The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

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NOMADIC BARTENDER Niki Kotantoulas joins The Powder Room Beverage Director Luke Andes. At Bludso's, GM Zak Fishman and nomadic Niki dig in to their cocktails. Mongolian BBQ Perhaps Mongolia's best-known export to the U.S. (until now!), the beloved tradition of Mongolian BBQ got a unique twist on Niki's tour of Los Angeles, with a stop at West Hollywood's comfort-food zone, Bludso's. There, GM Zak Fishman turns to simple, bright, citrus-y cocktails as a complement to the big, bold and meaty flavors that abound on the menu. "People want something light when they're eating so much meat!" laughs Zak. Keeping seasonality and fruit flavors in mind, Zak began to mix up a Persimmon Smash, which he explained would be a perfect fit for Soyombo's profile: "It's a super clean-tasting vodka, which means you can really keep the cocktail simple, and it's got a nice weight to it on the palate. " Persimmon Smash 2 oz. Soyombo Vodka 1 oz. lemon 1 oz. spiced simple syrup 2 dashes Angostura bitters Muddled persimmon Mongolian Winter in Hollywood "You don't think of vodka when you think of Mongolia, " admits Luke Andes, Beverage Director at Hollywood's newest chic watering hole, The Powder Room, "but I think I might now!" With an emphasis on elegant, classic cocktails smack dab in the middle of L.A.'s most hoppin' club scene, the Powder Room's not a vodka-shy account. "I do a lot of infusions here, he says, pointing to a rack " on the backbar with unlabeled, brightly-colored bottles. "Soyombo has a nice sweetness to it that would lend itself well to infusions, especially sticking within the Asian flavors lemongrass, Thai chili, ginger, honey . . . — I can't wait to play with it more!" As Niki and Luke discussed L.A.'s short-lived December "cold snap" (we're wimps, we know), Luke was dreaming of warmer days with his two Soyombo cocktails, The Morning Star and Chasing Summer. Chasing Summer The Morning Star 2 oz. Soyombo Vodka ¾ oz. cardamom-rosemary syrup ¾ oz. lemon juice 2 oz. soda water Rosemary garnish 2 oz. Soyombo Vodka ½ oz. lemon juice ¾ oz. blackberry hibiscus syrup ½ oz. grapefruit juice 2 dashes Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters Top with soda 62  /  the tasting panel  /  january 2014 TP0114_034-65.indd 62 12/19/13 9:29 PM

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