The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Eighty
About a month ago we had the chance to visit Chicago – and got a reservation for a cocktail – food pairing dinner at The Aviary bar in Chicago. It was an incredible experience, and there were so many things that we felt made it “top notch”.
In this episode we’re going over some of the key takeaways we noticed – and we’ll hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for making your own bar that much more memorable for guests.
Oh – and did you catch our “little” announcement?
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Eight Things We Learned:
Listen to the episode for the full list, but here’s a teaser!
- The benefits of being accommodating
- The Guest’s experience doesn’t start at the door
- If you earn it, you can charge it.
- Don’t overlook your ice!
- Have some fun with it
- The Art of Showmanship
- Cocktail Flights & Heavy Pours
- Seeing through the eyes of a guest
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Thanks for Listening!
Have you been to The Aviary, or other similarly memorable bars? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Hi Julia and Chris! Awesome episode. I have several friends who aren’t big drinkers and I really want to take my mocktail game to the next level. You are so right that the virgin mojito is played out. Could you expand on the use of verjus? How would you use it as a substitute for spirit? Would you generally dilute it with water or other ingredients to cut the intensity? Any other non-alcoholic cocktail tips? (I noticed that you used the ginger-kick in your salted watermelon cooler as a stand in for spirit). Thanks! -Greg
Great question and the way that I used verjus in the past was as a replacement/partial substitution for acid in cocktails. It works particularly well with brandy based cocktails or and drink that has wine/sparkling wine as an ingredient. The grape in the verjus helps to reinforce the grape flavor in the wine or brandy in the cocktail.
As far as using verjus in drinks, you can really have a lot of fun. Since it is acidic, you can get creative on infusing the verjus with ingredients (be careful of oxidation) and balancing out the acid with flavored syrups. I’ve never used verjus as the acidic part of a shrub, but I imagine that would work as well.
This is not really a non alcoholic drink tip, but more of a way to practice with all ingredients, experiment with different ways of extracting. Alcohol is only one solvent in the spirits world, water is another important solvent that often gets overlooked. Cucumber, lime and mint infused water will taste very different from a cucumber, mint and lime infused spirit. Water extraction can really open up new flavors for non alcoholic drinks and will absolutely carry over in cocktail design if you were interested.
Hope this helps.
Thank you! Very helpful