The SOMM Journal

June / July 2018

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{ } 89 JCB Vodka A passion project of French winemaker Jean- Charles Boisset, JCB Vodka's vintage-dated creation is one of the few spirits distilled from oak- aged Pinot Noir and Char - donnay. Enjoyed neat, it's crisp with a hint of stony salinity that's suggestive of the Côte d'Or soils in France, where the grapes are sustainably grown and hand-picked. In Backbeat Assistant General Manager Natalie Mauser-Carter's elegant Golden Slope cocktail, the vodka's elegance shines with a supporting cast of dill-infused Dolin Blanc, St-Germain liqueur, and Jamaican bitters. "I wanted to use the essence of el - derflower and dill to bring out flavors of summer and the fresh notes you'll find in wine-based distillate," Mauser-Carter said. Along with JCB Spirits' flagship pure vodka, Bois - set also produces a vodka infused with French caviar, a third vodka infused with famous black truffles of Périgord, and a gin derived from 44 botanicals and inspired by the dry London style. All three vodkas and the gin are a rare treat served icy-cold with caviar in an elegant toast to summer. The Panelists Said: Neat: Nice peppery bite; lovely salinity and mouthfeel. Cocktail: Gorgeous texture! I love the dill in this drink—it really balances out the pepperiness of the vodka. Also an excel- lent balance for the salinity. —Jessica Sanders Neat: Grape-forward with subtle notes of cocoa, pow- dered sugar, and vanilla. Very confectionary. Nice mouthfeel and surprisingly weighty considering multiple distillations. Cocktail: Dill and St-Germain work really well with the salinity of the vodka. A really unique and refreshing variation on a Martini. —Steph Teslar { } 89 Kirk and Sweeney 18-Year Rum Aged non-solera for 18 years in oak barrels, this Do- minican Republic rum—another member of the 3 Badge Beverage Corp. portfolio—exudes vanilla, almond, pro- nounced coconut, and pleasantly astringent wood tannins. Named for a Caribbean rum-running schooner during the early years of Prohibition, Kirk and Sweeney honors the long history of rum production with a squat bottle inspired by 18th-century, hemp-netted "onion" bottles, which were hung from a beam on the ship. In another nod to the spirit's history, Kolitz created a drink called The Caribbean Fortress, evoking adventure on the high seas with local orgeat from Austin's Liber & Company, fresh lemon and grapefruit juices, a chai-infused simple syrup, and a little salt. "I spent ten years in the kitchen before getting behind the bar, so I know that salt brings out every - thing," Kolitz said. The Panelists Said: Neat: Crème brûlée, breadfruit nose; medium viscos- ity with a very short finish. Vanilla bean, cheesecake, lactose finish. Cocktail: Cin- namon nose. Dry mouthfeel with cinnamon raisin oat- meal cookies on the palate. F'ing delicious. —Steve White Neat: Oaky banana with island spice and baking spices. Nutty finish. Cocktail: Spiced cinnamon nose, orange blossom, floral, fruit-forward. Slight green vegetal finish with the ad- dition of Pasote Reposado. —Dustin Bolf Bartender Aaron Kolitz created the Caribbean Fortress with Kirk and Sweeney Rum. The Golden Slope 2 oz. JCB Pure Vodka ¼ oz. St-Germain ¾ oz. dill-infused Dolin Blanc Vermouth 2 drops Bittercube Jamaican #1 Cocktail Bitters Fresh dill sprig garnish Natalie Mauser-Carter, the Assistant General Manager at Backbeat in Austin, represented JCB Vodka. Caribbean Fortress 2 oz. Kirk and Sweeney 18- Year Rum ½ oz. Pasote Reposado Tequila ¾ oz. chai-infused hibiscus tea syrup ¾ oz. Liber & Co. Almond Orgeat Syrup ½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice ½ oz. lemon juice 3 drops 20% salt solution

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