The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2016

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Page 99 of 124

december 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  99 In 2015 Souza launched Corbin Cash (named after his son) Barrel Reserve Sweet Potato Liqueur. According to Souza, "The Sweet Potato Liqueur is based on an old family recipe for a sweet potato dessert. We wanted to recreate those flavors of the dessert in a bottle." A unique liqueur made from 100 percent sweet potato and gluten-free, it is aged, like whiskey, for a minimum of three years at 120 proof in custom-charred American white oak barrels. It is then infused with a mix of winter spices including cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and brown sugar. As with any other new unique spirit on the market, it took mixologists some time to find their footing with the spirit, but Souza says, "Now bartenders love its versatility. It's often served as a chilled shot, mixed into bourbon cocktails, or even replaces sweet vermouth for a new take on a Manhattan. I've even seen chefs using it in their cuisine; my friend sautés onions with it." However, Corbin Cash isn't just a one-trick pony; among other spirits, they also produce a sweet potato blended whiskey. Souza admits, "We wanted to have an all sweet potato whiskey, but according to whiskey regulations it has to con- tain some sort of grain to bear the whiskey title." Not one to be deterred, Souza came up with an 80/20 blend of sweet potato spirits and rye, also grown on the family farmland. Each is aged separately in the American white oak barrels for up to four years, and then blended. In addition to the blended whiskey and liqueur, Corbin Cash also has a sweet potato vodka, gin and rye whiskey in their portfolio. Although they're only available in California at the moment through Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, the spirits will be available nationwide shortly, and we can expect the rest of the country to embrace the unique spirits the same way California has. Gilberto Uribe, Bar Manager of restaurant/ bar Boxing Room in San Francisco, California, may be from Mexico, but his drink menu falls more in line with the Cajun/New Orleans cui- sine of the establishment. Bourbon chocolate cream pie and crawfish étouffée sit on the menu alongside libations like milk punch and Hurricanes. Comfortably ensconced between both food and drink is the Sweet Potato Pie shot, a shot of Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur topped with meringue, then bruléed to a golden brown. Uribe says, "I wanted to evoke the taste and texture of a holiday sweet potato dish." The whipped meringue mixture is a nod to the traditional mini marsh- mallows usually adorning the dish. Although the drink has only been on the menu for six months, it's gained a popular following and Uribe sees it becoming even more popular around the holidays as winter closes in. Uribe is currently working on a second cocktail feature Corbin Cash Blended Whiskey that will be a nod to the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, with colorful flavors like Velvet Falernum and Cynar. "Sweet potato is a very unique flavor to spirits," Uribe admits, "But sweet potatoes are enormously popular in the South, and its versatility makes it a great addition to any cocktail or even by itself." Customers are curious about Corbin Cash spirits, and Uribe finds that giving people a taste and explaining where it comes from and its history ensures that Corbin Cash will find more than a few fans at Boxing Room. Sweet Potato Pie Shot ◗ 1¼ oz. chilled Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur Top with meringue then brûlée. Yambilee ◗ 1½ oz. Corbin Cash Blended Whiskey ◗ ¼ oz. Cynar ◗ ½ oz. lemon juice ◗ ½ oz. grapefruit juice ◗ ½ oz. Velvet Falernum Shake, double-strain into a coupe and garnish with a brandied cherry dropped into the glass. PHOTO: CRAIG LEE PHOTO: CRAIG LEE PHOTO: CRAIG LEE Gilbert Uribe, Bar Manager of Boxing Room in San Francisco, California, brûlée's his Sweet Potato Pie shot. Corbin Gets into the Ring at Boxing Room in San Francisco

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