Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Dinner at Jackson

If you're going to be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, then you can't pass up the Spirited Dinners.

On Thursday, July 22 at 8 PM, New Orleans' always stupefying restaurant of reinvention, Jackson, presents a remarkable 5 course prefix designed by master chef, John Hammond, with 6 courses of cocktails prepared by:

Paul Clarke, the Seattleite voice and palate behind Cocktail Chronicles, moderator of Mixology Monday, contributing editor at Imbibe magazine, and frequently featured in the SF Chronicle and Wine & Spirits.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the renown bar manager at Bel Ami, whose innovative cocktails have earned him the Jamie Boudreau of Portland.

& me!

If you splurge on one extravagant meal while in New Orleans, this should be it.

Here are all the details, followed by the menu (both food & drinks).

Thursday, 22 July 2010
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
$90 - Includes tax and gratuity
For reservations, please call
(reserve them soon before they fill up!)

Jackson's Menu

Cocktails by Paul Clarke, Jeffrey Morganthaler, and Jeremy Thompson


Alexei’s Pleasure Club
by Jeremy Thompson

Dubonnet rouge
Russian Standard vodka
Scrappy’s cardamom bitters
lemon twist


Endive with Roquefort bleu cheese & lavender honey

by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Appleton Extra rum
lavender-honey syrup
fresh lime juice
housemade orange bitters
fresh sprig of lavender


Watermelon Gazpacho

Tio Dobles
by Paul Clark

Don Juilo blanco tequila
fresh grapefruit juice
fresh lime juice
Luxardo maraschino liqueur
simple syrup


Grouper encrusted with macadamia nuts & topped with a fresh mango pineapple salsa

Third Course Cocktail
by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Leblon cachaça
fresh lime juice
pineapple gum syrup
egg white
Luxardo amaretto
apricot preserves


Ostrich medallion with a fig & red wine reduction

Red Heering
by Jeremy Thompson

Aperol apertivo
Cherry Heering
fresh orange juice
orange twist, discarded
Luxardo cherry


Pavlova topped with sliced kiwis, strawberries & fresh whipped cream

Demerara Fizz
by Paul Clarke

El Dorado 12 Year Old rum
fresh lemon juice
simple syrup
egg white
club soda
Peychaud's bitters on the foam

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Imbibe Article: Vodka Gains New Momentum Behind The Bar

Next week, the March/April edition of Imbibe Magazine will hit the shelves, and on page 45 of this edition begins an article by Paul Clarke entitled "Clearing The Way: Vodka Gains New Momentum Behind the Bar." Click through the title to read the article which is already posted on Imbibe Magazine's website, though you'll have to pick up a copy if you'd like to take a gander at the gorgeous photographs taken by Stuart Mullenberg, including an image of my Staraya Modnaya, a kind of fancy vodka old-fashioned.

To my delight, he highlights a number of classics, including: the Gypsy, the Kangaroo, the Drink Without a Name, and the Carnaval Room.

Aside from myself, he also interviews "Tipsy Texan" David Alan, Robert Krueger of Employees Only, and H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir.

This is an important step for vodka, a spirit known for taking such big strides that it hardly has a moment to consider where its going. I believe this article will help set the tone for a panel at this years Tales of the Cocktail, entitled "I Hate Vodka/ I Love Vodka."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

PDT Introduces Vodka Cocktail


“Vodka is still the most popular spirit in the world,” Meehan tells us. “This product is an easy way for me to raise the white flag.” Vodka—criticized for its lack of character—has become all but taboo in cocktail bars of PDT’s ilk. But Meehan believes that the attitude is “unflattering” and will ultimately keep his industry from reaching a wider audience. “I feel like we’re always at risk of being just a trend and that some other beverage trend will come along and steal the limelight,” he says. “We need to take our craft to a larger consumer base, so I’m no longer going to be consciously not serving vodka at the bar. It’s time to move on.”

(click here for the full article)

Note: I can't take any credit here, but never the less, I'm secretly congratulating myself.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The 3 Categories of Vodka Cocktail

It could be said that there are 3 primary categories of vodka cocktail:

1. Cocktails wherein vodka's neutrality allows all other flavors to eclipse its presence, essentially making Alcoholic Soda or Juice (i.e. Moscow Mule)

2. Cocktails wherein vodka's neutrality is used to open up potent flavored spirits, such Benedictine or Amaro (i.e. Gypsy Queen Cocktail, The Drink With No Name)

3. Cocktails wherein vodka's neutrality and receptivity is used to maintain alcohol by volume while mediating between other spirits and modifiers, as in equal part drinks (i.e. Perpignan Cocktail)

For over one year I have been patiently flipping through cocktail books of my own, as well as those graciously lent to me by Mud Puddle Book's Greg Boehm (as I simply can't afford my own physical database). I find the vodka cocktails, input them into one large document, only to be eventually separated out into one of the 3 aforementioned categories. On several occasions, I make notes in regard to secondary classifications within each, but thus far all have managed to stay within the bounds of these relatively flexible varieties.

This is all to say that this task is underway, and soon, within a week or two, I'll be ready to post what results it's yielded. These results will come in the form of 3 posts, one dedicated to the describing of each category, several notable recipes from each, as well as their sources, followed by a rather extensive list of names of cocktails which fall into each grouping, since I couldn't possibly post every recipe here. It is also possible that I may elaborate on some of the more prominent Secondary Classifications.