Todd’s cocktail list last year made quite a number of waves in the industry as a “secret/awesome cocktail program.” Well, in the last year, the long list has gone from 75 drinks to over 120! Beers on page 29!
Todd and I have been doing a lot of experimentation with kitchen-driven mixology. Here’s a list of some of the things we’ve had great success with.
- Manipulating citrus (searing limes, etc). See the Thursday Conversation, Flaming Paco (slide #6), Mary Collins, Modern Fashioned.
- Smoke for glass (or ice) preparation. See the Tahitian Milk Punch, Frank-O, Smoking Cinnamon, Spring in the Afternoon.
- Ice as garnish/a new way to experience cocktails. See the Todd Collins, Bullseye Gin & Tonic, Enter The Dragon, and Wong’s Grog.
- Flash infusions of vegetal and herbal ingredients. See the Spring in the Afternoon.
- Working with fresh sugar cane and its juice. See the Clio Le Ti’ Punch and Scot Collins.
- Clarifying citrus juice via centrifuge. See the Clarified Gin Gimlet.
- Clarifying sugar cane juice via centrifuge. See the Makahiki.
- Thickening citrus impurities and making paint. See the Clarified Gin Gimlet and the Makahiki.
- Using kitchen/pastry techniques and hydrocolloids to create textures, both in the glass and on garnish. See the Makahiki.
One thing that has been ultra ultra cool is how well the chefs respond to, and are even influenced by, our cocktails and ingredients. A few months ago, I brought in a selection of Cape Verdean grogues for Todd to try in the Clio Ti’ Punch. Chef de Cuisine Doug Rodrigues happened to taste the grogues, and ended up working with a grogue for his tasting menu: White salmon poached in fresh sugar cane water, tahini, bamboo shoots, long pepper, periwinkle, pineapple, and Cape Verdean grogue.
In fact, there are two elements on that plate that came from the bar: the sugar cane juice, which is produced by throwing long stalks of sugar cane into “Rosie” (our sugar cane extractor), and the grogue. Totally awesome!!!