The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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Page 80 of 136

80  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2014 ON-PREMISE PATTER Wren ◗ 1½ oz. ABSOLUT ELYX Vodka ◗ ¾ oz. Chareau Aloe Vera Liqueur ◗ ½ oz. grapefruit juice ◗ ½ oz. lemon juice ◗ Barspoon simple syrup ◗ 2 dashes celery bitters ◗ Stir ingredients and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with lemon twist. Margo the Albatross ◗ 1½ oz. AVIÓN Reposado Tequila ◗ ½ oz. Cynar ◗ ½ oz. lime juice ◗ ½ oz. lemon juice ◗ ½ oz. hibiscus syrup ◗ ¼ oz. Kaffir lime syrup ◗ Combine ingredients into a shaker with ice; shake and strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Garnish with a mint leaf. I t can be hard to marry a seri- ous dining experience with an approachable, open attitude towards service and style, yet Hatfield's seems to have achieved this often-challenging balance. Their cocktail list is an organic extension of the cuisine: thoughtful, creative and inviting. Bartender Kevin Deakers, a longtime veteran of the restaurant and bar industry, was drawn to the bar program at Hatfield's by the house philosophy that a cocktail should be afforded the same level of craftsmanship as any of the dishes coming out of the kitchen. "We have a great amount of freedom when creating our cocktail list, which changes seasonally," explains Deakers. "Karen and Quinn [Hatfield, the husband and wife chef/ owner team of the restaurant] pour so much care into every aspect of Hatfield's; from the food in the kitchen, to the garnishes and juices behind the bar, everything is the highest quality and preparation." With 12 carefully curated cocktails on the current list, it would be hard not to find something delicious to explore, but for those who simply must have their go-to beverage, Kevin and crew are happy to accommodate. "We take our bar program here at Hatfield's very seriously, but if someone wants something not on the list, it is our pleasure to make the best possible version of that that we can," says Deakers emphatically. "We are here for the guest, and to that end, a cocktail should be delicious, efficiently made, consistent and lend itself to the overall experi- ence of the person enjoying it." Setting the Stage THE BAR PROGRAM AT HATFIELD'S SHINES FROM OVERTURE TO FINALE Kevin Deakers—Bartender at Hatfield's in L.A.—shares with us his experiences working with ABSOLUT ELYX Vodka and AVIÓN Reposado Tequila. "ELYX is wonderful to work with; it is straightforward and fresh, a perfect crisp summertime spirit," explains Deakers. "Its striking bottle doesn't hurt either. Our guests notice it on the bar and it starts conversation." "Tequila is coming back, especially in Southern California, which is exciting because it is such a versatile and interest- ing spirit," says Deakers. "Avión is a great foil for some typically unusual matchups, such as hibiscus and Kaffir lime." by Karen Moneymaker / photos by Adam James Bartender Kevin Deakers is a wonderful "spirits guide" for guests of the bar at Hatfield's in L.A.

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