Cheers March 2013

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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SCENE By Kelly A. Magyarics Lure Reels 'Em In With Shochu and Seafood Atlanta fish house boasts an eclectic beverage program The Your Money, My Looks cocktail is one of Lure's punch-bowl potables. 16 | MARCH 2013 made with Aperol, Jim Beam, prosecco, honey and rosemary; and Pre-Siesta, with Almond Horchata, honey, El Jimador Blanco Tequila, Bénédictine, Kronan Swedish Punsch Liqueur and allspice. "While they aren't ever going to land on every table, they have great application and impact for large parties and those looking specifically for an alternative cocktail experience," says Stratigos. Lure sells two to four punch bowls per evening. SHOCHU AND PREMIXED, BOTTLED SIPS Elsewhere on the Lure drinks menu, shochu is described as "somewhere between a martini and a glass of white wine." Stratigos deems shochu—a clear, distilled Japanese spirit similar to vodka—perfect for the delicate nuances of a seafood experience. Though he sees shochu as highly mixable, Stratigos strives to honor the purity and subtle differences among brands, while positioning the spirit as approachable to guests. Eschewing shochu-based cocktails, Lure serves eight offerings, priced at $9, with specific accompaniments that complement the aroma and flavor profile of each. The "light, floral and very clean" notes of Hakutake Shiro "White Mountain," for example, are a perfect match with coconut water and bark. Most popular has been Kannoko "God River," a Scotch-like shochu selection aged in used oak barrels that's served with burnt orange and an Amarena cherry. Premixed cocktails on tap have been a recent drinks trend; Lure twists it by selling premixed, bottled libations. "We really wanted to creative fun, engaging ways for guests to enjoy a cocktail and at the same time demystify SUONG NGUYEN T o create the beverage program for Lure, a 170-seat modern fish house in Atlanta, beverage director Vajra Stratigos took a unique approach. "Years ago, it was the industry standard for a beverage program to be inextricably aligned with the cuisine served from the kitchen," he explains. "The current trends across the country seem to be leaning toward [beverages] creating their own separate identity apart from the cuisine." The culmination is an eclectic mélange showcasing communally served sips, effervescent bottled cocktails and a ubiquitous Japanese spirit. Lure always offers three different punchbowl drinks, which are available in two sizes, serving two to four (priced at $40) or five to eight ($80) guests. Though at first glance the price appears a bit steep, Stratigos points out that a maximum portion of 9 oz. per patron makes the average cost per person more reasonable. To maximize versatility, management offers a classic punch, a trendy riff and one with an in-house innovation. Lure's punch potables have included Your Money, My Looks,

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