The Academy of Spirits is winding down, after ten exciting weeks of learning, tasting and mixing drinks. The last few classes have included cognac & brandy, vodka & gin (taught by Simon Ford of Absolut/Plymouth Gin), beer and aperitifs & cordials. Most of the classes have been great, and we've been able to taste a range of products.
Yesterday, we pulled it all together and mixed cocktails for a couple of hours. We made a Blood & Sand, modified Moscow Mule, Negroni, spiced flip, and a Bloody Mary from scratch (using cherry tomatoes). A pretty great way to spend a Monday afternoon, if you ask me, and I didn't even wear any of my drinks home (I tend to be a bit messy, especially outside of my own kitchen).
We also had to turn in an original recipe, which is part of the final exam. It must be a tall drink, served on ice, in a 6½ ounce glass. Of course we have to use spirits that we covered in class (which means they have to come from the Southern Wine & Spirits portfolio), but since they are probably the largest distributor in the U.S., there were lots of choices.
Here is my recipe:
1½ oz Knob Creek Bourbon
1 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
½ oz Fresh-squeezed Orange Juice
Dash of Peach Bitters
Shake bourbon, liqueur, juice and bitters together, strain into ice-filled tall glass. Top up with club soda. Garnish with an orange wheel and pansy flower (I think, I'm still working on the garnish).
I'll post an update next week with photos from the competition. Wish me luck!