It’s never easy compiling a world class cocktail menu, especially at the turn of every season and at a place like Saxon + Parole where there is an acute focus on savory cocktails, many of which might call on the likes of freshly pressed juices of carrot, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, beet, pumpkin, fennel or sweet potato. To give a little insight into our evolving cocktail menu and how and why we choose certain drinks, spirits and other ingredients, I’ll be profiling some of the drinks we’re most proud of right here on Fork & Shaker.
Our fall menu is well under way and includes such delights as a house made spiced pumpkin soda (spiked with our own Parole whiskey), a strange sounding highball with rum, spiced honey and Greek yoghurt, a warming Sazerac flavored with biscotti, ‘Our’ Cosmopolitan made with Aylesbury Duck vodka, Combier triple sec, lime and cranberry marmalade (we don’t carry cranberry juice), a Pomegranate Collins using a base of Bols genever, a classic Chicago Fizz with port and dark rum and a Pisco Sour variation given an aromatic lift from cinnamon. And who could refuse a drink with the moniker Royal Sloe Gin Fizz, shaken violently with a whole egg? Or the somewhat self explanatory Apples & Pears, made with Laird’s bonded applejack, Clear Creek pear brandy, lemon, spiced agave, nutmeg and granny smith apple cider. It doesn’t get much more seasonal than that, right?
Our aim is to always provide a balanced list that is a mix of some our signatures such as the Celery Gimlet, Gin & Tonic, ‘Bottled’ Champagne Negroni or Yankee Mule with some hyper seasonal concoctions that keep our guests engaged.
As the official ‘Cocktail Guy’ for the Avroko Hospitality Group, my role has me creating and overseeing the cocktail menus and spirits lists for Saxon + Parole, Madam Geneva, Public, The Daily and The Thomas. It’s an exciting role and across all those venues we’re doing some very cool and unique things with our drinks. In a new series here on Fork & Shaker, I’ll be selflessly self promoting some of these drinks we’re doing and how and why they were created.
The first is a new drink that is perfect for this time of year that I’m simply calling ‘Autumn 2012’ because it contains many of the flavors that we love at this time of the year, when the leaves turn from emerald green to auburn and the mercury drops almost overnight. This Fall libation drinks somewhat like an apple old fashioned but the ingredients create something more contemplative than the sum of its parts and is one of the most soothing, comforting drinks I’ve tried in a while.
Laird’s bonded applejack, America’s oldest licenced distillery, provides the base and is stirred over ice with the wonderful pear brandy from Oregon’s Clear Creek, a splash of amontillado sherry adding a dry nuttiness while a few drops of cinnamon bitters brings a spicy warmth. Maple syrup – in this case Crown Maple syrup – owned and distributed by our sommelier at Saxon + Parole, Nathan Wooden – gives a subtle sweetness, and after straining onto a single, crystal clear hand carved ice cube, we finish it with a house made clove and allspice tincture which we spray over the drink for an added spicy aroma.
A slow baked pear chip is added as a beautiful garnish and the coup de grace is that the drink sits on top of a dried maple leaf which we burn the edges just before serving, the whole idea intended to evoke that memorable and engulfing smell of a burning camp fire that we all love. It’s a complex and ethereal cocktail that I’m especially proud of. Available for a limited time only. Come visit us.
1.5 oz. Laird’s bonded applejack
½ oz. amontillado sherry
¼ oz. Clear Creek pear brandy
½ oz. Crown maple syrup
2 dashes cinnamon-infused Angostura bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice
Strain onto a single hand carved ice cube
Garnish with a dehydrated pear tuile
Spray the top with a clove and all spice tincture
Serve on top of a dried maple leave
Ignite the edges with a lighter or blowtorch.
Check out our website here for more information www.saxonandparole.com