Tonight the second season of Barmageddon premieres! If you haven’t caught it yet, it’s like wife swap for bars. That is, successful bar operators swap venues to see if they can make a success of the bar he/she is visiting. The winner gets a $10 grand prize! That’s definitely enough to attract some talent! Having been in service for over 20 years – and I definitely am still in service but in a different manner – I enjoy the topic of bar operations. Also, it’s hosted by a comedian, the hilarious Mo Mandel!
I think (hope) we’re in a time when we will see more bar/cocktail entertainment. It’s clear from our interest in food/restaurant programming that we like all of these topics. I think the hold up on bar/cocktail/beverage focused programming is due to the assumption that it will encourage over-consumption. That is some bulls#!t American puritanical crap! (I realize I used two fecal references there, that’s how irritating it is, that I’m willing to let redundancies fly!)
Congratulations on a SECOND season, Barmageddon! I’m closing out this Memorial weekend by watching with friends, hanging out with my kitties and enjoying the cocktails below!
Barmageddon is at 10/9c on TruTV – I’m in Los Angeles so that’s 7pm, I have Charter cable and TruTV is at 775
Sgt. Pepper (created in honor of my friend’s birthday. Happy birthday, Erik!)
2 oz Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon
.25 oz Luxardo Cherry Morlacco
.25 oz Rosemary-Black Peppercorn Cordial
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Sprig of Rosemary
3 Cherries (Fresh, seasonal, red, local)
Muddle cherries & rosemary with cordial and bitters. Add other ingredients, ice, stir & serve with a large rock. Express the oil of an orange peel on top and discard. Garnish with bruised rosemary & fresh cracked pepper.
This is a heavy-handed, labor-intensive, robust cocktail!
The redundancies are intentional. Chef Michael Cimmarusti, who will sometimes feature a single ingredient in various expressions in one dish, inspired the technique I use. Reducing the rosemary and peppercorns in the sugar syrup has a similar effect as roasting. That is, a sweeter and richer character will develop from the aromatic ingredients. Then, applying them fresh and crushed will yield the spicy and sharp notes. Same goes for the cherries; fresh cherries may lend earth and acid while the liqueur will present rich, jammy notes.
You may chose to build in the glass and serve “dirty”, that is with the fruit and pits and all! That’s how my friend Erik enjoys it. In this photo, I’ve done a “clean” version in which I built & stirred in a mixing glass and then strained over a fresh rock.
Rosemary-Black Peppercorn Cordial
Measure by volume:
1 cup Turbinado Sugar
1 cup water
½ loose cup rosemary leaves (stripped from stalk)
¼ whole black peppercorns
In a sauce pan, bring to a low simmer and reduce about 30% of volume, until rosemary is cooked. Be careful of temperature, you don’t want to caramelize the sugar. Let cool & strain out solids before using. Keep refrigerated.
2 oz Olmeca Altos Tequila Plata
.5 oz Briottet Manzana Verde Liqueur (a green apple liqueur, natural & delicious!)
.75 oz Fresh squeezed Lime
.5 oz Simple Syrup (1:1, Organic evaporated sugar)
Shake & Strain over fresh ice into Cilantro Salt encrusted Old Fashioned Glass. Garnish with Lime Wheel & Cilantro Sprig.
For demo on cilantro salt composition, watch this video!
2 oz Spring 44 Mountain Gin
.75 oz Honey Syrup
1 oz Fresh squeezed Lemon (if berries are acidic, you might diminish to .75 oz)
Muddle Blackberries with Honey Syrup. Add all other ingredients, add ice, Shake & Double Strain up into Cocktail Glass. Garnish with Blackberry & Lemon Wheel.
By double strain, I mean to use your Hawthorne strainer with a mesh strainer This will prevent separation in the drink. Alternatively, you could strain (just Hawthorne) and serve over rocks. The ice will uphold the solids so that separation is not an issue.
Measure 3 parts honey to 1 part water. Stir until integrated.
I find that heating is unnecessary as long as you thoroughly scrape the sides of the vessel to integrate the sticky honey.
With your honey syrup, you have a fun and super easy tool to make many delicious cocktails! Just do .75 oz Honey Syrup + .75 oz Lemon Juice + Pretty much any spirit + Shake = Delicious! Try it with Bourbon and you’ll have yourself a drink called Gold Rush!