Learn 3 Fresh Ways to Create the perfect cocktail recipe from head bartender at Seasons 52 in Buckhead, Atlanta. I’m sharing my favorite recipes and 3 important tricks to help you turn your next homemade drink recipe into a Pour of Perfection!
3 Fresh Ways to Create the Perfect Cocktail
Disclosure: We received a complimentary dinner and drinks by Seasons 52. All opinions are my own.
Welcome to another edition of Toasting Tuesdays where we Celebrate Wine, Women, Wellness, and Wisdom!
For today’s Toasting Tuesday, I’m excited to share with you my cocktails and conversations with Seasons 52 senior bartender, Austin James.
If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that I was recently invited to a #hosted dinner at Seasons 52 in Buckhead. Seasons 52 has an elevated menu inspired by the freshness of all seasons. And their cocktails are no exception!
For all the delicious details on the dinner, read more here.
We started off our evening with a trio of cocktails.
Hawaiian Pineapple Cosmopolitan
This beautiful tropical drink is made with pineapple vodka and Patron Citronage. The shot of tequila gives it a little extra kick which is a nice balance to the sweetness of this drink.
The New Old Fashioned
Ordering this drink can turn into something out of an old Vaudeville act:
“I’d like a new Old Fashioned, please.”
“New Old Fashioned or a new “Old Fashioned”?
“No, I’d like another New Old Fashioned, not a new Old-Old Fashioned.”
This actually happened at our table.
The New Old Fashioned is a great twist on the classic “Old Fashioned.” It’s made with Breaker Craft Bourbon, cherry heering, and apple bitters. Finally, it’s garnished with a super fun rock candy stick (instead of being poured over the traditional sugar cube).
CUCUMBER BASIL SMASH
Available on the seasonal menu, this light and fresh cocktail is made with Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka, white cranberry juice, cucumber, basil, and lime.
Previously, I’d only ever had this drink in the hot summer months and it is super refreshing—a Pure Delight!
However, I have to say it’s not as satisfying when it’s really cold outside. I think you need a beverage with more of a kick to keep you warm inside-like the Bourbon Berry Bramble.
So I asked our waitress if we could do a sampling of some other cocktails because…well, quite frankly, I really just wanted to try that Bourbon Berry Bramble but didn’t want another whole cocktail! <LOL>
And our waitress not only happily obliged, but also brought us out senior bartender, Austin James, to explain some of the magic behind the cocktails!
As a self-proclaimed mixologist, I felt like we had just been shown the secret door all good things cocktail-related.
With Austin as our guide, we began to sample some of his favorites, including…The Bourbon Berry Bramble!
BOURBON BERRY BRAMBLE
This is my new favorite winter drink!
Made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, St. Germain Elderflower, raspberries, blackberries, and lime, it really warms you up inside while not overpowering the palette. It’s lightly sweet with a kick. The St. Germain really balances the Bourbon nicely.
Fresh Cocktail Tip #1: Use a VERY light pour when working with Elderflower
Austin recommends only using a splash to a half ounce max of Elderflower. If you use more, you risk overpowering the drink and disrupting the other flavors.
MANGO JALAPENO CRUSH
This spicy drink is not for the faint of heart. It’s made with Prairie Organic Gin, Mango Puree, house-made lemonade, jalapeno, cilantro, and cucumber. It definitely has a kick and as Austin explained, it’s hard to keep the heat level consistent.
Fresh Cocktail Tip #2: Test tricky / inconsistent drinks before serving
When using a volatile or inconsistent ingredient like jalapeno, be sure to taste it before serving so you can make any necessary adjustments.
This refreshing cocktail is a great spin on the traditional negroni. It’s made with Prairie Organic Gin, ruby red grapefruit shrub, and Campari. I was pleasantly surprised by the light grapefruit flavor; it was not overpowering as grapefruit drinks tend to be and I found out this is due to FRESH COCKTAIL TIP #3…
Fresh Cocktail Tip #3: Use the freshest components possible
Freshness makes a difference, and we could taste it first hand in the cocktails.
Take this Grapefruit Negroni for example. While I like eating grapefruit as a fruit, I’ve never really liked grapefruit cocktails. The fabricated liqueurs never seem to do the fruit justice and result in a sour, chemical taste. However, Austin explained how Seasons 52 uses a locally made fruit shrub (which is a natural fruit syrup) to get the fresh grapefruit flavor…the result—-a light fruit finish that balances out the other elements.
Incidentally, Alton Brown has a great video on how to make your own fruit shrub. Click here to see it from Food Network.
A big thanks again to Austin James for taking the time out to give us a special cocktail mixology lesson and share some of the secrets of Seasons 52’s cocktails!
Until next time….Cheers! And always remember to Celebrate the Cocktail of Life!
Be sure to visit your local Seasons 52—Buckhead or at any of these locations across the US.
Seasons 52 Buckhead: Located at 3050 Peachtree Rd. NW, Atlanta GA 30305
Follow Season’s 52
on Instagram @Seasons52
on Twitter @seasons52
on Facebook @Seasons52Buckhead
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