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Walker Menus: (Wet Hot) American Summer

Walker Menu: (Wet Hot) American Summer

We may take cocktails seriously, but it doesn’t mean we can’t all have a lot of fun while we’re at it. The Walker Inn’s second menu (launched mid-July 2015) took on a lighter tone than the first. Our hope was to shape a menu around key summertime memories, mostly from childhood (but boozy!), and instead of broad concepts associated with a specific place or moment — as in the case of the PCH menu — drinks for American Summer needed to encapsulate a memory, to draw us back towards a place in our childhood (real or fictionalized) that evoked a very specific emotion. In this way, we began the development process by defining specific sense memories and working backwards towards a finished cocktail. Heady, huh?

It just so happens that The Walker Inn is run by a bunch of smart asses. One of our favorite movies is Wet Hot American Summer — if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and head over to Netflix. As we were throwing around ideas for the summer menu, it kept coming up, and we found ourselves returning to its humor for inspiration. While very little of the Walker menu runs parallel to the movie’s narrative, we had a blast drawing inspiration from Wet Hot American Summer because it balances childhood innocence (summer camp) with some good old fashioned debauchery (camp counselors). Which is to say, while The Walker Inn and its drinks aim at tapping memory associations for a time and place — that deep sense of nostalgia, the holy grail of drinks making — there’s also a healthy recognition that we’re all in this to have a good time. It’s ok to laugh at a cocktail. Or, we hope, laugh with a cocktail. And so, throughout the guest’s experience at Walker Inn, small inspirations from the film found their way into the experience. Yes, we are highly amused.

Dig in before school starts again!

– The Walker Inn Team

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(Wet Hot) American Cocktails

Oshibori & Amuse

The Idea: Upon arrival, guests were greeted with a hot towel (oshibori) scented with Clear Creek Pear Brandy and a hint of tea tree oil — refreshing with just a hint of woodsiness.

To kick off drinks inspired by American Summer, we needed to tap a very specific type of memory, one that brings you sharply back to a summer afternoons free of obligation. Had to go deep. Orange Cream Soda has a special place in our childhoods, and so it just felt right to start off our guest’s time at The Walker Inn with a drink that mixes is with another of our favorites: sherry. Carbonated and garnished with a dehydrated orange wheel, a little something light and bubbly.

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The Recipe: This drink just a (slightly) reworked version of the Nobody’s Robots, a cocktail we first debuted on Honeycut’s opening menu.

  • 1 oz Williams & Humbert Dry Sack Sherry
  • 1.25 oz Vodka (Aylesbury Duck, Grey Goose, or Absolut)
  • 1 oz Clarified Orange Juice*
  • 1 oz Vanilla Lactic Syrup*
  • 1 teaspoon Citric Acid
  • 2.5 oz Seltzer

Method: Pre-carbonated. Pour 1 oz per glass
Glass: Amuse
Garnish: Dehydrated Orange Wheel*

Techniques & Ingredients

*Clarified Orange Juice & Vanilla Lactic Syrup: See post here.

**Dehydrated Garnish: The dehydrator has quickly become an invaluable took in creating unique garnishes and dehydrated powders. We use one available on Amazon for about $225. It’ll change your world!

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The Idea: Rosé and summer are like, well…rosé and summer! Never has there been a better match than cold pink wine on a hot day. In order to pay mad respect to rosé and combine it with a favorite summertime snack (watermelon!), we tried first to break the wine apart — its individual components (aroma, flavor) — and worked to amplify them in isolation, then reassemble it all into an exaggerated form of rosé.  Like, rosé turned up to eleven. Served in a large burgundy glass from a tiny decanter, you may be tricked into thinking we just gave you a glass of vino, but after the first sip, flavor blossoms into something unique and complex — and distinctly a cocktail, almost like a still spritz. We dare you not to love it.

Cocktail nerds out there may scoff at a small teaspoon of fino sherry in a drink like this. This seems to be happening more and more in our drinks, adding just a touch of a flavor that isn’t meant to show itself in the drink, but rather amplify or modify other flavors. In this case, the very particular Alexander Jules fino acts much like good seasoning salt will, assimilating flavor while boosting aroma. You’d never know it was in there if we didn’t tell ya, but without it the drink falls flat.

The Recipe: 

  • 4 oz Watermelon Wine*
  • 0.25 oz Watermelon Distillate**
  • 0.5 oz Giffard Pamplemousse
  • 0.25 oz Aperol Aperitivo
  • 1 tsp Alexander Jules Fino Sherry
  • 0.25 tsp Acid Phosphate
  • 2 drops Salt Water***

Method: Stir, strain
Glass: Burgundy w/ Small Decanter
Garnish: None (or: smug look of satisfaction)

Techniques & Ingredients:

*Watermelon Wine (Advanced): In a blender, combine 750 grams cut ripe watermelon and a 750 milliliter bottle of Scheurebe wine. Blend. Strain through fine mesh sieve, pressing through all the liquid. Add 04% total weight of Pectinex Ultra SP-L. Stir and allow to sit, covered, for fifteen minutes. Measure into centrifuge bottles and spin at 4,500 rpm for 15 minutes. Strain, bottle, keep covered and refrigerated. Keeps for five days.

**Watermelon Distillate (Very Advanced): Blend 1000 grams ripe watermelon with 750 grams liquid (see below). Strain. Using a rotary evaporator, combine watermelon smoothy into distilling flask, and set up machine. Pull out all oxygen (but do not allow to boil), and spin at 30rpm in a 105F/40C bath for thirty minutes. Increase spin to 200rpm and distill.

NOTE: We use a Heidolph Rotary Evaporator for lots of fun ingredients, but it should be first understood that using one with alcohol of any sort is illegal in the United States. Though it would make for a much better flavor, sadly we are handicapped with simply making hydrosols — that is, using water as the base instead of alcohol. If you were to use alcohol, it would be very, very tasty. That’s all we’ll say. 

***Salt Water (Simple): Combine 100 grams filtered water with 30 grams kosher sea salt. Stir until dissolved.

Berry Picking 

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The Idea: City kids need to get their hands dirty, head out into the fields for some hearty character building.  As a consolation prize for a farm day full of plucking berries from thorny bushes, we mashed together mezcal and cognac with strawberries. You’re welcome. The final drink is a sour-style cocktail that has all the complexity of fresh strawberry, but none of the dense texture you’d find from a muddled drink. While its tempting to see the ingredients and expect it to be just another intro-to-mezcal cocktail, it’s a fine example of mezcal’s ability to play well with others — something that’s much harder than you may think. Cognac adds lusciousness and mezcal vegetal and smoke, the end result an easy drinking cocktail that has endless layers as you drink.

In exploring the territory around the cocktail, we couldn’t resist a little snack: edible dirt and fresh strawberry, prime for between-sip nibbles. Get your hands dirty!

  • 2 oz Strawberry Mezcal-Cognac*
  • 1 oz Alexander Jules Amontillado Sherry
  • 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.75 oz Cinnamon Syrup (scant)**
  • ¼ tsp Campari

Method: Shake, strain
Glass: Double Old Fashioned w/out Ice
Garnish: None. Plate: “dirt”*** and the best damn strawberry you can find. 

Techniques & Ingredients:

*Strawberry Mezcal-Cognac (Advanced): This infusion hinges on high quality strawberries. Which is to say, it needs to taste like something. In a blender, combine 700 grams hulled strawberries with 375 grams Bruxo 1 Mezcal and 625 grams Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac. Add 10 grams ascorbic acid and 0.04% weight Pectinex Ultra SP-L. Blend, strain through a fine sieve, and pour into centrifuge bottles. Spin at 4,500 rpm for 12 minutes. Strain out solids. Bottle, refrigerate. Will keep for one week.

**Cinnamon Syrup (Intermediate): In a sealable or vacuum bag, combine  1000 grams Simple Syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water), 20 grams Cinnamon Bark, and 0.2 grams Kosher Salt. Seal and cook in a water bath at 62C/145F for two hours. Place into ice bath until cool. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Will keep for two weeks.

***Dirt (Simple): Combine 4 parts chocolate cookies and 1 parts hazelnuts in a food processor. Blend until a dirt-like texture. Store in a dated court container in a cool, dry place. Keeps for one week.

Lemonade Stand 

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The Idea: Our memories of lemonade stands are something wholy different than the syrupy headache that commercial lemonade brings with it. Every ingredients in this drink that’s not lemon is meant to amplify its flavor, to put it on a pedestal and add steroids to its already clear personality. A gaggle of fortified wines set the foundation, and just a touch of St. Germain — because, let’s be honest, yum! — for a completed drink that’s something like impressionistic lemonade.  Garnish, it should be noted, is particularly crucial here. If you’re unable to track down Lemon Basil, any “lemony” herbs will be great: lemon thyme, lemon verbena, etc. Quite different than lemon basil, but beautiful aroma all the same.

  • 1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 0.75 oz Cocchi Americano
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
  • 0.25 oz St. Germain
  • 0.25 oz Alexander Jules Fino Sherry

Method: Shake, strain
Glass: Highball w/ Ice
Garnish: Dehydrated Lemon Wheel, Lemon Basil

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Farm Stand

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The Idea:  Sure, if it’s late and you’re hungry, a Michelada is an acceptable hold- over until a taco run. Savory cocktails have never really been our thing, and yet a balanced cocktail menu demands them more and more. As we discussed how “savory” fit into this menu, we kept returning to a core question that excited our creativity: is it possible to push savory flavors within the parameters of a sour style drink? That is, a drink that isn’t just an excuse to put booze in food (Bloody Mary, anyone?) nor a typical sour that has a savory edge (spicy margarita?). Something more interesting. Towards that goal, it became clear that we had to find multiple entry points for savory flavors, to approach them from both left and right field, and to surround the elements of a more traditional sour-style drink with flavors that build for a larger savory composition.

As some drinks do, The Farm Stand started out as a visual in our minds before ingredients were fleshed out. We were obsessed with a drink that recreated the feeling of yanking a carrot direct from the ground, the pull of greens from the earth and a bright orange reveal. In that way, we started with that specific experience and worked backwards towards a finished drink.

Brennivin became the star of the show — an amazing spirit from Iceland, akin to aquavit made in Scandinavia and elsewhere. Its intense savory flavor (caraway) can be challenging to new drinkers, though it provided the backbone that we could mold into what this drink needed to be. Many experiments later, and we found that two different uses of celery resulted in the kind of dramatic flavor spectrum we needed — earthy but also refreshing.

As is the case in many of our drinks, the garnish was a particular focus. To pull a raw carrot from the drink wasn’t quite enough, so in order to make it unique we cooked it sous vide with pear brandy, affixed some parsley to its top, and immersed it into the drink. The result was an unexpected carrot garnish, one that adds specific aroma to the cocktail, but is an unexpected discovery.

  • 1 oz Celery Brennevin*
  • 0.5 oz Celery Seed Brennevin**
  • 0.5 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 1.5 oz Fresh Carrot Juice
  • 0.5 oz Lime Juice
  • ¼ tsp Ginger Syrup***
  • 3 drops Salt Solution

Method: Whip, Dump
Glass: Triple Old Fashioned, Crushed Ice
Garnish: Pear Carrot w/ Parsley Top, Immersed into Ice

Please Note: This is the first drink we haven’t put a little sherry in! We know, we know…

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Techniques & Ingredients:

*Celery Brennevin (Advanced): Clean and dice 600 grams celery stalk. Combine with 1 liter bottle Brennivin and blend until smooth. Strain through fine mesh sieve, weigh using a gram scale. Add 0.04% weight Pectinex Ultra SP-L. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Pour into centrifuge bottles and spin at 4,500rpm for 12 minutes. Strain, rebottle, and keep refrigerated. Keeps for one week.

**Celery Seed Brennevin (Intermediate): In a vacuum or ziplock back, combine 20 grams celery seed with 1 liter bottle Brennivin. Submerge in a water bath set to 62C/145F and cook for two hours. Remove, place into a ice bath until cool, and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Rebottle and keep refrigerated. Keeps for 4 weeks.

***Ginger Syrup (Simple): Wash, roughly chop, and juice ginger root using a masticating juicer (we use a Champion Juicer). Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Combine 1 part ginger juice to 1.5 part sugar in a blender. Blend until smooth and all sugar is dissolved — this will take longer than you think. Store refrigerated, keeps for two weeks.

****Sous Vide Pear Carrot (Advanced): From a farmer’s market or fancy market (Whole Foods, etc), purchase organic carrots, of around 6″ in length, with tops still on. Remove the tops, keeping about 1″ of stem. In a medium size pot, boil water. Blanche the carrots for 30 seconds, quickly remove and place into ice bath. Pat dry, place into a vacuum bag with 0.25 oz Clear Creek Pear Brandy per carrot. Using a chamber vacuum machine, seal. In a water bath set to 62C/145F, cook for 1 hour. Remove from bath, place bag in ice bath. Once cool, remove from bag. Using baking twine, affix parsley leaf top to remaining carrot stem. Keep in a shallow pan of ice during service. Keeps for two to three days.

Intermezzos

The Idea: For those at the bar counter (and sometimes folks in the lounge), we’ll often throw small little sips of interesting ingredients we’re playing with — a little something to refresh between cocktails. For the American Summer menu, we didn’t have any set intermezzos. Rather, we often took inspiration from weekly visits to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and sourced exceptional herbs and infused them in Dolin blanc vermouth — the perfect vessel for herbal flavors, just sweet enough to hold onto flavors, but clean and refreshing that it doesn’t overpower.

Take any aromatic herb (basils, thymes, rosemary, lemon verbena, etc), wash, dry, and place in the bottom of a cambro container. With a muddler, gently press the leaves. Don’t muddle! Dip your head into the cambro — is it alive with aroma? Great! Now pour in a bottle of blanc vermouth. Stir and let sit. Taste at one minute intervals. Strain out just when the herb starts to come through. Rebottle, label, and keep refrigerated. We tried this infusion various ways — iSi, vacuum, sous vide — and this simple method resulted in the most vibrant flavor. Note, though, that vibrancy is fleeting. You’ll wanna serve it within a couple hours for best results.

During service, we’d pour a little taste of this infusion between cocktails. Katie’s favorite is the Lemon Basil blanc vermouth.

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In addition to sips of infused vermouth, we’ll also occasionally throw in a small or 1/2 sized version of a cocktail. One of our favorites this time around was Natasha David’s Carnival Games from our sister bar Nitecap.

Carnival Games

  • 1.5 oz Clear Creek 8yr Pomme Brandy
  • 1 oz Noilly Ambre Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
  • 1/2 tspn Cane Syrup
  • 6 drops Salt Water
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters

Method: Stir, strain
Glass: Cocktail Glass
Garnish: Orange Twist

Root Beer Float 

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The Idea: Root beer floats are to childhood as fernet is to bartenders. How to idealize the experience of a decadent float in a different form? Science!

There’s no replacing great root beer mixed with perfect ice cream — why even try to mess with that? — so we didn’t. Instead, our goal was to play with the guest’s expectations of the drink and to surprise their perceptions. When presented with a root beer float, you probably won’t expect a crystal clear liquid bubbly with effervescence — you’re expecting creaminess, dark root beer, and a sugar rush. Ours comes to the table in a clear bottle with a bright blue cap, a highball glass full of crushed ice with a small American flag. We pop the cap, bubbles rise up, and pour half the bottle into the glass. Enjoy!

For the imbiber, the experience is complex. In looking at the recipe, this isn’t a low-ABV drink — plenty of booze — but all of the components are working in tandem to trigger an association with a root beer float. The Milk Washed Rum was the crucial component to this drink’s success; it provides the creamy body desperately needed to make our brains ok with root beer flavors in this form. In past experiments, without creaminess, our brains freak out with root beer — it’s just not right and tastes like, well, poison. In this form, we have every element in a root beer float composed in a single, perfect sip.

  • 1.5 oz Milk Washed Rum*
  • 0.5 oz Giffard Vanille
  • 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Acid Phosphate**
  • 2 drops Root Beer Extract***
  • 2.5 oz H2O

Method: Pre-carbonated in bottle****, open in front of guest
Glass: High Ball w/ Crushed Ice
Garnish: Paper Straw

Techniques & Ingredients:

*Milk-Washed Rum (Intermediate): Inspired by Dave Arnold’s excellent work in Liquid Intelligence. Set aside 1 liter bottle Flor de Caña 4yr White Rum, 250ml Whole Milk (the best quality you can find), and 15 grams citric acid solution (5 parts water to 1 part citric acid powder). In a cambro, pour milk in first, then rum — stir to integrate. This order is crucial. Let rest for five minutes. Stir in citric acid solution. Cover, label, and place in freezer overnight. Remove from walk-in, measure evenly into centrifuge jars, and spin in centrifuge at 4,500 rpm for 12 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth. Label, date, place in freezer.

We believe strongly that the choice of rum makes or breaks the success of this drink. Flor de Caña 4yr White Rum  has just enough age to bring depth of flavor, and yet, still a brightness. Highly recommended for this ingredient.

**Acid Phosphate: Thank you, Darcy O’Neill for bringing this back to life. Available online here. Think of this as acidity without flavor. Use sparingly.

***Root Beer Extract: For most extracts (and spices for that matter) we work with the lovely folks at Terra Spice. To set up an account, email: info@terraspicecompany.com. Say hi to Lori from us!

****Carbonation (Intermediate): See our post on Orange Cream Soda for an overview of the process.

Field Trip

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The Idea: Field trips are fun! Adventures, loud bouncy busses, and new friends. But you get cranky without a little boost in the afternoon — Mom’s got you covered! In a paper bag with your name on it, she’s packed a little snack and a tasty juice. This cocktail started with a seemingly simple ambition: to make you smile. That’s about it. Sure, the cocktail is delicious and evocative of a Sunkist juice pouch, but it’s a simple and delicious sour that’s as much about the drink as it is about the serve. Try not to smile. Hell, try not to giggle!

Joy is a noble pursuit in cocktails. It’s easy to get wrapped up in innovation or history or one-upsmanship in the cocktail game, but we don’t often think beyond the liquid in our glasses or the narrative we create for them that can extend into our memories, and even less frequently do we consider that the nature of a cocktail — the environment around it, actual of ephemeral — can have such a huge impact on how it’s enjoyed. If we aim at a simple, human joy, then our approach to the drink becomes more expansive. The joy experienced by this drink is as much in its presentation and interaction — it arrives to you as a kit in a brown paper bag with your name on it — and the ludicrousness of being an adult and drinking booze from a Batman juice pouch. Or Superman. It’s our hope that this experience is enriching as an adult, allowing a moment of freedom and play — because we all need more play in our lives. Be a kid again, even for a few minutes

  • 1 oz Clear Creek Pear Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Capurro Pisco
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple Gum Syrup*
  • 0.5 oz  Giffard Framboise
  • 0.25 oz Lazzaroni Amaretto

Method: Shake, strain
Glass: Juice Pouch
Garnish: Goldfish in Goldfish Container. Place juice pouch and goldfish in brown paper bag. Write guest’s name on the bag.

Techniques & Ingredients:

*Pineapple Gum Syrup (Advanced): Measure independently 500 grams fresh pineapple juice, 500 grams white sugar, 30 grams gum arabic, and 3 grams citric acid. Add pineapple juice to blender. On slow speed, carefully (and slowly!) add gum arabic to evenly distribute. Add sugar and citric acid while still blending. Blend on faster speed until all dry ingredients are in solution. Transfer to a vacuum or ziplock bag. In a water bath set to 60C/140F, cook for two hours. Remove, place into ice bath. Strain. Store refrigerated. Keeps for two weeks.

Campfire

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The Idea: Look, we respect good bourbon just as much as everyone else, and it’s without a doubt sacrilegious to blend it with Graham Crackers. Sorry, but it’s just too damn good. An Old Fashioned by all measures, the Campfire leans towards the decadent. The butter of the Graham Cracker infusion comes through rich and mealy, while cacao adds a layered chocolate flavor. A quick smoke before stirring gives a hint of campfire sense memory. Close your eyes, take a sip, and there you are — sitting on a log next to a campfire, eating s’mores, pretending not to hate Kumbaya.

  • 1.75 oz Graham Cracker Elijah Craig 12yr Bourbon*
  • 0.25 oz Cacao Nib Distillate**
  • 1 tsp  Crème de Cacao
  • Cherry Wood Smoke

Method: Build, smoke in mixing glass, Stir, Toast marshmallow
Glass: Enamel Mug
Garnish: S’more*** on plate

Techniques & Ingredients:

*Graham Cracker Elijah Craig 12yr Bourbon (Advanced): Combine 200 grams graham crackers with 750ml bottleElijah Craig 12yr Bourbon in a blender. Get the standard graham crackers, none of that Whole Foods healthy stuff. Blend, add 0.04% Pectinex Ultra SP-L. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Measure evenly into centrifuge bottles, then spin at 4,500rpm for 12 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth. Label and date. Keeps for one week.

**Cacao Nib Distillate (Very Advanced): In distilling flask, combine 500 grams liquid with 50 grams cacao nibs. Set up rotovap and attach flasks. Pull out most oxygen (but do not allow to boil, around 250 millibars), and spin at 30rpm in a 60C/140F bath for one hour. Increase spin to 200rpm and distill.

NOTE: We use a Heidolph Rotary Evaporator for lots of fun ingredients, but it should be first understood that using one with alcohol of any sort is illegal in the United States. Though it would make for a much better flavor, sadly we are handicapped with simply making hydrosols — that is, using water as the base instead of alcohol. If you were to use alcohol, it would be very, very tasty. That’s all we’ll say. 

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***S’more (Simple): Here’s your excuse to get a blow torch. If you’ve ever made s’more, it’s all about the technique. Some like their marshmallows burnt, others evenly golden brown. We aim at not turning the marshmallow into a meteorite, but still have a bit of char. Practice makes perfect, but luckily practice is tasty.

Beth’s Going To Town! 

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The Idea: Most of our references to Wet Hot American Summer popped up as inside jokes during the guest’s experience, but we couldn’t resist one of the film’s best scenes. Give it a watch. “Beth’s Going To Town” is inspired by a simple excursion into town by the camp counselors that quickly devolves into drug-fuelled madness. What better lens through which to present big, boozy cocktail?

Created by the talented Daniel Zacharczuck, this drink is a fairly straightforward Manhattan riff with light, summery tones. The mix of a stone fruit liqueur (in this case Giffard Abricot) and amaro is a winning combination, and adds just enough backbone to help the beauty of Highland Park 12yr Scotch and the sarsaparilla-forward Aviation Gin match up in harmony.

As a further nod to the film, we added a “line” next to the drink. No, no, it’s not what you think, just powdered sugar. Why, what’d you expect? Presented to the guest with a mint sprig, slapped over the drink for a bright “herbal” aroma (wink, wink).

  • 1 oz Highland Park 12yr Scotch
  • 1 oz Aviation Gin
  • 0.5 oz Vermut
  • 0.25 oz Giffard Abricot
  • 0.25 oz Ramazzotti

Method: Stir, strain
Glass: Japanese Double Old Fashioned Glass (we love the one’s from Umami Mart)
Garnish: Brass tray with a “line” and mint sprig (slapped in front of guest)

Techniques & Ingredients:

*Line (Easy): just powdered sugar folks. Relax, already.

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Saturday Morning Cartoons

The Idea: Though summer is full of activities, getting muddy, and running around with friends, the simple pleasure of Saturday mornings in front of the TV are an unmatched joy year round.

We love richness but dairy doesn’t always agree with everyone. Our goal was to create the perception of chocolate milk but with none of the ill-effects using homemade almond milk — a simple process that anyone can do at home with a few tools. But that’s just one component of a proper cartoon experience: you need cereal. Presented with an individual box of cereal (to your preference), guests are encouraged to make themselves a bowl of cereal. Boozy cereal.

  • 1 oz Avua Amburana Cachaça
  • 0.5 oz Cacao Nib Distillate*
  • 0.25 oz Giffard Vanille
  • 4 oz Almond Milk**
  • 0.75 Demerara Gum Syrup***

Method: Batch, shake, strain
Glass: Glass Milk Carton w/ Straw
Garnish: Cereal Box on Porcelain Tray

Techniques & Ingredients:

*Cacao Nib Distillate (Advanced): See above.

**Almond Milk (intermediate): Combine 4 cups filtered water with 1 cup blanched raw almonds. Blend until smooth, about two minutes. Strain through cheesecloth being careful not to push through any solids. This will take a while — be patient!

***Demerara Gum Syrup (Intermediate): Combine 400 grams Demerara Sugar, 200 grams water, and 35 grams gum arabic. Start with water, blend slowly while carefully adding gum arabic to integrate (otherwise it’ll clump). Add sugar, blend until dissolved. Place into a zip lock bag, seal, and cook in a water bath at 140F/60C for two hours. Remove from bath, drop into ice bath until cooled and strain. Keep refrigerated.

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