By guest blogger and New York writer Seanan Forbes:
At the James Beard Awards, medallions aren't the only things that shine brightly. After the event (and, if you're lucky enough to meet the right bartender, during), the food and drinks glow. After all, James Beard wasn't about competition; his interest was in good food and drink.
Last night, Bridget Albert showed New York how Chicago makes a cocktail.
Albert has the ingredients of a master of the bar, and that's precisely what she is. She's crafted cocktails for the Art Institute of Chicago, and had more than a stirrer in the drinks at Sepia, Nacional 27 and the Drawing Room.
Now the master mixologist at Southern Wine and Spirits of Illinois, Albert is also the Director of the Academy of Spirits and Fine Service - a history program for bartenders - and an author.
That makes life easy if you want to try her drinks at home. Get your hands on a copy of Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season, and then go to the Green City Market. With regional farms in bloom, you're certain to find ingredients to make any award winner spring-green with envy.
Yesterday evening, tweaking her Chicago-Style Cocktails to balanced perfection, Albert was as smooth and cool as her drinks. Later, with crowds jamming her table, she kept drinks and conversation flowing.
A splash of Grand Marnier Cuvée du Centenaire, some 10 Cane Rum, raspberry-ginger shrub syrup, Goose Island Reserve Matilda Belgian-Style Ale and precisely enough fresh lemon juice to offset the sweetness ... Now, we're talking a winner.
The recipe, after the jump.
What makes this cocktail "Chicago-style"? A couple of elements set
the city in the glass. Albert fills the champagne flute with Chicago-
brewed ale, and then there's the garnish: hops, which act as a natural
preservative in beer and give the brew its characteristic bitterness.
The Chicago-Style Cocktail
1 ounce Grand Marnier Centenaire
1/2 ounce 10 Cane Rum
3/4 ounce raspberry ginger shrub syrup (recipe follows)
4 ounces Goose Island Matilda Belgian Style Ale
Splash of fresh lemon juice
Hop leaf (for garnish)
Add all ingredients into mixing glass. Shake with ice. Strain into a
chilled champagne flute. Garnish with a hop leaf.
Raspberry Ginger Shrub Syrup
1 cup super fine sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 pound raspberries
One medium ginger root, peeled and sliced
Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Stir on high heat until sugar
dissolves. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Let sit overnight. Stir
again. Strain through a cheese cloth. Store in a sterilized glass