The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

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pepper and carrot as a garnish. On each plate, the flavor is there, and then some. "Some chefs may not understand how to use flavor healthfully," Lorenz comments. "That's the revolution here—using a product for what it is instead of masking freshness with sauces or demi-glace." He sprinkles Australian lake salt, a hard-to-come-by ingredient that he says dissolves better than kosher salt, on fresh salmon, over the grill. "Simple ingredients make for an easier recipe. Now, more than ever, we have better access to fresh foods. I encourage everyone to shed the crutches of prepared foods and let the products speak for themselves." Meet Armando Rosario SW&S Mixologist, Las Vegas We first met Armando Rosario over five years ago when he was the lead bartender at The Parasol, the top bar at Wynn Las Vegas. For the past year, he has taken the leading role as Mix- ologist for Southern in Nevada. "A position such as this—to be able to play with flavors and tex- tures—this is what I love to do," offers the 47-year-old mix master. When we ask what his strength is behind the bar, he replies with honesty: "Someone once said that creativity only comes with talent." Born and raised in Mozambique and fluent in four languages (Eng- lish, French, Spanish and his native Portuguese), Rosario has a keen nose for savory global ingredients. But his mantra truly speaks of his philoso- phy: "Make it fresh; keep it simple." Like Chef Lorenz, Rosario believes in purity of product. He focuses on fresh ("Once you use fresh, it's hard to mess up a recipe") but also in ease of making the concoction. He in- fluences Las Vegas bartenders every day: "What I can do, you can do." Rosario found a kindred spirit in Francesco Lafranconi, who runs SW&S national spirits education and is preparing for the ninth year of the SW&S Academy of Spirits and Fine Service. "I thought I was alone in my beliefs," the mixologist confides, "but Francesco was the first person I met in 20 years who truly under- stands fresh." On Location Chef Lorenz Can't Live Without . . . "My juicer. I take carrot juice and put it in a double boiler to reduce the sugars. It comes out as a jus or a broth. Broths are under-rat- ed. I use vegetable broth rather than animal broth." The Berry Blak 2 oz. Belvedere Black Raspberry vodka 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice ¾ oz. agave nectar 6 to 8 blackberries 1 sprig thyme Method: muddle blackberries, thyme and lime juice. Add vodka and agave nectar. Shake all ingredi- ents with ice and strain into a cock- tail glass. Garnish with blackberries and thyme. The Repo Man 2 oz. Patrón Reposado 1 oz. fresh lemon juice ½ oz. agave nectar 2 strawberries 2 slices Fuji apple ¼ oz. ginger syrup Method: Muddle strawberries and apple with lemon juice. Add ginger syrup and tequila. Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with strawberry. Citrus Burst 1½ oz. Grey Goose L'Orange vodka 1 oz. Mathilde Grand Orange XO liqueur 1 oz. yuzu juice 2 orange slices Club soda 2 dashes Gary Regan's bitters Method: Muddle orange slices and yuzu juice; add vodka and orange liqueur; shake with ice and strain into a highball glass with fresh ice; top with club soda. Garnish with orange slices. 74 / the tasting panel / november 2009

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