Posts Tagged ‘mixologists’

Bourbon Cocktails Make a Comeback – But With a Twist

January 5, 2012

Is it any wonder that bourbon cocktails have made a comeback? The hipster mixologists are always looking for a twist on a classic cocktail. The popularity of the hit AMC show Mad Men hasn’t hurt the sales for bourbon either. So come with us as we put the martini back up on the shelf and get down and dirty with some Kentucky distilleries.

Whiskey Sales at an All-Time High

According to the President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Eric Gregory, distillers in Kentucky are having a hard time keeping up with the production of whiskey. In fact, whiskey distilleries in the South have spent well over $150 million to in an effort to expand the Bourbon industry.

What was once considered an inferior version of Scotch is now gaining respect and reverence with a new generation of drinkers.  Bourbon is now a first-class choice in cocktails because of its broad range of flavors and ability to mix well in cocktails.

Whiskey Cocktails Make the Specialty Cocktail List

The new generation of Millennials is returning to the classic days of Old Fashioneds and Manhattans, but with a modern twist. So what does a twist on these classics entail?

Let’s take the classic Manhattan on the rocks. Instead of the well whiskey and maraschino cherry juice with a dash of sweet vermouth, go grab a bottle of Maker’s Mark. Now mix it with Luxardo maraschino liqueur and mix it with a dash of orange bitters and serve it in a martini glass.

If a Manhattan doesn’t float your boat, let’s do down south and tinker with the Kentucky Derby classic, The Mint Julep. This is typically made with Wild Turkey and there’s nothing wrong with that! Go ahead and muddle the mint, but instead of the classic simple syrup, why not spruce it up with vanilla bean syrup and make it a specialty drink? Now serve it in a nice frosty Tom Collins glass. Perfection!

Cooling Customers during Hot Summers with Creative Coffee Mixology

May 24, 2010

As spring heats up and summer approaches the minds of mixologists and restaurateurs turn toward the best, most creative options for keeping their clientele cool throughout the hot, summer months. An inventive few are leveraging our nation’s coffee obsession by combining the caffeinated beverage with cool and refreshing liquids.

Cold-Brew Coffee
According to a tasting conducted by the crew at Chicago’s Metropolis Coffee Company a cold-brew coffee method known as the Toddy, was voted the hands down favorite of the various brewing methods sampled. This brew method was named after its inventor Todd Simpson, a chemical engineer who, in 1964, pioneered the cold-brew coffee method in order to reduce the bitter, acidic qualities associated with hot coffee.

The Toddy method calls for cold-brewing the beans over a period of twelve to twenty-four hours in order to achieve a smooth, mellow concentrate that can be refrigerated for several weeks. It’s this cold-brew coffee method which allows baristas to serve their customers a fresh tasting cup o’Joe every time simply by adding water or milk to the rich, concentrated liquid.

Coffee: It’s not Just for Baristas Anymore
It’s not just baristas who are serving cold-brewed coffee, mixologists too are coming up with their own creative concoctions. For example, at Chicago’s the Wit Hotel mixologist Jonny Abens uses Van Gogh espresso vodka to spike iced espresso for his café pomme di hollande drink. In San Francisco, California Scott Beattie came up with the espresso martini by adding vodka to the dark, caffeinated liquid.

Arabica Beans or Bust
Regardless of whether it’s hot espresso or some cold version of the beverage, using high quality Arabica beans is a must. Failing to do so will result in an inferior coffee drinking experience. According Giorgio Milos, an Italian Master Barista with illycaffe, even the novice connoisseur will appreciate the flavors available only in high quality Arabic coffee beans.