To enter each bartender created a unique cocktail inspired by the theme: Your Vision of the Latest Cocktail Trends.
Check out FIVE West Coast Finalists of the Bartenders Society Cocktail Competition, who will battle it out against FIVE East Coast Finalists (to be announced this week) this Friday, September 2, 2023, for a chance to win a trip to Paris!
I was inspired by all the waste that happens in our industry and how we can help change that carbon footprint. Waste can come from all things encompassing bartending but when I learned it comes from our citrus waste, I immediately looked for alternate ways to make cocktails bright without the use of citrus. I learned that acid adjusting combine with lacto fermentation brings upon a bright and balanced lingering cocktail. So, I went down the rabbit hole and came up with this cocktail. Use of four days lacto-fermentation and combined it with some acid adjusting using citric, malic, and tartaric acid I created a purée. I then used the rest of the purée to make pancakes on the side as a garnish. No waste was produced as I used the skins of the mango as infusion for a cocktail perfume I’m creating for later use. I wanted to create something producing no waste and keeping up with the sustainability that Saint James so proudly represents.
- 1 1/2 oz Saint James Rhum Vieux Agricole
- 1/2 oz Marie Brizard Madagascar Vanilla liqueur
- 1 1/2 oz Acid adjusted lacto-fermented mango purée*
- 1/2 oz Coconut syrup
- 1 oz Coconut milk
- 1 Egg whites
Preparation: Combine all ingredients into mixing tin. Dry shake. Add ice and shake well. Strain into short Collins glass (milk glass). Dust ground cloves. **Serve with mini mango pancakes.
*Acid adjusted lacto-fermented mango puree:
- 5mg citric acid
- 15mg malic acid
- 2mg tartaric acid
- 1 Diced organic mango with 2% kosher salt by weight fermented non-refrigerated for 4-5 days and fill with water by same weight of mangoes
Preparation: Strain mangoes from brine. Put mangoes, acid mix and half of brine into blender. Blend to make purée. Strain mixture to get mango purée juice.
**Mango pancake biscuit recipe:
- 50 mg unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup pancake mix
- ½ cup mango purée
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 oz Marie Brizard Madagascar Vanilla liqueur
The Un Tiki
I love drinks that are fun and unpredictable. This cocktail has a lot of tiki ingredients and a very tiki garnish, nevertheless it tastes pretty UnTiki! I think clarified punches are a big trend, not only because they are delicious, but because they are shelf stable, and help in limiting waste of fresh squeezed juices, plus save time during busy dinner rush. Can be bottled and sold to go (trend that developed after Covid pandemic). Of course, I had to cater to Los Angeles vegan crowd—played with nondairy milk, and coconut cream ended up being my choice (was an obvious choice I guess).
Saint James Rhum Vieux has a big flavor, spices, oak, and I think it pairs nicely with a little bit of absinthe; and mint, apricot and pineapple go along great with those two. The result ends up being bold and strong enough for clarification process to only make it rounder without losing complexity. Grated nutmeg smell gives your senses a nice wakeup call and works perfectly with the drink. Pineapple fronds are always a great garnish that comes free (us trying to take care of the planet and all), and a fun little nod to all the tropical ingredients.
- 1/2 oz Marie Brizard Apry Liqueur
- 1 1/2 oz Saint James Rhum Vieux
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 1/4 oz mint syrup*
- 1 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz absinthe
- 1 oz coconut cream (for clarification)
Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a vessel with a big surface area (like a deli cup), then warm up coconut cream to 140-150 degrees in a microwave, and then slowly pour fresh lime juice and coconut cream into the mixture at the same time. Let it sit for an hour in room temperature, and then leave overnight in the fridge, so curds can form. Strain very slowly through a double coffee filter. Might need to strain twice (through the same curds) to achieve needed clarity. Pour over large ice cube. (It’s easy to make a batch of this cocktail and keep it in the fridge). *Mint syrup prep: 200 grams simple syrup 10 grams mint (5%) Throw mint into a pot of boiling water for a minute, then throw mint into an ice bath. Pour simple syrup and blanched mint into a blender, blend, strain out with a cheese cloth.
One Night in Yuzu
My inspiration behind “One Night in Yuzu” arrived from the senses that are tantalize while drinking a cocktail. A cocktail can have aromatics that bring you to a certain memory, invigorate your taste buds with nuances of florals, citrus, and zing. It can be a showstopper, sexy, to the point or even classic in essence. Through the pandemic, our industry was shattered. The artistic outlets that we once had was taken from under our feet. Many people embarked on this outlet of creativity, learning basic techniques to complex recipes. This ignited a passion for mixology across the world, especially for non-experienced mixologist. We all became better artists in that regard. As most did, I spent my time geeking out on technique, history, and of course playing! In that time, I stumbled upon the deliciousness of yuzu. It was bright, citrus forward, and was versatile. Being that tiki is a top trending genre, I began working on the Smugglers Cove book, digesting everything tiki. I decided to try and make a tiki cocktail using yuzu. After many fun nights of trial and error, I decided to embark on the above-mentioned recipe. I wanted something that supported Rhum Agricole, was balanced, and was sexy! It also had to be delicious for my wife to enjoy. The French are known for being sensual, from food and drinks to cityscapes, and I knew i wanted to reflect that in this cocktail. I run a sustainable bar program, so I knew I wanted this to a part of the cocktail as well. From straw straws to our citrus, we source and dehydrate, we are conscious of sustainability in our bar program, just like the notorious St. James Rhum label. As we minimize our footprint and realize that we can make small sacrifices to promote the longevity of our earth! This is a drink I can cheers to!
- 1 1/2 oz St. James Rhum Vieux Agricole
- 1/2 oz Marie Brizard Yuzu Liqueur
- 1/2 oz Yuzu Juice Marugoto Shibori
- 1/2 oz Grapefruit juice
- 1/4 Fresh pressed apple juice
- 1/2 oz Peppercorn and Tarragon Simple
- 2 dash Bittercube Bolivar Bitters
- 1 atomized spitz of Marie Brizard Elderflower Liqueur
- Orchid, pineapple fronds, amernea cherries (for garnish)
Preparation: Start with you ice bag, filling with ice, and bang it until the ice is formed into pebbles. Move ice into a small Collins and set aside for next step. This is where technique come to play: Add all ingredients into a shaker tin and shake sensually, rolling the liquids as softly as a Frenchman whispering in your ear! DO NOT BRUISE! Majestically, yet professionally, pour the perfectly diluted cocktail into your pre-iced Collins. Wink at somebody while doing so…. then high five yourself for crushing it! But wait, you’re not done. Garnish with an orchid that represents the flower of life, a couple amerena cherries, because they are worth every penny, and a pineapple fronds.
The pandemic has changed certain trends in the cocktail world, and I see that we have moved back to the classics and riffs. On the other side of that coin, I have noticed a smaller growing trend again of cocktails that are no waste and culinary driven, with a focus on simplicity. The cocktail inspiration here was to reduce the use of things that have a lower shelf-life expectancy or that do not have a dual use. The flavors are culinary driven, but also simple to replicate at home. With the shortage of staff in the industry, with recession and the cost of goods going up, and with the new shift to “no waste cocktails”, this is an attempt to find solutions to our new reality and accommodate the challenges. The Sacre Verte is an easy to make drink with little waste; the olive oil is made from the cilantro incorporated into the drink. One has other uses for the items in this cocktail that would otherwise not be as shelf stable as other ingredients. The other ingredients, of course having a longer life expectancy and better control for flavor are citric and malic acid solution. Each ingredient targeting being under four steps to make and short time infusions (Marie Brizard falernum with fennel pollen). This cocktail’s elements are something easy to produce at a bar with little staff, or for the home bartender who just needs to order a few ingredients that they can then use for their home cooking as well! The flavor is complex, delicate, and elevated. Yet its simplicity allows anyone to make this and enjoy the Sacre Verte (sacred green)!
- 2 oz. Saint James paille Rhum
- 1/2 oz. Marie Brizard Falernum, fennel pollen infusion*
- 8 dashes citric acid solution**
- 8 dashes malic acid solution***
- 9 well sized cilantro leaves
- Interchangeable: three cilantro oil drops**** and a small fennel pollen rim (for garnish)
Preparation: Shake with ice, double strain in a Nick and Nora glass, garnish with fennel pollen on small section of glassware rim, a little goes a long way, and/or with three cilantro oil drops. **Citric Acid 10%: 1st step: 10 grams Citric Acid, 2nd step: 90 grams distilled water, Mix well, store in dasher bottle. ***Malic Acid 10%: 1st step: 10 grams Malic Acid, 2nd step: 90 grams distilled water. Mix well, store in dasher bottle.
*Marie Brizard Falernum Fennel pollen infusion:
- 2 oz Marie Brizard Falernum for 31 grams of fennel pollen. Let sit for a day. Because fennel pollen is very flavorful, potent, and can be expensive, you just want a light touch on the liqueur. I made the amount based on serving ratio, but you can scale up for this depending on serving amounts.
Mainly just an optional garnish for an extra nose of cilantro on a delicate drink. But this oil can be stored in a dropper and used for other applications such as soups, in bigger production dressings, etc.
- 2 cups packed cilantro
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Preparation: Liquify in blender, filter strain all large particles out to get the blended oil.
Practice What You Peach
Whilst starting my bartending career in Phoenix, AZ, the amount of knowledge this town offers leaves me grateful every day. Few trends that I see occasionally in the industry here, is the use of a full proof spirit that is slightly flavored with no added sugars, to be used as a modifier. It really enhances cocktails by not making the cocktail overly sweet and still packed full of flavor. I, for one, am not one for the use of egg whites in a cocktail due to the unique flavor that sometimes overpowers a drinks aroma and consumers pallet. I have grown to fall in love with using Aquafaba Foam out of an iSi to create an even bigger head on a drink with more flavor and more volume to dip your nose into and enjoy. This cocktail has the beautiful notes of elderflower and lavender that give an herbaceous balance with the Ketel One Grapefruit & Rose. Pairing with the Rhum, peach gives the cocktail a slight sweetness but also juicy mouthfeel that subsides with a slight sharp lime finish. The lick of the bright, citrusy foam, aromatics of the lavender and fresh peach followed with a crushable full-flavored juice … it will be hard to put down. Cheers.
- 1 oz Saint James Rhum Paille
- 1/2 oz Ketel One Botanicals Grapefruit & Rose Vodka
- 3/4 oz Marie Brizard Elderflower Liqueur
- 1/2 oz homemade yellow peach syrup*
- 1/4 oz homemade ginger syrup**
- 1/2 oz lime juice Topped with an ***Orange Peach Lavender Aquafaba foam (iSi)
- Sprinkled dried lavender and peach fan (for garnish)
Preparation: Build all ingredients (except foam) and shake with ice. Double strain over Collins ice in tall Collins ice. Top with foam, dried lavender, and peach fan.
- 3 cups fresh cut yellow peaches
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
Preparation: In a medium size sauced pan combine all ingredients on medium / medium high heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved, once dissolved, bring to a rolling boil and remove from heat. Let cool for 30 minutes. Strain into syrup bottle and place in fridge until ready for use.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup of fresh ginger root – peeled and chopped thinly.
Preparation: In small saucepan, combine sugar and water on medium up and stir constantly until dissolved, then add ginger to pan and slowly stir and bring to boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and let ginger infuse, or steep in simple syrup for at least 20 minutes. Strain and add to syrup bottle. Store in fridge until ready for use.
- 6 oz chickpea brine
- 4 oz orange juice
- 2 oz yellow peach syrup (see recipe above)
- 2 oz lime juice
- 2 tbs dried lavender petals
Preparation: Add all ingredients to iSi whipper chamber and seal lid securely. Insert first charger and let completely empty into chamber, remove, and add a second one. Shake and keep second charger on iSi and use foam to fill space in cocktail glass for aromatics and additional flavor.