The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2016

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july 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  77 Los Angeles area participants: Rosie Ruiz, Mixologist at Indulgence in West Hollywood; Alicia Ajolo, Sommelier at Taste wine-beer-kitchen in Belmont Heights; Megan Barton, Head Bartender at Tony's Saloon in Downtown Los Angeles and Genie Gore, Bartender at Melrose Umbrella Company in Hollywood. Matt Wallace, Head Bartender at Madera Kitchen in Hollywood, CA. "S ince the theme of the night seemed to be things grown on vines, I decided to throw a little Port into the mix," Matt Wallace says, explaining the reasoning behind one of the cocktails he created specifically for the event. His Nom de Guerre cocktail utilizes Courvoisier's VSOP, a fuller and richer expres- sion that Wallace thinks stands up to the Port, which acts as a sturdier vermouth. The second cocktail is a play on a Kir Royale that Wallace dubbed Mayor Felix as a nod to Felix Kir, a former priest turned mayor of Dijon, who served Kir Royales to visiting dignitaries. Wallace thought the light, bright flavors of Courvoisier VS was the perfect fit for the blackberry syrup. With the proliferation of complicated, ten-ingre- dient cocktails, Wallace looked to create simple but delicious drinks. "Subtlety can be loud!" he proclaims. "And I love that Courvoisier has different expres- sions that allow for range and versatility when mixing cocktails." Nom de Guerre w 1½ oz. Courvoisier VSOP w 1½ oz. Churchill's White Port w ½ oz. Aperol Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir to combine. Strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish. Mayor Felix w 2 oz. Courvoisier VS w ¾ oz. lemon juice w ¾ oz. blackberry syrup Combine ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice and shake to combine. Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a blackberry on a pick. Nom de Guerre, left, made with Courvoisier VSOP and Mayor Felix, made with Courvoisier VS. Talking Cognac with Matt Wallace, Head Bartender at Madera Kitchen

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