I’ve been at Bestia, or the Beast, for over a year now and its one of the craziest most intense restaurants. I work behind the bar but before I was allowed to prance my pretty self around the glorious shelves of delicious spirits I was required to complete an intense 6 week classic cocktail bar program called the Julian Cox Program. I would learn about 60 cocktail recipes by heart…ish, the history, process, laws and culture of spirits. We drank…errr…sorry…tasted every day, sometimes starting with 100 proof Rye, sounds great, right? Ahhh yeah, you try drinking warm gin at 10am. Guess you could say I’m not an alcoholic. It was tough, long hours, daily tests, nightly studying and more information than you could even image about spirits. The fun part was the history, the stories. Did you know that the daily ration of rum for the British navy was a pint, a whole pint every day!!! At times of battle it was increased to two pints. Daily rations would exist until Black Tot Day in 1970. Mitcher’s Rye is called the whiskey that warmed the American Revolution since Washington bought this whiskey to keep his troops warm through the long brutal winter once the war started. *side note, Robin had Mitchers Rye at the SSAZ race, thank you my man, made this girl a super happy camper.* When the British saw how the Dutch would get shit faced before battle they would call it Dutch Courage which would eventually become the term we all know and love today, Liquid Courage. Pechuga is a ceremonial agave spirit that is distilled with either chicken, turkey or rabbit. It’s so strange to taste liquor that has the mouth feel of meat without the actual meat itself, weird…..but delicious. Fun facts, right? I could tell you stories all day long.
The history behind culture is life. People gather, share life and spirits. From weddings, wakes, bike rides, ice fishing, reunions, you name the moment it’s what we do as humans. Besides the history there is an art to creating cocktails which include balance, style, thought and intent in each one.
Since I’m an artist I of course had the curiosity to attempt to create a cocktail. So here is the result of my virginal shot at making a masterpiece with a bit of culture. This drink was inspired by the song ‘Edmund Fitzgerald’. My cohorts behind the bar hadn’t heard of this song and with that disgrace I knew what my mission was: to create a cocktail that was bitter, smoky and made you envision a grumpy old sailor biting down a piece of leather before having his wound of sorts cauterized by a blazing hot poker. Okay, I know the song is about a cargo ship getting lost and sinking on the great lakes. No matter, it will for sure put some hair on your chest. Plus when you are trying to balance age it’s always barefoot uphill in the snow both ways, right?
Now go to your local bar and demand them to make this argggghhh matey style cocktail.
Dash Peychand Bitters
Bar Spoon Simple Syrup
3/8 oz Laphroaig
3/8 oz Campari
3/8 oz Ramazzotti Bitters
1 ½ oz Blended Scotch
Serve in a coupe or Nick and Nora Glass
Garnish with discarded grapefruit twist
*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*