Cocktails

Cocktails

By
Olivier Bon, Pierre-Charles Cros, Romée de Goriainoff
Contains
11 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742708034
Photographer
Marie-Pierre Morel

Tips from the bartender

In the tradition of the American-style steakhouse, the Beef Club offers a fine cocktail list, prepared in authentic cocktail-making tradition by the Ballroom bartender.

The ballroom

The Ballroom is a venue designed for partying.It’s The Beef Club’s underground bar. In the purest style of the American steakhouse and speakeasies, as the clandestine bars of the prohibition era were known, we wanted to keep the idea of offering an extensive wine list, but also a fine range of cocktails to be enjoyed in a laid-back atmosphere away from prying eyes. This is the Ballroom – well worth a visit before or after the Beef Club. As with our meat, we have selected only the best drinks for the bar.

Our cocktails

We have a vast collection of spirits, from which we have eliminated industrial products as far as possible. We make ample use of spice mixes and homemade cordials (we make our own grenadine on the premises, for instance).

We use methods and recipes that date from the late 19th century – not without giving them a more contemporary twist, notably with freshly squeezed juices of seasonal fruits, or with fresh herbs. As well as these classic recipes, we have new creations, incorporating rare spices or exotic fruits.

The bartender’s role

The work of the bartender, these days sometimes known as a mixologist, is as complex and demanding as that of the chef: quantities must be precise and used with delicacy, and techniques must be mastered, while the customer is served in a friendly and relaxed manner. When you are preparing cocktails at home, remember that the way you serve them is as important as the recipe: use the right glass and big fresh ice cubes.

Cocktails for sharing

At the Ballroom, we particularly like offering cocktails for sharing, in the tradition of English punch: traditional recipes are served in generous quantities, very much in the spirit of The Beef Club’s food.

Methods

Cocktails are made in a shaker, a mixing glass or directly in the glass, especially when only a few ingredients are involved.

Mixing glass

The mixing glass is a large sturdy glass.

The ingredients are added to the glass, then ice cubes are stirred in with a spoon in a circular motion.

It’s a traditional technique that allows slower cooling, and is therefore usually used to bring out and preserve the flavour of the spirits as much as possible.

Shaker

The traditional shaker is made of stainless steel, usually with a built-in strainer. The more traditional Boston Shaker is a two-piece shaker made of metal and glass.

The principle of making cocktails in a shaker is simple: you put the ingredients in the shaker, if necessary crushing the fruits or fresh herbs with a pestle and adding the ice only at the end. Shake it vigorously for a few moments and serve immediately.

Take care not to shake for too long; if the ice melts completely it will leave the mixture with too watery a taste.

The ingredients

Many of the ingredients used in the Ballroom’s cocktails are from traditional recipes.

The sugar syrup

You can buy this but it is always better to make your own, and it’s very easy! Stir together 500 ml hot water and 500 g cane sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Lemons and limes

Lemons and limes must be squeezed at the last minute so they don’t oxidize. Take care not to squeeze too hard because the pith of the citrus fruit can make the juice bitter. In general, lemons are more acidic than limes. Sugar is often added to balance the citrus, using 20 ml of citrus juice to 20 ml of sugar syrup.

Fruit

It is best to choose fruit that is fresh and seasonal; peel it and crush it in the bottom of the shaker. Don’t forget to taste as you go to ensure a well-balanced cocktail.

Herbs

Herbs such as mint require particular care because they are fragile. The best method is to cut them or chill them without crushing them, otherwise they lose their flavour.

Bitters

Bitters are reductions of spices, peels and plants that bring out their flavours. A few drops are enough. The most common one is Angostura, readily available in the shops.

Bartender's tips

For a cocktail made in the glass, keep the mixing glass in your hand; when the temperature feels right, serve.

The recipes are given in millilitre, gram and ounce measurements. This allows great precision. Preferably use 40 ml/20 ml or 50 ml/30 ml. Don’t forget that a bar mixing spoon holds 5 ml, for making all the recipes!

If the shaker doesn’t have a built-in strainer, consider using a sieve for the ice, fruit pieces etc., when pouring.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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