Cheers

Cheers April/May 2018

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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www.cheersonline.com 49 April/May 2018 • APOTHECARY SHELF Mixologists are ranging far and wide to unearth therapeutic ingredients. "If you think about the historical aspect of spirits as curatives, used in the apothecary style, I don't think cocktails borrowing inspiration from health foods is a trend, but rather a modernized form of expressing creativity," says Jenn Grossbard, bar manager and resident forager for The Drawing Board in Petaluma, CA. Behind the bar at The Drawing Board lives a virtual pharmacy of holistic ingredients, including activated charcoal, bee pollen, ginger/turmeric honey, rosehip and hawthorn tonic, alkaline water and adaptogenic herbs such as eleuthero, fo-ti, astragalus and tulsi. The aptly named Prescription cocktail features healthful bee pollen and ginger/turmeric-infused honey, along with Dewar's Scotch, lemon juice and locally produced Amaro Bilaro and Fresno chilies. And the Adaptogen Toddy combines Cognac, apple-cardamom shrub, adaptogen elixir (eleuthero, schizandra, burdock, fo-ti, astragalus), honey, allspice dram, lemon juice and hot water. Cocktails are priced at $13. "Sassafras root is engrained deep in Louisiana tradition; it was used as a tonic tea by Native Americans. There are many health benefits," says Alan Walter, "spirit handler" for Loa bar in the International House Hotel in New Orleans. And Loa incorporates the root in cocktails. The Marguerite ($12), for example, is made with anejo tequila, long leaf pine needles, thyme-scented Cointreau, lemongrass, sassafras, bay leaf and egg whites. "This is definitely a healthier version than your typical syrupy-sweet Margarita, but health is not the motivation—taste is," says Walter. Loa emphasizes several foraged or locally sourced ingredients, such as Spanish moss. "It's a trend that's going to stay," says Channing Centeno, mixologist at Seamstress restaurant and lounge in New York. "Guests who are intrigued by uncommon ingredients that they associate with good health are attracted to buzzy ingredients like kombucha or beet juice." A number of Seamstress' drinks (priced $13 to $15) incorporate vegetables such as fennel or arugula or other healthful ingredients. Sunday's Retreat, for example, combines chai-tea-infused Bacardi Ocho rum, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and cherry preserves with floats of kombucha and prosecco. "Guests feel as if the healthy component will balance the alcohol they are consuming," says Centeno. BIG FLAVORS, HIGH SALES Using healthful, plant-based ingredients in cocktails can boost both flavors and sales, says Ryan Nolen, bar manager The Marguerite cocktail at Loa bar in the International House Hotel in New Orleans is made with anejo tequila, long leaf pine needles, thyme-scented Cointreau, lemongrass, sassafras, bay leaf and egg whites. Pitchfork Pretty Restaurant & Bar in Austin, TX, incorporates local produce and ingredients such as avocado flower honey, poppy seeds and fermented peach pits in cocktails. PHOTO CREDIT: LAURA HAJAR "SASSAFRAS ROOT IS ENGRAINED DEEP IN LOUISIANA TRADITION; IT WAS USED AS A TONIC TEA BY NATIVE AMERICANS. THERE ARE MANY HEALTH BENEFITS." — Alan Walter, "spirit handler" for Loa bar in the International House Hotel in New Orleans

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