Cheers - September, 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.

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Page 19 of 51 20 • September 2015 of SPIRIT AMERICA Julep Cocktail Club in Kansas City stocks more than 400 bottles of whiskeys. Grane Whiskey Dispensary and Craft Cocktails in Omaha, NE, is a modern-day speakeasy that boasts 500 whiskeys. chain based in Columbus, OH. That includes riffs on classics such as a pecan-infused Manhattan and a Luxardo-Cherry Old Fashioned. The Bourbon Mule is a variation of the Moscow, featured on Mule Mondays. On Whiskey Wednesdays, Rusty Bucket guests can choose any American whiskey for $6. "We get a lot of traction on the promotion, to sample through those whiskeys" says Callicoat. Cocktails at Le Malt are individually crafted tableside at custom-made, retro-styled carts, according to general manager/mixologist Richard Tandoc. One of the bestsellers is the Boardwalk Empire ($14), a twist on the Manhattan, made with bacon-infused Maker's Mark Bourbon and garnished with a crispy slice on top. When a customer orders a whiskey at Le Malt, it is brought to the table, presented, and poured into Glencairn whisky glassware. "Rocks" are slow-melting large spheres of ice; Manhattans and Old Fashioned are garnished with an edible orchid encased in ice. BUY THE BARREL As a river of whiskey fl ows through America's bars and restaurants, it's not enough just to offer a few labels and cocktails. Operators have to think outside the box to catch the interest of consumers and create a point of differentiation. The Rusty Bucket chain buys its signature whiskey by the barrel. Callicoat has set up a private-selection barrel program at Woodford Reserve with master distiller Chris Morris, blending from up to eight different barrels into a single vatting. "Each one of those private-selection barrels is different and unique," Callicoat says. "Once the barrel is empty and you've drained the last bottle, that's it—you can never recreate it." So far, the chain has run through 11 barrels and is blending yet another this fall. The bottles have the Rusty Bucket logo etched in the glass and the label is cobranded as Woodford Reserve Gary's Personal Selection, Batch No. X. For each barrel release, about three times a year, the bar designs a signature cocktail to complement that unique fl avor profi le. At press time, it was Gary's Lemonade, made with Gary's bourbon, shaken with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, orgeat, soda water, simple syrup, and house-made grenadine. Also in the works at Rusty Bucket is to formulate a contracted craft beer to mature in those used barrels as Gary's Private Selection Barrel Bourbon Ale. That project, Callicoat says, "should be super interesting." TAPPING QUALITY AND QUANTITY "Our methodology behind the bar is quality and quantity. That's a niche in the market nobody has taken advantage of," explains Danilo at the aptly named Batch Gastropub. Virtually all of the cocktails are pre-prepped in large batches, then either barrel- aged in custom casks or dispensed at tables from self-serve taps. "By employing kitchen techniques, we can serve higher- quality product in a faster timeframe, and also cut some costs and pass those savings along to our customers," Danilo says. "So we are able to deliver craft cocktails to our guests in 30 seconds instead of fi ve minutes." The company had 50 fi ve-liter barrels crafted for the restaurant, which it uses for maturing cocktails and dispensing house-made sodas. The restaurant's logo features that distinctive barrel as do glassware, T-shirts and other promotional items. "The logo is recognizable, unique and represents our concept," says Danilo. Also unique at Batch are seven tables with built-in taps each dispensing two beers, a cocktail and a spirit. The glycol long- draw systems run on a tablet computer that meters consumption to a tenth of an ounce, knows how many people are seated at the table and when it's Happy Hour time. Offerings change on a regular basis; a spiced cider and whiskey cocktail was one of the recent bestsellers on draft. "Miami is a bottle-service driven area, and these taps are a way of offering that consumption on demand service in a nicer way," explains Danilo.

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