Currently In Season

by Lindsay Nader

We live in a unique time.  In a period of hyper accelerated technological advancement. As the Age of Information comes to a close, some may even argue that we are fast approaching a Fifth Technological Revolution. With the development of Nanotechnology and Super Soldiers, all those cheesy 80's sci-fi films may soon became a reality; we won't have to remake “Weird Science,” we'll be living it. That being said, I'd like to take the time to appreciate a revolutionary device before it inevitably becomes obsolete: The iPad.

I just bought an iPad for work. It’s amazing! If you don’t have one, get one. Worth every penny. I’m obsessed with Apps that make my life easier and more organized. As a bartender, there's a lot more out there at my disposal than "iTinis" "Pocket Cocktails" "8,500+ Cocktails" and "Nimble Strong" to name a few. Certain Apps have revolutionized the way I do business. If you’re like me, which I’m guessing many of you are, work includes, but is not limited to: massive amounts of emails with more than one account, randomly formatted documents being received and sent, menus to create and edit, spec sheets, spreadsheets, compendiums, bills, receipts, and the best part: the final, physical, sippable, delicious product.

I’d like to share one of my favorite Apps of all time with you. It’s called “Locavore,” available for the iPhone, Android and useable but not formatted for the iPad. A gifted bartender named Gerry Corcoran showed it to me a few years ago. He used it to see what produce was seasonally available in New York, or any other state that he selected within the App. Brilliant. Call it cheating if you like. I’m no Chef, and I don’t geek out hard enough to read “The Farmer’s Almanac” and make predictions.

I now use Locavore almost daily. In the Northeast I was quite limited to what was seasonally appropriate at any given time and I needed guidance. Everyone knows New York is an American hub for some of the best food and drink not only in the United States, but in the world. As we move further into the progressive trends of sustainability, organic farming and elevation of locally owned business, the true challenge for food and beverage professionals in the Northeast is to utilize what’s available in the greenmarket at any given point in the season.

New York is a tough town for workable produce. Growing regions in the Northeast vary from month to month, the harvest season is short and not every harvest is the same from year to year. For example, once the month of May was coming to a close, I knew Green Market strawberries were only available for a about a 30 day period. Use of them in a delicious cocktail was imperative, and sadly short lived. My game had to be tight, pre-meditated drinks were a must. I couldn’t just waltz into work and throw some liquid into a tin that I thought would go well with strawberries the afternoon before a menu change. I had to be ready to feature produce when it was available, with a great drink locked and loaded that would maintain the fruits integrity while featuring spirits as well.

Locavore was always there to help, letting me know not to worry, that as soon as the strawberries were gone, raspberries and blueberries would be around for at least 2 more months!

It became habitual to work with these facts in mind behind the bar and find crafty solutions to fill in the holes. One year I wanted to use fig in a transitional drink from Summer to Fall, but they come and go so quickly and at such a high price, (not to mention breaking down the suckers with a muddler and fine straining, yeeesh!) that I opted for a fig preserve, which imparted great flavor and stretched out the drinks menu time.

Here are two seasonal drinks I created while in New York:

Enjoy!

The Resting Point
2 oz Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila
.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse
.5 oz Punt E Mes
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz Agave Nectar
1 strawberry
Muddle the strawberry in the agave, add the rest of the ingredients.
Shake and fine strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with a strawberry fan.

Figetaboutit 
2 oz. Bulleit Bourbon 
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice 
.25 oz. Luxardo Amaretto 
1 Barpsoon St. Dalfour Fig Jam 
2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters

Shake and fine strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and broad orange twist flag.

References:

http://www.getlocavore.com