Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Inspiration from the Kitchen

I competed in the St. George Spirits cocktail competition the other day at the Claremont Hotel & Resort.  We had to come up with a twist on the classic Tom Collins using St. George Botanivore gin as the base.   There were so many interesting and delicious cocktails and talented bartenders in attendance.  My personal favorite was a blackberry/sage/absinthe/gin drink created by Summer Jane-Bell of the New Easy in Oakland.

My cocktail drew inspiration from the kitchen, our current food menu @ BUILD Pizzeria Roma, and the beautiful organic heirloom tomatoes we've been getting in lately.

The Caprese Collins

Starting with a foundation built off of the classic Tom Collins (gin, lemon, sugar, seltzer), and drawing inspiration from our kitchen using local, seasonal ingredients and a farmers-market approach, the Caprese Collins was born.

We start by carbonating heirloom tomato water for the fizzy element of the drink (using organic heirloom tomatoes from Yolo County) to create a subtle & effervescent tomato note.  This is mixed with fresh lemon juice for acidity; pineapple gum syrup for balance, texture, and to lend a subtle fruity quality to the drink; fresh basil leaves;  and a few drops of our Calabrian Tincture (calabrese peppers and lemon peel steeped in high-proof neutral alcohol).  Last but certainly not least, we add olive oil washed St. George Botanivore gin to the mix.  The olive oil washed gin offers a buttery olive note and unique mouth feel layered into the 19 botanicals found in Botanivore gin. 

The savory, garden-fresh Caprese Collins: crisp and refreshing until the very last drop.

What a fun event, and I was honored to win 1st place!


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