I asked two of the most talented and passionate mixologists in the city (whom we are lucky enough to have on our team) to give me some thoughts on the development of a cocktail program for this blog. Here is what they had to say…….
It takes an abundance of focus to sit down and write a menu – something that my coworker, Summer, and I recently discovered. We had a goal: six original and exciting cocktails that will accompany and complement Kevin’s food menu. We had a bunch of ideas and ingredient lists, including hard to find premium spirits and artisinal liqueurs. We have over two decades of experience between us, both creating and enjoying cocktails, and a passion for the craft. We also had a lot of time; and sometimes too much time can make it hard to focus.
After a few staff meetings and a bunch of coffee and cocktail meet ups, we decided to sit down and get serious. Even though we knew we could produce an outstanding menu, we weren’t really focused. Where do we begin? What do we want our core of six spirits to be?We also wanted to make sure that both of our strengths would be reflected in the cocktails, so we started to really collaborate as a team. Summer has worked extensively with potable bitters, craft liquors from around the globe and lots of the classics; I have a good background in using locally sourced ingredients, making bitters and tinctures, and food/drink pairings. So…we started mixing! And it turns out that when we were both doing what we love, we found our focus. Mezcal with sweet corn juice! Bourbon with Strega and cherries! The previously fuzzy ideas began to solidify as delicious libations! Before we knew it we had perfected six cocktails that we are very proud of. We chose local when we could – Boyd and Blair is our vodka of choice – and we’ve already begun a batch of unforgettable bitters, to be featured in one of the drinks.
Upon our opening we encourage you to try something new – our cocktails! We are looking forward to making you some tasty, tasty treats.
The most important rule is … quality ingredients. Good booze = a better cocktail. Yes, it may cost a little bit more for a bottle of Carpano Antica sweet vermouth than a bottle of Martini and Rossi, but the taste and complexity is leaps and bounds above. I bet you never have wanted to sip Martini and Rossi, well Carpano you want a wine glass full! Fresh produce and homemade syrups are included in this, as well. If you can squeeze it fresh, fantastic and if you can make it from scratch, amazing! Try a taste test between fresh and bottled. Fresh will always win.
The next rule… There must be balance. Yes, some cocktails are supposed to be more tart than others, and some are more liquor forward, but a good, balanced cocktail should never cause any lip puckering or eye squinting. When you sip a cocktail it should hit different areas of your tongue, so roll it around a little. If I catch you doing this, I will not laugh. If your friends catch you doing this, they may. Share the knowledge with them, and then you will look very smart.
And our final rule… TRY EVERYTHING! I know you drank half a bottle of crappy gin in college and puked your guts out (I did too), but gin is not the enemy! Open yourself up to try something your scared of , or don’t like the taste of, it may surprise you. Your taste buds just may have matured and you did not get the memo. Also, if you are gettin a wonderful, quality booze mixed with amazing, fresh ingredients… how can that taste bad? It’s impossible.
COME TO SALT AND PLEASE TRY THE COCKTAILS!