Posts Tagged ‘London’

NOTHING BUT FLOWERS: Spring’s Garden to Glass Moment

Friday, June 1st, 2018

By Georgette Moger

Floral Cocktail Story by Georgette Moger - Nasturtium-Capucine (002)

Talk about a floral fantasy. This spring, cocktails made with fresh blossoms are spreading like wildflowers.  Whether plucking from their own backyards, from rooftop gardens, or just neighborly sharing of their fortuitous abundance, bartenders are serving up a bounty of blossoms to cocktail enthusiasts.  From restaurant bars to cocktail bars to hotel lobby and pool bars floral garnishes of jasmine flowers and hibiscus have been spotted on the west coast, while across the pond in London capucine capers take center stage and in the south of France a bounty of bougainvillea premiers in a punch.  All proving that no matter where you wield your tins and mixing glass the garden is merely an arm’s reach away.

Join us as we take a gander to see what’s sprouting up at home and abroad.

In Los Angeles, the neighborhood of Brentwood holds a veritable Eden of earthly delights. Nick Westbrook, In-House Mixologist at Farmshop, finds the humid nights of spring lingering with the scent of jasmine. “One night when I left work, I took a big indulgent inhale and babbled something about how much I love jasmine.” Farmshop’s sommelier, Aida Parsa, overheard Westbrook’s sigh, and brought him a beautiful bag of wild Persian jasmine from her mother’s backyard. Westbrook sensed cocktail magic on the horizon. “The flowers were so fragrant and the buds so vibrant, I created an infusion with some scented tea pearls from China. The tannins from the tea reinforce the subtle bitterness of the jasmine but the Lillet brings it back to the floral—the Porto Branco lends a touch of fruit.”

Floral Cocktail Story by Georgette Moger Nick Westbrook drink IMG_6873-02-01-01

Que Soraya Soraya, Nick Westbrook, Farmshop, Los Angeles, CA

2 oz. Jasmine-infused Soju vodka*

1 oz. Lillet Blanc

1 oz. Porto Branco, or white port

1 Jasmine ice globe*

1 thin peel of seasonal orange or small citrus, expressed and rubbed around the rim

 

Build all ingredients in a rocks glass, including jasmine ice globe. Before stirring the drink, take a paring knife to the part of the orange rind that was just peeled. Make a deeper cut into the citrus, peeling off a section with pulp. Squeeze that part over the drink, adding a touch of fresh juice. Stir with a bar spoon 10-15 times and serve.

 

Jasmine-Infused Soju

1 750 ml bottle Soju vodka, with 4 ounces reserved

1 tbsp. Chinese Jasmine Pearls

3 sprigs Wild Jasmine

Add Chinese jasmine pearls plus several sprigs of wild jasmine to the bottle of vodka. Strain after six hours. If the infusion is more bitter than floral, dilute with the reserved vodka until a balanced flavor is achieved.

 

Jasmine ice globes

Use a silicone mold and distilled water that has been boiled for several minutes and allowed to cool. Add the flowers to the molds and fill only half full with water. Once frozen, fill to the top and return to the freezer until solid.

**Photo by Molly Posey

 

Floral Cocktail Story by Georgette Moger Omni Rosebiscus vertical 06 for edit_Rosebiscus Cocktail_Omni

 

Every April, the city of Carlsbad is awash in blossoms whether pouring out of window boxes, spreading over sprawling resorts or tied in bundles at farmer’s markets. From April 5th to the 15th, local bars and restaurants have a chance to show off Carlsbad’s new blooms with the Petal to Plate Festival, where attendees have a chance to taste culinary creations that feature a flurry of fleurs. At the Omni La Costa, Director of Food & Beverage, Patrick Sarte creates a unique menu of libations, fresh from the flower patch. “It’s easy to be inspired by the lush landscape of the resort,” says Sarte. “For this drink I looked to our iconic Omni hibiscus logo and used the subtle aroma of rose water, the refreshing citrus twist in the vodka and a hint of lemon and hibiscus syrup—spring in a glass!”

 

 

Rosebiscus, Patrick Sarte, Omni La Costa, Carlsbad, CA

1 ¼ oz. Ketel One Citroen Vodka

¾ oz. St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

½ oz.  Wild Hibiscus Company Flower Syrup

¼ oz. Rosewater

1 oz.  Lemon Juice

2 oz.  Club Soda

 

In a shaker, pour the vodka, St.-Germain, hibiscus syrup, rosewater and lemon juice. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Fill Collins glass with ice. Strain the shaker into the glass and top with club soda. Stir and garnish with a hibiscus flower.

**Photo courtesy of Visit Carlsbad

 

Chefs Garden Flower - Nasturtium Flower- Red

In London, over at Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour where cream cakes and gin concoctions are the call of the day, Bartender Paul Carpenter has combined the delicate flavors of the season’s capucine flowers (Nasturtium) with the piney, meadowsweet botanicals of a Norwegian mountain gin. “This drink is basically a twist on a dry martini,” says Carpenter. “The gin itself is really fresh and herbal, the Cocchi Americano brings some sweetness and some texture to the drink, while the vermouth infusion adds depth and sharpness. The flavor of the capucine flowers lends a touch saltiness and a refined floral finish.”

 

Cousine Capucine, Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour, Paul Carpentier, London, UK

1½ oz. Vidda Torr Norway Gin

½ oz. infused dried capucine capers Dolin Dry Vermouth*

½ oz. Cocchi Americano

2 dashes Orange Bitters

 

In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine gin, vermouth infusion, Cocchi Americano and orange bitters. Stir until sufficiently chilled. Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. Float one capucine flower atop cocktail or garnish with a caper.

 

Capucine Vermouth Infusion

1/3 oz. of fresh, dried, non-treated Nasturtiums flowers

16 oz. of Dolin Dry Vermouth

Rinse flowers and dry thoroughly. In a glass container, combine flowers and vermouth. Store covered in refrigerator for three days, then filter into jar.

 

Casting aside tales of punsch-swigging buccaneers, Emmanuel Balestra, Manager of the Bar Galerie Le Fouquet at Le Majestic in Cannes, set out to create a refreshing, low ABV cocktail to keep spirits high while ensuring no one goes overboard. “Pirates were the first to mix tafia, the predecessor of rum, with fruit juices and sugar to create an explosive cocktail to serve young sailors in the Royal Navy to get them drunk,” says Balestra. “I recently revisited these ingredients to create a cocktail that was lighter and more refined, beginning by replacing the sugar with pineapple water. Using fresh leaves of rose geranium, abundant in the south of France, and at the Majestic, the floral aromas deliver a delicate, honey note.”

Floral Cocktail Story by Georgette Moger - Majestic Punch (002)

Majestic Punch, Bar Galerie du Fouquet’s Cannes, Emmanuel Balestra, Cannes, FR

2 oz. Grand Arôme white rum

3 oz. Pineapple Geranium Water*

Dried pineapple and rose geranium leaf garnish

Pour rum and pineapple water into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir. Serve in an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with dried pineapple and rose geranium leaf.

 

For the pineapple water:

Cut a whole pineapple into cubes. Place into a 2-liter pot and cover with 2½ cups of cold mineral water. Add 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add 25 green leaves of rose geranium. Stir. Cover and let sit for 24 hours. Filter into jars. Yields approximately 5 cups.

**Photo by Alban Couturier

 

CULINARY WORLD CHAMPIONS

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

England introduces a delicious set of competitions
By Francine Cohen

Didn’t get your ticket to the Olympics and feeling a bit like those athletes who didn’t make the team? Not to fear. Lest you think that Michael Phelps, those naughty badminton players, naughty tweets, and the sprightly gymnasts are all that’s worth paying attention to during this Olympic year in London, please note that England has a lot more to offer than just bronze, silver and gold medals.

For those who prefer spectator sports of the less energetic and more delicious kind there were (and still are) a whole slew of competitions of athletic prowess in which one could participate, or just enjoy.

VisitEngland’s Chairman Lady Cobham says: “This year is a fantastic time to be in England, and not just for Olympic and Paralympic sports enthusiasts. The range of alternative sports taking place across the country is evidence of this – there is something for everyone and these unusual events really bring to the fore some of our country’s quirkier heritage and culture. In addition to these annual competitions, there will be hundreds of events and festivals taking place in a jam-packed cultural and sporting calendar.

Thanks to Lady Cobham (www.visitengland.com/en) here’s a line-up of the most interesting alternative (and food related) activities we found going on across the pond this year.

1. Pancake Dashing
February 21, 2012 (Shrove Tuesday), Olney, Buckinghamshire
The unique Olney Pancake Race literally stops traffic as, once a year, energetic local ladies in traditional housewife attire (including skirt, apron and scarf), run through the streets of Olney. The 415-yard dash is started by the church warden at 11.55am prompt using a large bronze ‘Pancake Bell.’ Pancakes are tossed at the start of the race and the winner is required to toss her pancake again at the finish. The race has been run since around 1445 and since 1950, the contest has been an international event between Olney and the town of Liberal, Kansas in the US. The race is run on a timed basis and the winner is declared after times are compared during a transatlantic telephone call. www.visitbuckinghamshire.org/events/olney-pancake-race-p692671

2. Coal Carrying
April 9, 2012, Ossett, West Yorkshire
Held each year on Easter Monday, the World Coal Carrying Contest is a great test of strength and stamina in which participants carry 50kg (men) or 20kg (women) of coal over a mile-long uphill course. The World Coal Carrying Contest dates back to 1963 when a local coal merchant and the president of the Maypole Committee were enjoying a pint together. A friend burst into the pub and bet that he could race them with a bag of coal on their backs. Not to let a good idea go to waste, the secretary of the Maypole Committee decided to set the race for Easter Monday. The current world record, held by David Jones of Meltham, is 4 mins 6 secs. But will he hold onto it? www.gawthorpe.ndo.co.uk/coal.htm

3. Shin-Kicking
June 1, 2012, Dover’s Hill, near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire
Started by local barrister Captain Robert Dover in 1612, the annual Cotswold Olimpicks attracts thousands of spectators and features some well-known countryside games such as tug-of-war, obstacle races and wrestling as well as a few stranger events – including shin-kicking. The two contestants first fill their trouser legs with straw – to help reduce the pain – before holding one another’s arms and kicking each other wearing steel toe-capped boots. The loser is the competitor that gives in to the pain and bruising first. 2012 marks the Olimpicks’ 400th anniversary, so expect some special celebrations this year.
www.olimpickgames.co.uk

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