14 March 2012

The Prairie Oyster

One of the tenets of Tony’s approach to drinks stemming the past twelve years has been a synergy between food and drink. It started in Isola conversing with Bruno Loubet about elements of cuisine that could be applied to the bar. For instance if you could make a puree from fresh fruit rather than buy it then why not? The bespoke product more often than nothas the edge.

The structure of dishes also influenced Tony’s approach to drink, escaping the gravitational pull of sweet and sour or aromatic pivot that informs most drinks, he started to look at the few savory drinks that peppered cocktails book here and there: the Tuxedo, the Dirty Martini, the Bloody Mary.

At the heart of all these drink was umami or savoriness, a quality hard to describe but long praised by Japanese chefs and central to a lot of Spanish and Italian food. Umami is present in high concentration in foods such as tomatoes, parmesan and miso. As such, the Bloody Mary was the ideal candidate not only for its ubiquitous presence in cocktail culture but also wider appeal in relation to the general public. But how to re-configure or make new this classic drink.

Three concepts collided: the original Prairie Oyster whereby an egg yolk was downed with a shot of tomato juice and spices. The classic oyster, a thrilling but alien food, which has always fascinated due to the way it slides down the throat and tastes of the sea. Finally the Bloody Mary, (which would form the road map of ingredients), replacing the tomato juice with a clarified tomato juice, reformulated to resemble an egg yolk. horseradish vodka, Oloroso sherry, Worcester sauce, pepper sauce, shallots (a traditional garnish for oysters), red wine vinegar and finally an oyster leaf (actually has an intense taste of oyster).

The drink is available from Tuesday to Saturday ONLY between 5pm - 7pm. More information to come next week.

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