Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined

Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined

Jason Kosmas

Language: English

Pages: 176

ISBN: 158008253X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Time-honored cocktails like the New York Sour and the Sidecar were born during the era of Prohibition, the blessedly bygone social experiment that turned drinking into an underground adventure. In those days, hard beverage options were usually made with homemade hooch and flavorings of dubious origin and quality. 
Thankfully, a cocktail renaissance has emerged in many of today’s bars, where inventive drinks showcase both the artistry and craft of bartending. At their moody and atmospheric West Village bar-restaurant Employees Only, master mixologists Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric can regale you with colorful tales of cocktail origins—or just pour you a mean drink. In Speakeasy, Kosmas and Zaric take their inspiration from traditional favorites, then use the finest spirits, the freshest ingredients, and a good measure of reverence for their craft to elevate the mixed drink to artisanal status. 

More than 80 imaginative libations that riff on the classics are showcased in this one-of-a-kind collection. Recipes emphasize fresh fruits and herbs, homemade syrups and infusions, and a careful balancing of flavors, with a mind toward seasonality. A Ginger Smash is offered in four different versions: kumquat, pineapple, pear, or cranberry, depending on the time of year. The Millionaire becomes the Billionaire with the addition of homemade grenadine and 107-proof bourbon. And the South Side becomes the West Side by replacing the gin with sun-kissed Meyer lemon–infused vodka. With the specter of Prohibition firmly in the past, Speakeasy shares recipes for the choicest potent potables, reimagining the finest drinks of yesterday for today’s thirsty imbibers.












juices to accentuate fruit flavors, the rule of lemon for “old world fruits” and lime for exotic or tropical fruits works well. • Finish. When you swallow the cocktail, the taste sensation you experience is called the finish. As with wine, this can be short, dry, or even lingering. The finish is often provided by essential oils found in bitters and twists. A crisp finish may come from the acid in citrus. Tannic items may also create a lip-smacking, lingering finish. High alcohol content will

to its true form and labeled it the Havana-Style Mojito. Although it never made it onto our menu, it is the closest you can get to a true mojito without the luxury of Havana Club Cuban rum. It is a fantastic cocktail–but please don’t order it while there is snow on the ground. MAKES 1 DRINK 3 pinches fresh mint leaves 1½ teaspoons superfine sugar ½ ounce homemade Mint Syrup 1¼ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice 1¾ ounces Flor de Caña four-year-old rum 1 ounce club soda 2 dashes Angostura

apply culinary techniques to our drink making and use homemade ingredients whenever appropriate–not because we hope to be viewed as chefs, but because we want to be the very best bartenders and mix the finest cocktails. Don’t get us wrong–not all commercial products are bad. We use quality purées imported from France and syrups from Lebanon with flavors and textures that we could never re-create ourselves. We turn to homemade when we feel that quality is lacking or when we want deeper tastes or a

the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a smaller pot and discard the solids. When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and cut the meat from the bones. Discard the skin and bones, cut the meat into bite-size pieces, and add them back to the broth. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the diced onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the soup, season to taste with salt and pepper,

important, you will be proud to serve them. Think about it: would reputable chefs serve canned gravy? Wouldn’t they make it from scratch? Artificial products taste artificial. It is not hard to create your own simple syrup and juice your own lemons to make a real Tom Collins. We challenge you to make your own versions of classic mixers, using pure original ingredients. Please refer to “Homemade Syrups, Cordials, Infusions, and Accompaniments”, for further suggestions. When conceiving cocktails,

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