22 December 2007

Peruvian Panpipes

This was a drink I did for a Pisco company. Piscos were usually fairly undrinkable outside of a cocktail. This particular Pisco was quite drinkable by itself so to highlight this I made a sangrita style drink to highlight the quality the spirit was served chilled and in the other glass was a fresh made passion sour with bitters, (there was a raspberry version too). The idea was to sip one the the other in which ever order you choose. This did well especially with people sitting in at the bar I think that people liked the choice option in the drink.

Luna Martini

This is a drink that was invented back in 2003 in collaboration with Ian Wisniewski the renowned drinks writer and vodka expert. The idea was to create a new vodka profile for a vodka martini with existing vodkas. To make our "own" blend if you like, so we did vodka tastings and matched a couple of them that we thought would make for an interesting blend (it also had to go with the vermouth). Finally after much deliberation we came up with 2 parts Moskovaya 1 part Sichwha 1/4 part Martini dry, one dash angostura and a lemon twist. I particularly like how the earthyness of the Sichwha underpins the drink. I think this gives you a little something more to hold on to than your average vodka martini.

Liquorice Whisky Sour

This is a simple but effective variation of the whisky sour cocktail that has a lovely warm liquorice finish. I prefer to use blended whisky as it marries better with the homemade liquorice syrup.
We use Sicilian licorice for its incredible flavour.

Archive Cocktail - Chamomille Cooler (2007)

This is a whisky cocktail which has a sour base and chamomille foam layered on top. As you drink the cocktail the bottom, whisky, section is drunk through the foam so that you get hit by a combination of both flavours.

Step 1
800ml Water
3 Sheets of gelatine
30g Chamomile powder
5ml Vanilla extract
75ml gomme
stir gently
cover with Clingfilm and heat for 2 minutes in a microwave

Step 2
Add 15g ovoneve

Step 3
Use hand blender until coherent

Step 4
Strain into siphon using sieve and funnel

Step 5
Add N2O, shake and chill.

Step 6
Layer on top of drink

Painting by Jill Degroff

White Gin Fizz

The gin fizz is one of my all time favourite all time cocktail in this version it has a a scoop of lemon sorbet in it which gives the drink a lovely smoothness, but also a sherbety fizziness which was exactly what I was looking for! I worked with an ice cream maker to get a sorbet with the right balance of flavour and egg white in it to use in the a drink.

21 December 2007

Prarie Oyster

This is a re-interpretation of the hang over cure drink the Prairie Oyster. Using a technique that they invented at elbulli to create a yolk which has a liquid centre and a gelatine casing.
I made a tomato yolk using clarified tomato juice then recoloured it to look like an egg yolk. I then added an air of Worcestershire sauce some shallots, a splash of vodka some salt some pepper and some Tabasco sauce. The shells are made from wax that was poured into a mold that was cast from oyster shells.
It is then drunk as an oyster would be eaten and what you get is the intitial flavours of the spices and the intensity o
f the air of Worcestershire, then the yolk pops and you get the clean fresh flavour of the tomato juice.

Super Soda

This is a cocktail that uses a suspension gel. Which is basically a liquid gelatin so that when you put bits in it they will be suspended (as can be seen in the photo) whilst the drink remains liquid.
This particular drink was based on the Tom Collins. Except instead of soda i used a mineral water I had flavoured. The flavouring was influenced by the Comme des Garcons perfume "Soda" which is a construct of oders which smell like soda (this they did by using a headspace machine and then reconstructed using artificial fragrances).
I then took these fragrance notes and reconstructed (as closely as i could using food grade essences) the smell/flavour profile. This was then used to flavour the water which was then added to a Tom Collins base. The lemon juice added was clarified. To this I added the gel, then the nutmeg caviar, crystalized lemon zests. This was all placed in the glasses and chilled.
The second incarnation of this drink I took out the caviar and the zest and added flavour bubbles. These I made by adapting a isi syphon so that i could "inject" bubbles into the drink these bubbles became suspended. The flavour came from using the same flavour essence that was used for flavoring the water. When you drank the drink you have the flavour of the drink and then little flavour explosions from the bubbles.....

20 December 2007

The Sugar Loaf Mountain Cooler

The Sugar Loaf Mountain Cooler

50ml Cachaça
25ml Lime
15ml Sugar Syrup
Top with Sugar Cane Water
Glass – High Ball
Garnish lime

Like a longer version of a

Brazilian El Presidente

This is a version of the Cuban drink the El Presidente that I made for a Cachaça company in it I have exchanged certain ingredients for others i.e. fig liqueur instead of triple sec, Cachaça instead of rum.
50ml Cachaça
15ml Sweet Vermouth
10ml Fig Liqueur
5ml Grenadine Syrup
Glass - Martini

Pour all the ingredients into a Boston tin,
Stir about 20 times
Strain into glass though a fine strainer so as no ice in drink
Garnish with an orange twist

Cashewnut and condensed milk batida

One of my all time favorite blended drinks a Batida this version is one with both cashew nut and condensed milk something both commonly used in drinks in Brazil. Makes for a lovely nutty smooth drink which mixes well with the Cachaca. C

The fig caipirina with a hint of licorice. This is a drink we used to make lots back in the Isola days this is where we started to look at making drinks seasonally. We only did this drink for a short while, we took it off before the season ended as it was so popular that was all we made for weeks on end.

11 December 2007

The Elegante

This I suppose is one of my signature cocktail this was from Isola in 2000. I wanted to make a classy blended drink (blended drinks are always getting a panning and I think unfairly as they can be great drinks if made well). My starting point was the sgropino I love the flavours in that drink but wanted it without the cream. What I wanted was to create a new flavour profile, what I ended up with I think was more sherberty and I love the way the flavours work in a sequence. the prosecco features more as well...

Clover Club

This is a version of the Clover Club cocktail that was part of a project which was to show case methods learnt from chefs. Then showing how those processes can be used to make drinks. This was a foam Clover Club, with a couple of additions rhubarb gin and a touch of rose. The spun sugar is made from clove sweets which contrasts and compliments the drink.

10 December 2007

Dry Martini with Grapefruit and Chamomile bitters

This was part of a project that I did in 2006. A dry martini cocktail with a home made grapefruit and chamomile bitters that I made in a vacuum still. A subtle twist on a classic but brings out some interesting flavours in the gin. The use of the still was a major turning point. It has introduced new possibilities with how I could integrate flavours into drinks.

Smoked Old Fashioned

This is a version of Nick Strangeways cocktail that I have always liked which I believe he first did at Che. A slight variation on his in that I have used an essence of tabacco, a smoke essence and some leather essence all food grade. This also varies in that it has whisky with a lemon twist.

The idea was to put the idea of the drink inside the drink ie. a sit down in big leather sofa with a cigar and smoke swirling drink! These essences where all mixed in a sugar syrup soultion that also has gum arabic this give a great mouth feel or silkiness.

The Twinkle

This is one I worked on just after leaving Isola back in 2001. It is just a simple cocktail that works effectively. I like the way the elderflower tucks itself under the champagne. The lemon zest lifts the flavours and all three mask the vodka.
A drink with some easy going flavours which has a bit of a kick that makes you Twinkle.

Tokyo baby and Hello kitty

Hallo Kitty Label

These two drinks were first made conceived in March 2004 where I first started looking at delivery systems and how I could start to present cocktails differently. The inspiration came from some info on Jerry Thomas I had been given. The Tokyo Baby was based very much on observing flavour combinations of Wagashi (specialised desserts) in Japan. The second was the hallo kitty which was based on a raspberry bonbon i had tasted,the drink has quite classical proportions with extras, with the citric volume turned up so that you had a balanced drink but retained the raspberry/ vanilla creaminess. The fizzy water is poured in first the mix second so the drink retains its fizz. Every year the labels are redesigned by young designers who usually work in the restaurant or are from the local college. The bottles themselves are the water bottles from the restaurant which are sterilized and recycled.

08 January 2007

Old theme Interview with Jasper Tay

Tony: Your bar is to some extent a departure from your average style bar
design (and wonderfully refreshing) Could you tell me what the philosophy
behind the concept was?

Jasper: At the time the idea for 43 was conceived, the West End was at the height of what I called- ‘bling culture’ & minimalist venues. They all looked similar- slick, like a car show room.

Because South Molton St is primarily a retail street renowned for fashion (particularly shoes). I wanted to fit in but stand out at the same time. The idea was to make to the ground floor feel like retail space but with something obviously very food and drink orientated happening inside. The idea was to put some soul back into Mayfair and create a neighbourhood general store in the middle of West End where you can buy all the necessities. I wanted to create a space where our local community would feel comfortable dropping by for a late lunch or grab a quick drink after work. I am thinking of putting up a notice board so you can put up a notice if you lost your cat. The store will change constantly and act as a platform for new up and coming fashion designers who were looking to showcase in the West End.

The upstairs members section I wanted to look like an eccentric country house, serving cocktails out of teacups. I tell the guys all the time that when people come to the bar they should feel like they are in someones living room and not a bar. The fun thing is that the design changes every week. If we feel like moving the furniture around- we do it. I like keeping things fresh- changing the pictures on the toilet doors, creating new tables, changing the lighting. It shows your customers you are proud of your establishment and changes the atmosphere in the venue. The greatest thing about the design of 43 is that there are no rules.

Tony: I don’t know if you had a design team but it sounds like you and your staff are taking responsibility for the feel of the bar through the design its more organic, I like the idea that it can constantly change. It reminds me of a bar in the former east berlin which was actually somebodies house during the day and bar by night she just locked he bedroom when it was a bar.

Jasper: We had a fantastic designer called Russell Sage do the interior here, a fashion designer by trade who ran away with the circus when he was young- so not you’re a-Stereotypical interiors guy. Russell has great creative energy so it was great collaborating with him on this, he really understood what we wanted here. It is always inevitable that the design of the building changes slightly after a venue opens. You never quite know how people are going to move in the space until they are actually in there.

As for the bar in Berlin, you are not too far off from the truth. I like the house analogy as it says a lot about this business. The dream was to have this one degree of separation from everyone, like a house party, but one that happens every night of the week. We are launching the memberships in June, so we are building it with that in mind.

Tony: How has your transition from employee to employer been?

Jasper: Apart from not been able to sleep at night, its been great! But really- not much has changed. I have always felt a sense of ownership everywhere I have worked, it makes you a lot prouder of the work you produce. It is important for me that the guys who work at 43 feel like they are working WITH me and not FOR me.

I must admit though, the learning curve has been exponential. The exposure financing, design, PR and marketing has really taught me a lot. It has not been easy but I have enjoyed every minute this last 9 months. Hopefully I can carry skills onto other businesses.

At the end of the day though, I am still a part of a team- that part hasn’t changed.

Tony: What advice or encouragement could you give bartenders to take that leap to owner ship?

Jasper: I think trade magazines do a great job giving advice bartenders in general, but that’s all academic at the end of the day if you don’t believe in yourself. That’s the biggest asset. Anyone is capable of anything if you want it bad enough. That, combined with hard work of course.

Tony: Presumably you have backers? How did that come about and how did you gain trust and confidence in them and them in you (as that is what it would takes to share a business and to have a working vision?

Jasper: To every business there is an element of risk, things may look great on paper but you don’t ever know how it is going to work out until you start working with each other. Trust and confidence is something that grows over time. All the people involved in this business have one vision- to open a great bar, restaurant & members club that will hopefully become a London institution.