Archive for August, 2008

August 12th, 2008

Holliday returns

Scott Holliday, RendezvousOne of the first “best Boston bartender” profiles I did on this site was of Scott Holliday, who then worked at Chez Henri. In addition to being a fine bartender and an intelligent guy, Scott is a founding member of the Jack Rose Society, a mini-guild of Boston-area bar professionals serious about resurrecting vintage cocktails and superior, non-preening service. (Scott could be described as the anti-Tom Cruise.) The JRS’ research into historic recipes, ingredients and techniques, in fact, guided the creation of some Boston-area cocktail menus — those at Eastern Standard and Green Street, for example — that are considered standard-bearers of classic mixology nationwide.

After a nearly two-year sojourn in California and Montreal, Scott is once again tending bar in Cambridge. Hallelujah! He is no longer at Chez Henri, where the estimable Rob Kraemer assumed Scott’s duties on the stick, but at Rendezvous, the Western Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that chef Steve Johnson opened a few years back. Scott is weaving his knowledge and skills into the drink program there, so pay him a visit and enjoy an evening at yet another Boston-area bar out to make a name for itself.

Posted in Bartenders, Boston bars | 6 Comments »

August 8th, 2008

And the winning mixologist-poet is…

Joy Richard - Hendricks Beantown Bartender Battle 2008

Photos by C. Fernsebner

Joy Richard, bartender-manager at Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel in the South End, also known as Bourbon Belle of LUPEC Boston, won the Hendricks Gin Beantown Bartender Battle at Green Street on Tuesday night with her recipe, Nobody’s Darling, and the limerick she wrote to describe it. Congrats to Joy; she gets to fly anywhere in the country on Hendricks’ dime. Her drink, which will soon be on Tremont 647’s cocktail menu, was a most unique mixture starring the flavor of celery (one of the dozen botanicals used in Hendricks).

Parked at the bar for most of the evening, I was like the misbehaved kid in the back of the classroom ignoring the lesson, so I don’t have much color commentary for you (check out C. Fernsebner’s captioned photo gallery on Bostonist for an idea of how the battle went), but I did manage to track down all five finalists’ recipes — which only the judges got to sample that evening — along with Joy’s winning limerick.

Nobody’s Darling
by Joy Richard

2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1/2 oz yellow Chartreuse
1 oz angelica root-infused honey
3/4 oz fresh celery juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in iced cocktail shaker, shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

An elixir of cucumber and rose
With a scent that amuses the nose
Angelica-honey we’ll pair
Then some celery sounds fair
Yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice and there goes!

Chris O’Neil - Hendricks Beantown Bartender Battle 2008

The Seersucker
by Chris O’Neil of Upstairs on the Square

2 oz Hendricks Gin
3 oz chamomile syrup (chamomile, orange peel, honey, sugar)
Dash of lemon juice
Mint sprig to garnish

Shake first three ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker, pour into a highball glass, top with mint sprig.

Hendrick’s Tea
by Claudia Mastrobuono of Highland Kitchen

1 1/2 oz Hendricks Gin
1/2 oz orange peel-infused simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3-4 oz chamomile iced tea (enough to top off the highball)

Shake all ingredients in an iced shaker, pour into a highball glass and garnish with a candied orange peel (the candied peel is a by-product of the simple syrup — just roll the peels in sugar and let them dry out).

Boston Tea Party
by Jeff Grdinich of White Mountain Cider Co.

2 oz Hendricks Gin
1 1/2 oz chamomile citrus tea*
1/2 oz Demerara simple syrup**
1/4 oz lemon juice***
1/2 to 1 barspoon Fernet Branca***

* Infuse 1 bag per 8 oz water for 5 minutes.
** Dilute 400g Demerara sugar in 1000 ml water.
*** Amount of lemon juice and Fernet varies based on tea infusion. Start small.

Place all ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker, shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Note: In the spirit of the competition, which required highlighting the botanicals used in Hendricks, Jeff put one hell of a garnish on his cocktail: a toasted brioche and cucumber sandwich brushed with butter that had been infused with most of the Hendricks botanicals. If you simply must have the recipe for that, email me.

Captain Kidd Cup
by Justin Falcone, freelance bartender

1 1/2 oz Hendricks Gin
1/2 oz pimento dram (St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Liqueur)
1/2 oz Pimm’s
1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake all ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker and pour into a highball glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with lemon wedge and cucumber spear.

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Posted in Bartenders, Events, Gin | 1 Comment »

August 1st, 2008

And the finalists are…

The folks at Hendrick’s Gin have chosen five finalists to compete in the Beantown Bartender Battle at Green Street this Tuesday night, August 5. Selected on the merits of the original, Hendrick’s-based cocktails they submitted, the contestants will be mixing those cocktails for a panel of judges that includes chef Barbara Lynch, Boston Globe writer Liza Weisstuch, bartender and cocktail historian John Myers of Portland, Maine, and Hendrick’s brand ambassador Charlotte Voisey. As they’re mixing, the only way they can present and describe their potion is by reciting a limerick that they penned themselves. Oh, this is gonna be good. The finalists are:

Justin Falcone, Boston-area freelance bartender
Jeff Grdinich, bartender at the White Mountain Cider Co. restaurant in Glen, NH
Claudia Mastrobuono, bartender at Highland Kitchen in Somerville
Chris O’Neil, bartender at Upstairs on the Square in Cambridge
Joy Richard, manager of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel in Boston

From what I hear, there were a lot of kick-ass recipes submitted for this contest, so to those whose cocktails weren’t chosen: you’re in good company.

There’s still time to make reservations for this cocktail party-style event, whose $20 price gets you four Hendrick’s cocktails (separate from those competing in the Battle) and some light snacks. Call Green Street at 617-876-1655. A limited dinner menu will also be available for purchase. One of the featured cocktails is by Sierra Zimei, the winner of the San Francisco Bartender Battle:

The Secret Garden

2 1/2 oz Hendricks Gin
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz cilantro infused simple syrup
4 slices of cut-up cucumber

Shake and strain ingredients into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with slice of cucumber.

Hope to see you there.

Posted in Events, Gin | 6 Comments »

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