Sunday, May 11, 2008

Learning From A Maestra

You would probably never guess it, and both Jess and I were quite surprised when we found out, but one of the nation's premier mixologists is a 30 year old, ever-smiling, energy bomb named Ariana living right here in San Diego.
I've sampled refreshments at many different establishments in town and have found the range to be quite broad, from gutter water to the truly sublime. I've never had the opportunity to actually sit down with the bartender and chat about their craft in the moment...
Until now (or at least 6 days ago)
In the final phase of my 32nd birthday festivities, I arranged a Mixology class at a fantastic bar/restaurant in town called Modus. We had been there before, and the drinks were quite good, but Ariana, whose reputation got us there in the first place, was off that night.
A few days after my birthday; however, we were able to not only have drinks that she made, but enjoy cocktails that she first explained then brought us behind the bar to make ourselves!

What a blast! I have my bartending license, but had never been behind a bar like this, muddling limes, handling the soda gun, and working the shaker with my massive guns (HaHa)
We worked our way through several different potations, each one more interesting than the next. Captain Sizzle joined me behind the bar and the three of us went to work-actually Ariana broke down the theory, ratios, techniques, etc with the execution left to Sizzle and I.
The real breakthrough of the night came through the use of radishes. Normally this is one tuber I can't get far enough away from, but after a bit of muddling, some sugar and good booze, that previously noxious flavor became quite a standout! I don't want to publish the names and ingredients of the drinks, you'll need to go to Modus' website; these are her drinks, I'm not taking any credit.

As we all enjoyed the craftsmanship and subsequent fruits of our labor, Ariana delivered some high level theory our way; inventing new drinks, pairing various foods with cocktails, interesting under-the radar sips (I'm talking black walnut liqueur here, people), and why the Long Island Iced Tea is every bartenders' worst nightmare.

Just like anyone at the top of their game, Ariana is a font of information, and shares it with great enthusiasm. Make your way to Modus, my friends, our time there could not have been more interesting, exciting and delicious.

1 comment:

justin said...

That is my most favoritest rum... just thought I'd share.