Cheers July/August 2016

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 25 of 43 26 • July/August 2016 Blue Duck's chefs that creates more complex fl avors—with the basil muddled into that drink. Other seasonal drinks include the Lady Bird (gin, rosemary, pineapple, verjus and house grenadine); and the 1872 (Bombay Sapphire gin, Lillet Rose, Averna, Carpano Antica, Campari and thyme.) Sushi Samba's locations in New York, London, Las Vegas, Miami Beach and London may be in the same hemisphere, but the weather is quite different. So the London-based head of spirit and cocktail development Richard Woods makes more subtle changes. "What would typically be a summer ingredient for New York might not be for London, and so we work with the kitchen and what they are working toward and see if we can pair drinks with similar fl avors," says Woods. PEAS TO MEET YOU Sushi Samba's spring menu for New York, introduced in May, included seven new cocktails that are ingredient focused rather than based on a particular style of preparation. For example, the Snow Pea GnT, is made with snow pea- and edamame-infused gin, simple syrup and tonic. "This is about having a fresher and lighter direction to the menu, and the snow pea edamame GnT is a cracker of a drink—a lighter and fresher style of drink to emphasize the seasonal changes, not just the ingredients," Woods says He likes working with classics that customers can identify but throwing in changes that take the drinks in new directions, such as the Shishito Pepper Caipirinha and the Miso Mule, made with miso sugar, lime, coconut cream and ginger ale. "Sometimes some of the best drinks in the world have just been too much of a stretch for people to get their heads around," Woods says. "It's better to start from the classics, and things they know." Peas seem to be a favorite in recent spring drinks. At Dante in New York, Naren Young offered the Spring 2016, made with Ford's gin, manzanilla sherry, absinthe, St. Germain, lime juice, lemon thyme syrup, verjus and muddled snap peas, fi nished with a nasturtium leaf. THE LIGHTER SIDE Drink program changes at Forgery and Wildhawk, both owned by Plumpjack Group, changes tend to be subtle, says Jacques FIVE TIPS FOR SEASONAL DRINK MENUS The Hawthorne in Boston changes its drink menu even more often than with the four seasons. Bar manager Jared Sadoian shares a few tips on his inspiration for and execution of seasonal cocktails. 1) Listen to your chefs. They have a fi nger on the pulse of fresh fruits, vegetables and the like, and they'll know what's good and when. You'll also have a better idea of what they're planning to use in the kitchen. 2) Tap into vendors. Your gourmet and specialized food suppliers can also provide insight on culinary seasonality and give you some ideas for drinks. For example, one of our vendors, Specialty Foods Boston, will often send a newsletter attached to our invoices that lists out "fresh" or "new" items. These can be a good starting point when I'm creating a seasonally focused cocktail menu. 3) Try a gradual shift into seasons. All of the great fruits and vegetables that come onto the market don't follow our traditional four seasons to a T. We are lucky at The Hawthorne to be able to change our menu more than four times a year, which allows a little bit more of an "ebb-and-fl ow" to the cocktails changing over time. So instead of having to create seven new cocktails for one major "summer menu," and potentially missing some key fl avors of the summer just a few more weeks out, we can do one or two cocktails at a time. This gives our guests a reason to come back to sample new surprises throughout the season. 4) Extend seasonal fl avors with shrubs. Drinking vinegars or shrubs are one of my favorite ways to preserve fl avors and transport our guests to a different place. Imagine fresh peaches—picked at the peak of ripeness in the summertime—packed with sugar and apple cider vinegar and turned into a beautiful, acidic and fl avorful shrub. These shrubs can be used in the dead of winter, when the only "seasonality" we have in the northeast are root vegetables. 5) Balance your menu. Make sure your seasonal offering includes different styles of drinks. For instance, summer often brings to mind cold, shaken and citrus-driven refreshments, but an entire menu of these cocktails can become monotonous. You might try adding in a stirred, fl avorful yet low- ABV offering. Sherry is the best at this game: a crisp manzanilla or fi no works great, and keeps the proof down so guests can have several.—MD "SOMETIMES SOME OF THE BEST DRINKS IN THE WORLD HAVE JUST BEEN TOO MUCH OF A STRETCH FOR PEOPLE TO GET THEIR HEADS AROUND…IT'S BETTER TO START FROM THE CLASSICS, AND THINGS THEY KNOW." — Richard Woods, head of spirits and cocktails at Sushi Samba

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