If you love a good science experiment, then pull up a chair.
It seems like there’s a fine line sometimes between the science and culinary worlds. Recipes using molecular gastronomy techniques were all the rage a couple of years back. I mean, there wasn’t a restaurant worth its salt that didn’t have a cylinder of liquid nitrogen sitting in the corner of the kitchen just waiting to be (mis)used.
That trend seems to be a little less white hot these days. It now appeals to a more select crowd rather than mass application.
What is in a super charged environment these days is the cocktail. Not just any cocktail, but, a handmade, one of a kind creation. Sure, the bygone standards like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned have come roaring back in recent years. But, these new cocktails are decidedly different. They’re not just adult beverages, they’re really science experiments.
Meet a modern day scientist.
Her name is Candace. The attire doesn’t scream science I’ll grant you that. Where’s the lab coat, gloves and protective eye ware you’re probably asking. That’s not for today’s cocktail chemist. Her lab is behind the bar at Jack Dusty’s in the Sarasota Ritz-Carlton. All of the tools of her trade are at her disposal. Everything necessary to concoct the absolutely perfect mix of sweet and sour or savory and spicy. Oh, there is alcohol involved. In a BIG way.
Chemist Candace has been experimenting with all of the necessary ingredients to create some refreshing summertime spirits. And, I am happy to report that those efforts have been very, very successful. Jack Dusty is rolling out some brand new ways to toast summer. I think as a public service we should have a look.
That is The Worker. It sure doesn’t look like work. A refreshing blend of applejack brandy, chamomile infused dolin blanc, local honey, bee pollen and a cava topper. A nice way to start a summer night.
This was my favorite summer sipper. The Earnest. And, I think Hemingway would approve. Although I’ve never met him personally. A mix of Papa’s Pilar rum, rhubarb simple syrup. muddled strawberry and topped off with JDubs Poolside Kolsch. I love the local influence. By the pool or at the beach would be the perfect locale for consumption.
The Traveler combines Fords gin, lemon juice, local honey syrup, cardamom, pink peppercorn, basil and club soda. If you’re a gin lover this will hit the spot for you. Easy drinking that’s for sure. I even enjoyed it and I have a previous gin experience in my personal history that prevents me from completely embracing the juniper spirit.
The Lion is a Fords gin based drink. Lots and lots of ingredients and technique here. We’ll just say, if you like coconut you’ll LOVE this. It’s made with Coco Lopez.
Our last stop on the summer drink train was The Introverted Extrovert. Both Scotch and Irish whiskies are involved with the making of this very unique tasting beverage. The cayenne salt rim was a really nice touch. A smokey flavor dominates. That distinct flavor is courtesy of this secret ingredient…
Ah, I LOVE science!! Especially when it works for me. All of the creative cocktails above are exclusive to Jack Dusty and created by Candace, their cocktail chemist in chief.
After all of that cocktailing, I would imagine you’d like a bite to eat. So, real quickly, Jack Dusty is trotting out some new summer dishes to accompany those great drinks. I thought you should have a sneak peek at those too.
The Summer Rice Roll. Very light, flavorful and refreshing.
A Kale & Butternut Squash Salad. I can’t get enough watermelon radish.
Seared Ahi Tuna. The chilled bean salad that accompanies the fish is fantastic!
An organic chicken breast. Normally, I don’t an raise an eyebrow over restaurant chicken dishes. I hardly ever order one when I’m dining out. This may be the exception. It was cooked to perfection, ultra flavorful skin and the warm saffron potato salad was over the top great.
Summer would be feel right without a least a little grilled beef. The 1855 Skirt Steak hits all right notes for the season.
So, what have we learned here today? One, chemistry can be fun! Two, science is great when you get some instant gratification. And, three, summer is a fantastic time for experimenting with some brand new stuff. Here it is, all new for you!