Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Art of Mixing

Hennessy Cognac’s Cocktail Contest

Three of L.A.’s finest barmen went cocktail shaker-to-cocktail shaker at the swanky Coco De Ville, a couple of weeks ago. The boutique nightclub is tucked next door to its big sister, STK (which you may remember from my Hot Chicks and a Hunk of Meat post earlier this year). My pal Debbie and I arrived on the early side, which left us plenty of time to settle in with a couple of Sidecars as bartending friends and cocktailian colleagues slowly filed in.

The great Tony Abou Ganim flew in to be Master of Ceremonies, Vincenzo Marianella lent support, and mixology stations were set up around the venue so everyone could get in to try their hand at working with one of the top selling cognacs in the world. Lovely ladies passed around samples of the three competing cocktails, and we, the willing crowd, sipped our way through them, raising glasses and voices for our favorites.

A big congratulations to Joel Black who took home top honors. And, of course, Joe Brooke and Daniel Nelson ain’t no mixology schlumps either. Let’s just say we drank well, that night! Joel now goes on to compete against finalists from New York, Miami and New Orleans. Go Joel!

Joel Black, Comme Ca Restaurant
"Clockwork Orange"

2 oz. Hennessy
3/8 oz. pureed bing cherries

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. orange juice
4 dashes of orange bitters
5 mint leaves
1 pinch of brown sugar

top with Moët Champagne


Muddle mint with brown sugar and bitters. Add lemon, simple syrup and orange juice and Hennessy. Shake and strain in a cocktail glass. Top with Moët Champagne.

Joseph Brooke, Bar Marmont
"Bel-Air Timeshare"

1 1/2 oz. Hennessy
1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. apricot preserves
1/4 oz. yelllow Chartreuse
1/4 oz. clover honey syrup

1 dash peach bitters


Shake and strain all ingredients in a cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon peel.


Daniel Nelson
, The Doheny
“The Closer”

2 oz. Hennessy
1 barspoon pumpkin puree
4 to 5 dashes of peach bitters
3/4 oz. Ruby Chai Tea infused Navan

Shake and strain all ingredients in a cocktail glass. Garnish with shaved nutmeg and shaved semi-sweet chocolate.

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