Cocktail Culture


Cocktails That Cook

Cocktails That Cook

Photo by Robert John Kley

Top Mixologists Shake Up Old
Notions of Libation

Like many contemporary cooks, today’s savvy bar chefs craft their creations according to season and region. Las Vegas-based mixologists Eddie Perales, Bobby “G” Gleason and Abou-Ganim know they also have to stay ahead of trends, choosing liquors that might have escaped the attention of their brethren.

And when there’s a celebration or a holiday, it’s the job of these “spirit lifters” to “create a cocktail specifically for that moment,” notes Perales, the beverage specialist at Caesars Palace. Combine all these elements, and the results are often as surprising as they are delightful.

For Perales, fruits combined with spices and herbs are the key to seasonal success. For his “Hot Apple Pie” drink, he toasts what he calls “holiday spices”—cinnamon, star anise, vanilla bean and cloves—in a pan, then spoons in applesauce made with fresh mint. After pouring the concoction into a glass, he adds fresh-squeezed orange and tangerine juices and Glenmorangie single-malt scotch before double-straining it and garnishing with mint.

For his “Hot Buttered Rum,” Bobby G, the multiple award-winning Master Mixologist for Beam Global Wine & Spirits, makes a “batter” from cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and other brown spices. The heated cocktail, which includes Cruzan Single Barrel Estate or Cruzan Dark Rum, complements a host of fall-to-winter holiday gatherings.

Hot Buttered Rum

Drink Mix
1½ ounces Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum
or Cruzan Dark Rum
2 heaping teaspoons batter
Hot water
Fill coffee mug one-half full with hot water.
Stir in batter until dissolved. Add rum and serve.

Batter Mix
½ pound brown sugar
¼ pound salted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground clove
Pinch of ground ginger
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate. Before serving, remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.