Cheers March 2015

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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 59 Ah, the gar nish. Part decoration, part cocktail ingredient, it's often the fi rst thing a customer notices when a drink is set in front of him or her. In the case of over-the-top, whimsical or artistically inspired adornments, garnishes can tempt with striking visual appeal. A smacked sprig of a fresh herb, or the oil from a swath of orange or lemon peel can offer up intoxicating aromas as the glass is lifted. And of course, a zesty squeeze of lime or a salt-crusted glass adds to a cocktail's fl avor with each sip. Unlike the dark days of cocktails, when puny, half-dried-out lemon slices or bright red, artifi cially fl avored cherries ruled the condiment tray, today's garnishes are an integral part of a great drink. "The right garnish completes a cocktail and enhances the more subtle fl avors," says Taha Ismail, the beverage director for the fi ve restaurants of the Washington, D.C.- based Mike Isabella Concepts. He's seen an uptick in savory garnishes, including herbs, oils and vegetables such as radishes and green peas. Ismail's Smile Like a Donut cocktail ($13) at Greek restaurant Kapnos mixes Beefeater 24 gin with Idoniko brandy and house-made grapefruit tonic, garnished with dill, juniper berries and dehydrated grapefruit. The Hannibal ($12), served at the company's new Greek restaurant Kapnos Taverna, shakes up mezcal, Curaçao, lime juice and ginger, fi nished with a chili oil fl oat. How does Ismail select garnishes? "Stick to the fl avor profi le of the drink and maintain a balance, making sure the garnish doesn't upstage the cocktail," he advises. To assure that the drink—rather than the garnish—is front and center, design a tipple's adornment according to how many ingredients it has. "If your drink [has] a simple one or two ingredients, it's because you are supposed to be enjoying those two ingredients," says Richard Ellman, owner and mixologist of the 137-seat global cuisine restaurant Oak in Dallas. THINKING BEYOND THE CITRUS Citrus has always been a favorite tipple topper among bartenders, as it can add a refreshing, mouthwatering squirt of acidity—or more depth of fl avor from the peel's essential oils. But some bartenders now eschew the traditional forms in favor of more creative fl ourishes. "Instead of your simple lime wedge on a Margarita, try a kaffi r lime leaf," says Ellman. "It will have the added zest necessary to the nose of the drink, without overdoing the citrus on the palate." He also recommends creative touches, such as torching a lemon to add a touch of smoke to a sip, and creating candied lime wedges to better balance citrus and sweet. Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen in Morristown, NJ, uses dehydrated fruit for By Kelly A. Magyarics Chicago restaurant Travelle offers a vodka Martini garnished with olives stuffed with caviar and a spritz of truffl e mist. Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen in Mor- ristown, NJ, serves its Pizza Connection amaro cocktail with a dehydrated lemon chip fl oated on top to resemble a pizza. "The right garnish completes a cocktail and the more subtle fl avors." e n h a n c es 43 March 2015 •

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cheers - Cheers March 2015