Cheers May 2014

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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Page 36 of 51 37 MAY 2014 | Like a quick change artist or a shape shifter, the latest summer sips are able to deftly transform, right before your eyes. So-called morphing cocktails—whose aroma and flavor profiles change as guests sip them due to the effect of infused ice cubes melting in the glass—enable guests to sample several libations in one. And because these trendy cubes contain liqueurs, spirits or juices instead of just frozen water, the longer the drinks sit on the bar top, the more interesting and flavorful they become. "e appeal of morphing drinks is that you don't have to drink four cocktails in order to get a diverse experience for your palate," says Derek Lewis, general manager of food and beverage for Kachina Southwestern Grill. e 210-seat restaurant and bar in Westminster, CO, specializes in cuisine with Mexican, pioneer and Native American influences. "Our guests can get a range of sensations over time, as well as an interactive experience," he says. e Diplomat cocktail ($9) at Kachina has house-smoked ice cubes, made by placing a vessel of water in the smoker for 90 minutes, before cooling and straining it, and freezing it in large ice cube trays. e drink stirs house-aged Republic tequila, Solerno blood orange liqueur and Domain de Canton ginger liqueur, served over a smoked cube. Lewis says while dilution is part of making any great drink, overdoing it will mute the flavors and destroy a drink's balance. But with morphing cocktails, dilution adds flavor. "One of the best parts about drinking a great wine is how the flavors evolve in your glass," he notes. "e smoked ice cube is how we chose to translate that into a cocktail." He says guests often order a second one to see how sipping the drink at a different rate changes it. FUN AND FUNKY Slowly melting ice has the potential of transforming a cocktail into a different drink entirely. At Casa Luca, an Italian restaurant in Washington, D.C., the Il Palio cocktail ($12) morphs from one classic sip to another. e drink stirs Maker's Mark bourbon, Cocchi vermouth and a healthy dash of orange bitters over an ice cube infused with Campari, all garnished with a wide orange peel. e drink starts as a Manhattan; as the Campari ice melts, it changes into a Boulevardier. "Our guests love this drink, from the stunning color of the Campari to the way the drink transforms itself," says owner/ chef Fabio Trabocchi. "It's sophisticated, delicious and fun." Trabocchi admits that there is decidedly a novelty factor with this style of drink that appeals to guests, but flavor is paramount. "It can't just be a gimmick. It has to elevate the experience for the guest," he says. At Filini, a 150-seat contemporary Italian restaurant and bar in Chicago, bartender Ergys Dizdari created the Morphing Juniper ($12). e cocktail combines Bombay Sapphire gin, Carpana Antica sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur, GREG POWERS The Grapefruit-A- Go-Go at Second Home Kitchen + Bar in Denver morphs from a Martini to a Greyhound-like drink. 36-39 morphing summer cocktails CH0514.indd 37 5/7/14 10:40 AM

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