The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 111 of 152

Daniel Brancusi whips up a Reyka Mule at Dutch Kills in Long Island City. Portland, Daniel's happy at home in NYC. "I love visiting restaurants in New York," he says. "That's my thing. I don't cook—I don't even think I have gas in my apartment—but I love going out and trying new places. Being surprised by a restaurant is one thing I love most, and I've discovered that some of the best food I've had is street food. Fine dining has its place, but its not the only place to find great food." Daniel cites renowned El Bulli chef Ferran Adrià as his ultimate in food inspiration: "The stuff he did was very cerebral and made you see food in a very different way," he explains. "His food offers the essence of a single flavor or ingredient in surprising yet simple ways." That, explains Daniel, is where Reyka vodka also has a unique opportunity. "The tides are turning back in vodka's favor. To showcase an ingredient in a cocktail and bring that to the forefront, you need vodka—and a brand like Reyka rounds out those flavors." To demonstrate Reyka's versatility, Daniel takes us to one of his favorite Brooklyn haunts, Gwynnett St., where Bar Manager Gerry Corcoran greets Daniel like a friend before explaining that Reyka is a mainstay on the menu. "Reyka is a really versatile vodka," comments Corcoran, who says his guests ask for the brand by name. "It's got a lovely citrus component, with a bit of bitter grapefruit and a really nice weight to it that can stand up to a spirit-driven cocktail in a way many vodkas can't." But there's an undeniable kinship between Daniel and Corcoran that indicates there's more than one reason Gwynnett St. is a Reyka bar. "Daniel's a super nice guy who really knows what he's talking about. I could never see him working for a spirit he doesn't believe in. I'm backing Reyka because he's backing Reyka." It is that kind of kinship that makes Daneil's job truly a dream. "All of the travel can be difficult," he admits, " but at the end of the day, it always feels like going home, no matter where I am. I'm always home in every market, with friends and bars that I love." The Helka created by Gerry Corcoran at Gwynnett St. in Brooklyn ◗ 1¼ oz. Reyka Vodka ◗ 1 oz. Cocchi Rosa ◗ ¾ oz. Clear Creek Plum Brandy ◗ ¼ oz. simple syrup ◗ Stir with ice and strain into a chilled Nick and Nora. Garnish with an expressed orange twist. november 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  111 TP1113_109-156.indd 111 10/24/13 9:16 AM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - November 2013