Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jim’s Favorite Ingredients

We are excited to debut a few feature in the Manresa Journal where Beverage Director Jim Rollston talks about some of his favorite ingredients and how to incorporate them into your own creation. Cheers! 

Having been in the restaurant world for a while now, it is always fun to think back on the favorite ingredients that have moved through our worlds as fashions come and go, whether in the kitchen, the bar, or the wine cellar:  sun-dried tomatoes, ramps, smoked ingredients, pickled ingredients, infused spirits, house-made bitters, Merlot, Moscato… 

One liqueur that has become our new “favorite ingredient” is the bitter liqueur Gran Classico.  Gran Classico is a bitter liqueur with over twenty botanical ingredients including gentian, wormwood, bitter orange peel, rhubarb, and hyssop—it is being used by many bartenders as a substitute for Campari, though it is a bit more viscous, and has a more amber/orange color, having no artificial coloring agents added.  It is imported from a Swiss distiller who bought the original recipe from the Turin-based creator of the liqueur by the amazing folks at Tempus Fugit Spirits, who make it their mission to seek out or create classic cocktail “modifiers” to enliven the base spirits available as the raw materials for new and classic cocktails.  Our mixologist, Allyson Michaels, wanted to bring Gran Classico into the bar at Manresa, and it has found its way into many different libations at the restaurant, including our house Negroni, and a few different apéritifs to start our wine pairings.  We hope you enjoy these recipes, or some amazing creation of your own with this delicious ingredient…

Manresa Negroni
1 ounce Nolet’s Gin
1 ounce Gran Classico
1 ounce Antica Carpano
• Mix all ingredients, stir with ice. Strain into a highball glass over one large ice cube.
• Garnish with orange peel.

Gran Classico / Manzanilla Sherry Spritzer
1 ounce Gran Classico
3 ounces Manzanilla Sherry (such as Valdespino Deliciosa)
Soda water
• Add Gran Classico and Sherry to a glass of your choice. 
• Top with soda water.
• Garnish with edible flower.