Rum and coke is a thing of the past. Instead, you’ll find bars offering up a menu of exotic cocktails created from high-quality booze and fresh ingredients. I had the opportunity to speak with the bar manager Sarah Boisjoli from Beauty and Essex — one of the trendiest bars in New York City, known for their high superb cocktail menu — about hot cocktail trends you’ll see this year.
Q. The term “mixologist” is now being used instead of “bartender.” Is there a difference between the two?
There is a difference. A mixologist develops the recipes while the bartender mixes and serves them. In order to develop a cocktail, we work as a team and put much thought and time into perfecting it using the freshest and highest quality ingredients.
Q. What are some of the infusions that you offer on your cocktail menu?
Many of our drinks are creating by infusing flavors. For example in the Sapphire Seventy-Five Bombay Sapphire is infused with blueberry-brown sugar and in the La Miel we infuse a local Brooklyn gin with vanilla.
Q. How can folks at home infuse their own cocktails?
A great combo is Woodford bourbon infused with cinnamon. Put cinnamon sticks into the bourbon and let it hang out for a few days or weeks (the longer it hangs out, the stronger the flavor). Strain it out and you have delicious cinnamon-infused bourbon.
Q. What are other ways you add natural flavors into cocktails?
We make our Cranberry Flower cocktail with fresh cranberry compote. To make the compote we combine sugar and cranberries, bring them to a boil and then cool (recipe below). The compote is then muddled and combined with gin and lemon juice for this crafted cocktail.
Q. Do you have a virgin selection for those who don’t drink alcohol?
Yes. We create the same high quality cocktails that can be enjoyed by folks who can’t or don’t want to consume alcohol. We replace alcohol with juices, water or soda water. For example, we serve a virgin cocktail called Platinum Peacock 9 which is a combination of cucumber, granny smith apple, pineapple and mint.
Q. As the warm weather hits, what are the top 3 ingredients you would recommend folks stock in their home bar?
- A good bottle of gin: I love Brooklyn gin. It has such a delicious flavor that you don’t need to infuse it.
- Fresh citrus: As opposed to bottled lemon or lime juice, stock up of citrus fruit like oranges, lemons, and limes.
- Fresh herbs: Pick up your favorite herb at the market and add it to your cocktail. My favorites are lavender and mint.
Q. Could you share the recipe of one of your delicious artisan cocktails?
Cranberry Flower (pictured above)
2 tablespoons cranberry compote
2 fluid ounces Brooklyn gin
¾ fluid ounces fresh lemon juice
¾ fluid ounces simple syrup
To make cranberry compote: Bring 3 parts fresh cranberries with 2 parts sugar and 1 part water to a boil, allowing to boil for 3 minutes, then letting cool.
In a mixing glass, muddle 2 tablespoons of cranberry compote, then add ice, Brooklyn gin, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a few cranberries.