Cheers June 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 34 of 51 35 JUNE 2014 | T he era of the supersize Martini has faded, as modern bars now offer cocktails in manageable portions that won't get warm or diluted before the last sip. e pendulum is also swinging in the opposite direction when it comes to drink potency: less is more. Guests are increasingly requesting lower-alcohol cocktails, as they pair more seamlessly with food, and keep the imbiber clear-headed throughout the evening—and during the drive home. Bartenders are creatively using aromatized and fortified wines, amari, bitters and distinctively flavored liqueurs to mix up delicious sips with just a little kick. "A strong cocktail can knock out the palate, but a low- alcohol cocktail, with a nice balance of bitter and acidity, serves as an aperitif," says Eben Klemm, who consulted on the cocktail program for Pearl and Ash, a 62-seat American restaurant in New York's Bowery neighborhood. Klemm points out that the restaurant's primary beverage focus is wine director Patrick Cappiello's extensive and exciting wine list, so cocktails need to preserve guests' palates for what's to follow. Pearl and Ash offers six low-alcohol drinks, including the Television Tonic ($13), which mixes Bugey de Cerdon sparkling rosé from France with Byrrh Grand quinquina and strawberry. e savory Murder on the Ebullient Express cocktail ($12) includes white port, Bonal, celery and lime. Ryan Goodspeed also sees the aperitif appeal in low-alcohol drinks. "I think it's important to offer something light and refreshing without the full commitment to a high-alcohol drink," says the beverage director for the five concepts of chef Michael Schwartz's Miami-based e Genuine Hospitality Group. Genuine's 42-seat "Old Florida"-inspired restaurant e Cypress Room offers three low-alcohol cocktails priced at $11 each. e Go Lightly tops Cocchi Americano and St. Germain with sparkling wine, garnished with a lemon peel; the fizzy and whimsically-coined Sippy Cup combines Aperol, lemon, simple Light and Lively Low-alcohol cocktails provide flavor without fuzziness By Kelly A. Magyarics The Sippy Cup cocktail ($11) at The Cypress Room. 34-38 low alcohol CH0614.indd 35 6/3/14 9:43 PM

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