Friday, June 11, 2010

USBG Austin Well-Represented in Rare's Best-of Issue

The latest issue of Rare Magazine features their "Rarest of Them All" picks, and USBG Austin members are well-represented in the categories of Best Cocktail and Best Mixologist:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

USBG Member Wins Oficial Drink of Austin Contest!

Abdul Ford of the Driskill Hotel has won the 2010 Official Drink of Austin Contest at the city's inaugural Night of the Bat event. Ford is a bartender at the Driskill and a member of USBG Austin. Here is the winning recipe (don't be alarmed by the "sweet & sour mix"--Abdul makes his own from fresh citrus and agave nectar):

"The Brazos Brasiliensis Batini"

• Tito's Vodka
• Hibiscus/Ginger Syrup
• Sweet & Sour Mix
Hibiscus/Ginger Syrup

• Sugar
• Water
• "Dry" Hibiscus
• Fresh Ginger
Boil all ingredients for 15 minutes; remove from heat and cool down for two hours in refrigerator. Strain and serve. Pick hibiscus flower over blackberry for bat garnish.

"The idea behind the drink was that, first and foremost, it had to be refreshing," says Abdul Ford, mixologist at The Driskill Hotel and creator of the winning drink. "It also had to be simple to make, but have complex flavors. And really, it had to look, smell and taste great."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Junior Merino y Siembra Azul @ Swoop House

"Liquid Chef" Junior Merino's tool bag

Tonight's meeting at the Swoop House was great. Thanks to David Suro of Siembra Azul tequila for sponsoring our event.

We started the evening off with a quick demonstration of Domaine de Canton cocktails by Bill Norris, USBG Austin member who is now doing some local work for them. Bill announced his intention to make John J & Ginger (Jameson & Canton, equal parts) the "official" drink of Austin's service industry.

David Suro led a discussion on tequila from his perspective as both a brand founder of Siembra Azul and owner of Tequilas restaurant in Philadelphia.

Junior Merino and his liquid colleague Heidi made four cocktails showcasing the Siembra Azul lineup and Junior's new line of signature syrups and salts.

Special thanks to Stephen Shallcross of the Swoop House and 2Dine4 catering for hosting and making the fabulous food.

After the official presentation, Junior showed us some footage from his Liquid Lab in NY, where invited guests get intensive hands-on training in flavor architecture.

USBG Meeting Moved to Swoop House

Tonight's USBG Austin meeting has been moved to the Swoop House, 3012 Gonzales, in order to accommodate a change in programming: David Suro, tequila expert and owner of Tequilas Restaurant in Philadelphia, and "the Liquid Chef" Junior Merino will be presenting tequila and cocktails with food from 2Dine4 catering, sponsored by Siembra Azul. 7-8:30 pm tonight.