Margarita, the Sidecar falls into an equivalent Sour family because the tequila classic. In fact, once you recognize the way to make a Margarita by memory , you just about skills to form a Sidecar: they’re basically an equivalent drink. One uses tequila and lime, whereas the opposite involves cognac and lemon, but the template is spirit, liqueur , and citrus.
What always amazes me, though, is how the character of the bottom spirit changes the texture of the drink. A Margarita seems like summer to me, drinking al fresco on a bright, warm day. A Sidecar, though, due to the heat and mellowness of cognac, seems like a drink to sip, if not by a fireplace , then definitely during a dark bar on a cool fall night.
These drinks may have a standard pedigree, but they’re as individual as feuding sisters.
Gin or vodka, Rose’s juice (or fresh-squeezed lime juice) Backstory:
While almost as popular today because the others on this list, the Gimlet still remains an everlasting classic, mainly, because it is a piece of cake to form reception . it’s said the name comes from a Sir Thomas Gimelette, Surgeon General of the Royal Navy, who was adding juice to gin to assist his sailors combat scurvy (it seems most British-created drinks were simply made to battle ailments). Unlike other classics that might be ruined with anything but fresh-squeezed juice, the Gimlet specifically involves bottled juice , namely Rose’s, which was available to sailors on long voyages when a sack of fresh-picked limes weren’t.
“The gimlet may be a combination of gin and lime cordial though, lately with fresher ingredients getting used behind bars, fresh juice with slightly of sugar appears too. it’s an ideal , easy-drinking cocktail to enjoy on a summer’s day by the pool.” Laboy Starter recipe:
2 oz gin (or vodka) ⅔ oz Rose’s juice Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a relaxing cocktail glass.
Blanco tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, orange liqueur or triple sec Backstory:
Like most cocktails, Margarita’s origins are also murky, though the tales that have followed it to the present are about as good as it gets. Most place the drink’s creation in Tijuana, its name being a salute to an eponymous woman of one man’s unrequited affections. The best story I’ve heard? That a Tijuana nightclub owner crafted the tantalizing drink to impress a performer named Margarita Cansino who would eventually become famous under her stage name Rita Hayworth. Nowadays, the Marg is often seem as a chain restaurant booze-bomb in a giant blue glass, but like the Daiquiri, when made simply at home it is a balanced, elegant drink.
“It’s a gift from the agave gods. It has stood the test of time by bringing sweetness and acidity into perfect harmony. Whether you prefer it on the rocks or straight up with a salted rim, or even a frozen version on the beach, this is the O.G. party starter.” Laboy Starter recipe:
2 oz silver tequila 1 oz Cointreau 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice Rub a lime wedge over the rim of a rocks glass (or Margarita glass) then twist on a plate of coarse salt so it attaches. Shake the ingredients with cracked ice, then strain into a glass over ice.
If you were to pick the nation’s cocktail capital, New Orleans would need to be at the highest of the list. Sure, NY City and San Francisco have a number of the simplest and brightest bartenders working today, but in terms of history, endurance, and sheer joie de vivre, the large Easy has plenty in its favor.
Credited as being among the primary true cocktails, the Sazerac may be a New Orleans original. As stiff as they are available, it combines rye, absinthe, and Peychaud’s bitters, served, unusually, during a rocks glass without ice. One sip of its hazy, lusty character tells you everything you would like to understand about living a great life.
It’s good to possess a couple of basic drink recipes banked away for those times once you want something cold and refreshing. And when it involves basic, cold, and pleasant, few drinks can beat a cocktail.
The cocktail flowed out of the rum-rich Caribbean overflow a century ago, and its origins go back centuries. Originally an easy combination of a full-flavored rum with juice, sugar, some sort of spice, and many of ice, the cocktail morphed over the decades into elaborate concoctions containing fruit juice, grenadine, several sorts of rum, and so on. The drink is that the common ancestor of all those tiki drinks and punches that are once hipper.
While messing with original recipes is usually disdained within the cocktail world, the cocktail is that the quite laid-back drink that it is best to not get too aroused about.
Feel free to experiment with the essential recipe (this one is from Beachbum Berry Remixed, by Jeff Berry, and was contributed by New Orleans-based rum collector Stephen Remsberg, who has experimented with cocktail recipes for quite 20 years and settled on this version as his favorite), substituting grenadine for a few of the sugar, for instance, or trying a mix of various sorts of rum.
As long because the drink remains icy and refreshing, virtually any edits you create are sure to the computer.
A Manhattan variation that launched a cocktail family of its own. The Brooklyn adapts the formula for a perfect Manhattan, which is rye or bourbon, dry vermouth, and sweet vermouth. The Brooklyn swaps the sweet for a mixture of maraschino liqueur and amaro. Historically, it involved Amer Picon, which is extremely hard to hunt out within us. you’ll use Ramazotti in place of Picon.
In fact, you’ll use many things in place of Picon. If you use Punt e Mes, you have a Red Hook Cocktail, named after the Brooklyn neighborhood. Other Brooklyn nabes lend their names to other Brooklyn variations. The Greenpoint uses Chartreuse (yellow, though, strangely) the Bensonhurst involves Cynar, and thus the Bushwick requires Carpano Antica vermouth additionally to the Amer Picon and maraschino.
My current Brooklyn haunts are Kensington and Ditmas Park, and a quick search doesn’t happen any Brooklyn variants named for those neighborhoods. I should work thereon.