Cheers-Oct 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 14 of 35 15 October 2016 • OBSCURE LIQUEURS Innovative distillers have been concocting some unusual liqueurs. Here are just a few examples. Atholl Brose liqueur, is a recreation of the original Drambuie, according to Dan Smith, general manager of the Queen Mary Tavern in Chicago. With a base of Speyside single malt, Atholl Brose is fl avored with highland herbs and sweetened with honey. One of the primary herbs in Chartreuse is genepy. A new liqueur called Genepy des Alpes is a favorite of bar manager Galen Johnson's at The 404 Kitchen in Nashville. In a similar vein is Three Pins Alpine herbal liqueur from Leopold Bros., which head barkeep Bobby Kramer recently started stocking at the Brickyard Downtown in Chandler, AZ. It's a take on the Czech liqueur Becherovka, he says. "It tastes like Christmas." James Camp, beverage manager at Burlock Coast Seafare and Spirits in the Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale, cites two liqueurs that have caught his attention: Pavan, with a muscat grape base and fl avored with orange blossom, and Chareau aloe liqueur; "it tastes like the desert," he says. "We've been playing around with certifi ed kosher Besamim liqueur from Sukkah Hill Spirits," says Trevor Tyler, beverage director at Eureka Restaurant Group. He is barrel-aging the baking spice-infused liqueur with bourbon. When ready, the cocktail will launch chainwide. —THS Burlock Coast, says Camp. Guests will order nut- or cream-based liqueurs, such as Amaretto di Saronno and Baileys. A new offering is Grind Espresso Spirit. "It represents the collision of the barista world and bartender world, combining rum and espresso." It's ideal for an after-dinner quaff as well as in cocktails, Camp says. Although most liqueurs subordinate to the greater cocktail goodness, there are a few drinks that show off their fi nest qualities. Brickyard makes a Lillet Gin & Tonic called LiGit ($10). The base is Lillet Rose, with just a touch of gin as the modifi er, topped with tonic, says Kramer. "It has a fl oral lightness." Queen Mary Tavern offers a Chartreuse Swizzle ($12), made with the green version as a base, lime and pineapple juices, house-made falernum and rhum agricole used just as a modifi er. The 404 Kitchen offers up the Georgian Victory ($15), made with Rittenhouse rye, Cynar, yellow Chartreuse, peach, black walnut bitters and Angostura bitters. The Cynar and Chartreuse really shine. Ancho Reyes is the prick of fi ery spice in the house cocktail at the Hawthorne called the Thorn and Roses; Hendrick's gin provides the roses, accented by lime and grapefruit juices and cinnamon syrup. A Scotch Manhattan called the Bobby Burns adds a touch of Benedictine that showcases that liqueur's honey spice, says Sadoian. "Cordials and liqueurs are major players in the build of a cocktail, adding complexity; sometimes sugar, sometimes dryness, sometimes herbal," says Jones at Sable Kitchen. "They are a great tool for the bartenders' arsenal to create balance." Thomas Henry Strenk is Brooklyn-based freelance writer specializing in all things drinkable. Eureka Restaurant Group's Holy Smokes! cocktail is made with Leopold Bros. tart cherry liqueur, Buffalo Trace bourbon, maple syrup and chocolate bitters. BACKBAR ESSENTIALS Given the huge number of liqueurs on the market, how do you narrow the selection and stock up when space is tight? Bar professionals offer their picks of the essential six. Orange liqueur. Versatile and useful in a range of cocktails from Sidecars to Margaritas. A range of choices from curacao to triple sec, but many bartenders give the nod to Cognac-based versions. Benedictine. This herbal liqueur created by French Benedictine monks has many fans among bartenders for its complexity. Chartreuse. This venerable liqueur was created by Carthusian monks from a secret recipe of over 130 different herbs, roots and fl owers. Available in Green, Yellow and VEP (aged) versions, many bartenders consider the green to be the most versatile. Maraschino. A liqueur distilled from sour Marasca cherries. Small amounts in a cocktail give maximum effect. It's essential in the classic Aviation. Elderfl ower liqueur. Many refer to this as "bartender's catsup," because of how often it's reached for and the way it can spark up a drink. Crème de Cassis. A sweet, dark-red liqueur made from blackcurrants. Among other uses, it is the queen of Kir Royales. Other liqueurs cited by bartenders as must-haves include amaretto, apricot, crème de cacao, crème de violette, hazelnut, Cherry Heering, Kahlua, Ancho Reyes and Drambuie. —THS

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