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Flavor Fall 09

Flavor Fall 09

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Published by applejak
Seasonal menus may be nothing new in cutting-edge
restaurants, but in bars pioneering the American
cocktail revolution, the range of cyclical possibilities is still being explored. In fact, the changes bartenders install as the weather goes from balmy to blustery may
be the most dramatic of all.
Where classic cocktails
Seasonal menus may be nothing new in cutting-edge
restaurants, but in bars pioneering the American
cocktail revolution, the range of cyclical possibilities is still being explored. In fact, the changes bartenders install as the weather goes from balmy to blustery may
be the most dramatic of all.
Where classic cocktails

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Published by: applejak on Nov 20, 2009
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08/30/2012

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In keeping with the season,a martini takes an autumnal turn with Absolut Pears vodka, with fresh pears androck-candy flecks as garnish.
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 www.flavor-online.com
Fall 2009
FLAVOR 
THE MENU
127
S
easonal menus may be nothing new in cutting-edgerestaurants, but in bars pioneering the Americancocktail revolution, the range of cyclicalpossibilities is still being explored. In fact, the changesbartenders install as the weathergoes from balmy to blustery maybe the most dramatic.Where classic cocktails reign,featured drinks tend to getstronger, darker and heavier asthe days shorten. At bars andrestaurants with morecontemporary menus, bartendersfrequently introduce flavors fromthe autumn harvest of apples andpears and holiday baking spices.They also may add warmer drinksas the thermometer reading sinks.At operations with a culinaryapproach to drink making, thechanges can be constant andadventurous, with menusincorporating robust, house-madesyrups and bitters, squash androot vegetables. Even atrestaurants with well-defined ethnic menus and at high-volume operations, where consistently fleet service isimportant, the days of perpetual drink menus are done.
TO MARKET, TO MARKET
So complete is the bar’s change to seasonal ingredientsthat bartenders are now haunting farmers’ markets just aschefs do; some even give drink demonstrations amongpiles of produce. Josh Pearson,head bartender at Sepia inChicago, recently displayed hisseasonal drink ideas at a localfarmers’ market.Whether driven by anawareness of customers’ drinkinghabits or by a locavorian culinaryimpulse, what’s available in themarket will be in the drink.In general, as spring andsummer give way to fall andwinter, lighter, refreshing drinksemploying gin, vodka, blancotequila and light rum yield tococktails made with whiskeysand brandies, dark rum and agedtequilas. Citrus and fresh herbsmove aside for hardy, storableapples and pears, while more-assertive flavors from cinnamon,clove, nutmeg and ginger take prominence. Strong, stirreddrinks come on, as do hot toddies and beverages madewith whole eggs or egg yolks.
BEVERAGE TRENDS
Richer,
Darker,
Stronger
Autumn and winter drink menus addflavor and intensity with warming spices,brown spirits and seasonal produce
BY JACK ROBERTIELLOBrandy warms up cherry puree and chocolatefor a Black Forest Martini with cherry cordialflavors, perfect for winter months.
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FLAVOR 
THE MENU
Fall 2009
www.flavor-online.com
128
ROUNDING OUT FLAVORS
“We definitely gravitate to lighter flavors insummer and spring and deeper, rounder andeven more comforting flavors in the fall andwinter,” says Toby Maloney, head mixologistand co-owner of The Patterson House in Nashville, Tenn., and The Violet Hour inChicago.Even the types of bitters change; at hisbars, Maloney replaces light, citrusy bitterswith darker concoctions that employ more-intense spices, like his own apple-gingerbitters. Customers increasingly anticipatethese sorts of changes on beverage menus.“I think my clientele look forward to myputting out new drinks every season; it keeps itfresh and interesting,” says Bob Brunner,beverage director at Paragon, a restaurant andbar in Portland, Ore. In fall and winter,Brunner, who changes the Paragon menuquarterly, turns increasingly to bourbon, ryeand single-malt Scotch. He also uses applecider for drinks like the Blindsider, made withBuffalo Trace bourbon,Domaine de Cantonginger liqueur andfresh, hand-pressedcider from a regionalsupplier, garnishedwith a Braeburn applewedge.
SMOOTH SEGUES
Managing the seasonalmenu transitionrequires some fine-tuning.“Fall is the hardestmenu to dosaysSepia’s Pearson. “Youwant to feature somewarming drinks, buton days that are hot,you still wantto offer something refreshing.”Like Brunner, Pearson turns to darkerspirits, adding to the menu seasonal drinksthat feature aged rums, blended Scotches witha little smoke, Calvados and other morerobust flavors. He’s also open to working morewith vegetables; he recently pureed roastedbeets and mixed them with rye, white crèmede cacao, orange juice and an absinthe rinsefor a drink called the Absente Minded.Pearson changes out three drinks from hismenu every four weeks or so, making a hyper-seasonal statement. In late summer, he wasbusy turning crab apples into apple butter fora drink to be served in late September madewith aged Brazilian cachaça and aquavit.When summer ends and melons and otherjuicy fruits are no longer prominent barofferings, the seasonal change to fall fruit canseriously alter a menu, says Lynette Moreno, a New York bartender and consultant.“It’s great to have a pretty peach drink inthe summer, but once that fruit stops giving agreat yield of flavor, you have to switch towhat’s coming in,” she notes.Moreno, who developed the drink programat the just-opened Rye House in Manhattan,says fall fruits pair well with brown spirits likeapplejack, dark rum and bourbon; the latterfits especially well into fall and winter menus,with its inherent honey, cinnamon and cloveflavors.Some bartenders extend the combinationby infusing apple or pear into spirits, whileothers start using high-quality apple and pearbrandies and eau de vie.
KEEPING PACE WITH FALL MENUS
An autumnal harvest theme is strong even inregions without orchards; in Las Vegas,Armando Rosario, master mixologist fornational beverage distributor Southern Wine& Spirits in Nevada, recently developedrestaurant drinks such as the Pear…fectMartini with Absolut Pears vodka, fresh limejuice and rock-candy syrup, garnished withsliced pears. His Pumpkin Pie Martinicombines Absolut Vanilla, GoldschlagerCinnamon Liqueur, Baileys Crème Carameland pumpkin puree, while Ginger Apple Pieblends Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, MoninGinger Syrup and apple and fresh lemonjuice.“Bars today need to be bringing in drinkswith fresh ingredients, especially when theyare connected to fine-dining restaurants,” saysRosario. “There may still be many places inVegas where cheap drinks are what’s popular,but mixologists are following the lead of chefsand keeping their menus seasonal.”
BEVERAGE TRENDS
Bartenders turn to darker spirits and add extras like tea, cider and late-harvestfruits to capture fallflavors, as in Sepia’s rye-based Highroad.
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