The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2014

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Page 57 of 134

56  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2014 "C ocktails are getting simpler but better," says Kim Haasarud, Master Mixologist of Liquid Architecture, the beverage consultancy hired by Omni Hotels & Resorts to oversee the chain's pro- grams nationally. "The idea behind the whole program was to make cocktails that were simple to execute, to bring back the classics and to make sure that local ingredients were playing a part at each property." Haasarud's career started in the 1990s in New York. "I was the geeky bartender who was always insisting on fresh ingredients," she recalls. A move to Los Angeles brought some clout to her name and saw her start in consult- ing. "I was working primarily for the entertain- ment industry and was able to show people that we could create custom cocktails to fit a theme—for a party, for example—that were still delicious and that used fresh ingredients." A few years later, Haasarud is still that fantas- tic mixologist preaching fresh ingredients, but now she's also an eight-time published author of the 101 Cocktails book series, President of the Phoenix USBG chapter, founder of Arizona Cocktail Week and, of course, Master Mixologist of her own beverage consulting firm, Liquid Architecture. Starting on the Omni program last year, Haasarud first wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. "I wrote a manual to help the bartenders understand the whys: Why do we shake for a certain amount of time; why are some cocktails stirred instead; what bitters to add to cocktails, etc." She then looked to each region for inspiration, explaining, "I really wanted to let each property's personality shine through, so it was important to incorporate micro-distilleries, regional bitters and local ingredients." It was also important to keep each property's theme in mind, like she did with the Montelucia Sangria, served at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. "The property is modeled after an Andalusian village in southern Spain, so I wanted to use that influence to make a really refreshing sangria that is perfect to sip on a hot Arizona day." Kim-plifying Cocktails CONTINUING HER MISSION OF FRESH INGREDIENTS AND SIMPLICITY, KIM HAASARUD TAKES ON THE NATIONAL OMNI HOTELS & RESORTS BEVERAGE PROGRAM The Montelucia Sangria ◗ 1 bottle of Rioja (Haasarud used Ramón Bilbao 2010 Tempranillo) ◗ 2 tbsp. aged balsamic ◗ 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice ◗ ¾ cup simple syrup ◗ 1 cup sliced strawberries ◗ 1 sliced orange ◗ Tweak to taste. Kim Haasarud, Master Mixologist of Liquid Architecture, the beverage consultancy hired by Omni Hotels & Resorts. by Breanne DeMore / photos by Grace Stufkosky BEVERAGE PROGRAMS

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