The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

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PRO-file: Misty Kalkofen M isty Kalkofen got her start behind the bar like many attractive girls before her. She was waitressing at The Lizard Lounge 13 years ago and a bartender didn't show up. Next thing she knows, she is behind the stick, mix- ing drinks. The job that really ignited her cocktail geekery was a stint at The B-Side. It was there that her appreciation for classic cocktails and fresh ingredients really took hold. Her education and love of all things cocktail continued on and has blos- somed at her current gig, Drink in South Boston. —Eric Tecosky TP: What is Drink like and how would you describe the beverage program? M isty Kalkofen: Drink is the first bar in Boston that has a cocktail-centered program but no cocktail list. We describe our concept as a cocktail party. If you were at a cocktail party at my house there wouldn't be a cocktail list. The bartenders engage the guests regarding what they would like to drink through a dialogue about spirits, cocktails and flavor profiles and provide cocktail suggestions from there. We love introducing our guests to the classic pre-Prohibi- tion cocktails, but we're not afraid to create cocktails à la minute that are tailored to a guest's specific requests. TP: What skill or skills do you feel makes a great bartender? MK: There are so many! Definitely the abilities to multitask and remain calm and collected during busy times. Or at least the ability to appear calm and collected in busy times. A great bartender also knows how to communicate effectively with both one's coworkers and guests. TP: What is your desert island cocktail and why? MK: The Old Fashioned. Simple perfection in a glass. TP: What is your biggest pet peeve behind the bar? MK: Co-workers that do not clean up after them- selves. TP: Best advice you ever got regarding bartending? MK: "We make drinks for people." That one state- ment reminds me of the importance of balancing the craft of the cocktail with hospitality. TP: Cocktail, The Thin Man or Coyote Ugly? MK: Definitely The Thin Man. TP: Worst mistake you ever made behind the bar? MK: Not trusting my instincts when I thought someone shouldn't be served. TP: Least favorite cocktail to make and why? MK: Anything that involves shaking with mint, because no matter how thorough I am cleaning my tools, I will most likely end up finding pieces of mint in drinks they shouldn't be in. TP: In your opinion, what's the "next big thing" in the bar world? MK: Obscure ingredients. People are going to be clamoring for the strangest spirits they can find from all corners of the globe. TP: Give us one of your originals. MK: The Hortus B, named after the botanical gardens in Amsterdam. Drink, 348 Congress St., Boston, MA; 617-695-1806. 90 / the tasting panel / november 2009 1½ oz. Bols genever ½ oz. Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot ½ oz. chamomile simple syrup ¼ oz. lemon Juice ¼ oz. white grapefruit juice Egg white Dash of Peychaud's bitters Shake all ingredients without ice. Add ice and shake vigor- ously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. I like to garnish with a touch of dried chamomile. (For the syrup: Bring half a cup of water and 3 tbsp. dried chamomile to a sim- mer over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in half a cup of white sugar. Allow to cool and strain.) The Hortus B

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