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BENT ON MIXOLOGY THE HOMECOMING Designed by H. Joseph Ehrmann, The Elixir Saloon, San Francisco ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 1½ oz. Ron Zacapa 23 Year Old 1 oz. Warres Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Port 1 oz. lemon juice 2 barspoons pumpkin butter Luxardo Maraschino cherry (or other brandied cherry) ■ In a mixing glass, add all ingredients, fill with ice and shake well for 10 seconds. Hawthorne-strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino cherry on a toothpick. . “This simple combination of warm, autumnal flavors, rich port fruit and citric balance creates a seasonal cocktail that is refreshingly balanced and addictive— it reminds me of returning to my high school Homecoming weekend,” comments the drink’s designer H. Joseph Ehrmann. “I’d like to be sitting on the sideline watching a football game with this cocktail.” BRIDGET ALBERT: What’s your process for designing a signature holiday cocktail? Jon P: I initially think of the sights, scents, and flavors that remind me of the holidays, and then I try to figure out what base ingredient would work best in highlighting a particular flavor or flavors. Josh P: I use the themes of celebra- tion and winter, which in Chicago can be very cold. I like to incorporate celebratory ingredients, like cham- pagne, and warming ingredients, like brown spirits, teas and coffees. 7 HOURS AWAY designed by Josh Pearson, Sepia, Chicago ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 2 oz. Olmeca Altos Reposado tequila 1 oz.Arabic tea syrup* 1 oz.lemon 1 barspoon fig preserve Dash Angostura ■ Shake, double-strain and serve up. Garnish with a sage leaf. *For Arabic tea syrup, brew 1 cup Ceylon tea with 6 sage leaves. Mix with 1 cup turbinado sugar and strain. Cool. 88 / the tasting panel / december 2010 Debbi P: I design cocktails based on what is in season and what Chef has available. It makes sense to use ingredients that are already present on the food menu and are a natural fit for the bar menu. H. Joseph E: I like to look for new ways to incorporate traditional flavors. The “warm baking spice” combination is something that approaches the senses in a way that has a nostalgia- inducing effect. They make most people feel that warm and fuzzy memory of holidays past, so incorporating them into cocktails is something that so many customers are looking for. This really sets the moment. B.A.: What are your favorite winter ingredients for use in a cocktail? Jon P: Winter spices like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and all-spice. I love to use apple cider, pears, cranberries and figs. Dark spirits such as aged rums and cognacs go great with these ingredients. Josh P: Although I never drink a cup of tea, it’s become my absolute favorite winter ingredient. I enjoy exotic blends like Magnolia, Oolong, Roobois and the always great Earl Grey. Quality fresh produce can be very limited this time of year, so I like to use homemade jams, preserves and pickles. Debbi P: Ginger. It really is my all-year flavor. I love the spicy kick it brings to every spirit. H. Joseph E: Beyond the baking spices, I like to use rich flavors from barrel-aged spirits, warm ingredients like tea, coffee and hot cocoa, and richer ingredients like milk, eggs and powdered sugar. B.A.: Holidays are all about eating and drinking! Are there any holiday cocktails H. Joseph Ehrmann is owner of the Elixir Saloon in San Francisco.

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