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  • Welcome to the Liquid Kitchen

    Kathy Casey is widely regarded as the original bar-chef, and Liquid Kitchen, the beverage consulting agency she founded, stands as a pioneer in bringing the principles of the kitchen into the bar. Liquid Kitchen has something to offer everyone, from exciting recipes for home cocktail enthusiasts to full services for global brands, suppliers and operators.

History on the Rocks

Cocktails have been a big part of the culture in the Pacific Northwest for over a century. Learn all about women in the Northwest and Prohibition at a lecture I will be co-presenting called “History on the Rocks – Women of Temperance and Tenacity” at The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) on Thursday, May 28th. This is in conjunction with the “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of the Prohibition exhibit. For ticket information, visit www.MOHAI.org.

Seattle Daily News
But here is the fun part which I will include in my seminar at MOHAI: I used to live with a bootlegger! Yes – it’s true. In high school I lived with an older disabled lady; Helen Holt. She was a spicy lady with many a tale of fun and frolicking in her early years. In 1994 when I was writing a column for the Seattle PI on the return of the martini, I interviewed Helen about prohibition in Seattle here is an excerpt from the article:

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The Return of the Martini, Seattle PI, December 1994 – By Kathy Casey

When I decided to do this column, I asked my friend Helen Holt, age 84, who coincidentally had her first “real” martini at the Mayflower Hotel, to share some of her memorable Northwest bootlegging stories. Helen to this day just about cringes at the smell of gin and that’s from an escapade of a little too much sampling from the tub with girlfriends. 

Helen told me how the bootlegged gin was made during Prohibition. “The boys would drive to California and pick up the drums of ethyl alcohol then strap them under the car and drive it back to Seattle. Then we would dilute it with water, mix it in the bathtub with some juniper berries and let the flavors mellow. If we made whiskey, we added a little Kitchen Bouquet.”

After the booze had “simmered” with its respective flavoring, it was siphoned into bottles and delivered. Helen, an order taker and delivery girl, would tuck a gallon under her coat and deliver it to one of the restaurants on Pike St. or jazz clubs on Jackson.

When I asked her about accompanying snacks, I was surprised to hear, “Everybody served up fried chicken or rabbit.” The menu played on that old tale of using grease to coat your stomach. Some people even downed swigs of olive oil before heading out for a night on the town. (Once I actually had a couple of swigs of a home-stilled brew–well, I wish I’d taken a swig of olive oil myself!)

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So it’s always interesting to see how things come and go. And now all the old classics are back again. Bartenders and mixologists and home bar enthusiasts are on the search for forgotten recipes and everything Jerry Thomas.

A couple of my favorites follow. What’s old is new again. Enjoy – Kathy

Clover Club
Clover Club
The Clover Club cocktail, originally created for the gentlemen at the Philadelphia club of the same name, is a pre-Prohibition cocktail dating back to at least 1911.  Often made with grenadine, housemade raspberry syrup brings this cocktail back to its golden era roots. For a video of how to make the cocktail with a Liquid Kitchen twist check out www.LiquidKitchen.TV

Makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 – 3/4 ounce Housemade Raspberry Syrup (recipe follows) - depending on sweetness preference
3/4 ounce pasteurized egg white or 1 small organic egg white
Garnish: raspberry on a pick

Bend and drop the thyme into a cocktail shaker. Measure in the gin, lemon juice, Housemade Raspberry Syrup and the egg white. Fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds to froth the egg white. Strain into a large martini or coupe glass. Garnish 

Housemade Raspberry Syrup
Makes 2 cups

2 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Place ingredients into a Vita Mix blender cup. Secure lid and process until smooth. Place pureed raspberry mixture into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain cooked syrup through a fine mesh strainer. Let cool and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail
The Old-Fashioned is considered the original cocktail.  For decades since its first mention in 1806, it was referred to as The Bittered Sling. It became known as the Old-Fashioned when, decades later, old-timers who tired of all the fancy drinks being invented began asking for a cocktail “in the Old-Fashioned way”. The name stuck.

As originally conceived, the Old-Fashioned was simply spirit, sweetener and bitters. This is simplicity at its best. During Prohibition, however, bartenders who lacked training began muddling cherries and orange slices to mask the inferior flavors of Prohibition-era spirits.  From there, the simple, uncomplicated Old-Fashioned became a complicated mess.

Makes 1 cocktail

2 oz Bourbon
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters or other bitters
Garnish: Wide orange disk, cherry on a pick

In a pint mixing glass, add spirit, syrup and bitters. Fill 3/4 full of ice and stir swiftly for 20 seconds. Strain over fresh ice in Old Fashioned glass. Squeeze disk over top of drink then drop in. Garnish.

 

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10 Most Influencial People in the Past 25 Years!!

I am truly honored to be be named as one of the  Top 10 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years by Cheers Magazine for our direct impact on elevating the bar in the cocktail culture.

Cheers Award

To be recognized with people that I have admired for many years such as Dale DeGroff, Tony Abou-Ganim , Audrey Saunders and Jose Andres, is such a great honor. It has been so exciting to see the kitchen come into the bar and all the innovation over the years – let’s all  keep raising the bar!

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50 Shades of Gin at the Heathman Restaurant & Bar

Liquid Kitchen couldn’t help but get inspired by 50 Shades of Grey, especially now with the book series being adapted for the big screen! Because the book is set at the Portland’s Heathman Hotel, Liquid Kitchen created the 50 Shades of Gin drink for the Heathman Restaurant & Bar’s new cocktail menu. This sin’sual cocktail combines gin with fresh tangerine, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, and a sprig of thyme.

50 Shades of Gin
Photo by Evrim Photography.

50 Shades of Gin
Depending on the season, use clementines, mandarins, or tangerines.

Makes 1 cocktail

1/2 tangerine (cut crosswise – use 1/4 if large)
1 1/2 ounce gin
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup*
1/2 oz POM pomegranate juice
Garnish: fresh thyme sprig – and mini-handcuff garnish “thumb cuffs”

Squeeze tangerine and drop into a mixing glass. Measure in gin, lemon, simple syrup, and pomegranate juice. Fill with ice then cap and shake vigorously. Strain drink into a coupe or large martini glass. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig.

*To make simple syrup: combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Store refrigerated.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® for the Heathman Restaurant & Bar - www.LiquidKitchen.com

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Tales of Cocktail 2014

On my list of Yearly Must Go-To events is Tales of the Cocktail. Every July bar and spirits professionals worldwide head to New Orleans to learn more and celebrate the art of the drink. Everything from hot trends seminars, spirited dinners, mix-off competitions, tasting rooms, and boozy parties are all taken place during this 5-day spirited event.

There are always crazy events with fun themes!

Llama Love
Boozy parties so libatious even animals came in to enjoy the fun – there were camels and lamas this year! #LlamaLove

Siamese slushies
The “Siamese” twins serving boozy slushies

I love seeing what’s hot in the beverage world and taste all the new, unique and small batch-crafted spirits and liqueurs. Lots of ideas to get inspired from… and a great place to see what’s trending: frozen drinks, slushies, carbonated, on-tap, unique garnishes, exotic presentations, bottled cocktails.

Kalamansi Rickeys
Kalamansi Rickeys: Cointreau, Fresh Kalamansi Puree, “Lime Air”
I’ve been saying kalamansi is the next new thing – I heart kalamansi!

Alex K
Artesian’s (The Langham Hotel)
celebrity barman Alex Kratena doing his magic at Elyx House!

At the ABSOLUT Elyx House I attended an amazing Swedish brunch and tasted some fantastic cockails. Such as the Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the cocktail lightly smoked inside a copper pineapple cup with sandlewood incense. Afterwards I attended a seminar by Alex about Luxury & Innovation. He showed us some very cutting edge drink vessels insluding one that had inserts for wild flora such as pine tips and flowers that infuse your cockails – very inspirational and very cool!

Elyx Cocktail Menu
Elyx Brunch Cocktails

Who Framed Roger Rabbit cocktail, pineapple cup
Who Framed Roger Rabbit cocktail served in Copper Pineapple Cocktail Cups.
Take the top off and it becomes a drink stand – so cool!

Cereal Number
(Not Just Another) Cereal Number

 One of my favorite events was “Las Vegas Invades Tales of the Cocktail,” this marquee event showcased the top bartending talent from Las Vegas, including the legendary Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim,The Comopolitan’s Mariena Mercer and Bellagio Hotel’s Ricardo Murcia. Team Sauza 901 shook up a carbonated cocktail featuring Sauza 901 tequila, grapefruit juice, fresh lime, serrano, lime, and sage syrup. Team Bacardi had Flora and Fauna cocktails: Bacardi Superior, aloe liqueur, kalamansi sour (see its trending!), ginger syrup, and cardamom bitters. So many great cocktails – I felt like I was in Vegas.

Vegas Crew
Las Vegas “Invades” New Orleans
(Photo by Liz King)

Mariena Mercer
Cosmopolitan’s Mariena shaking up some beautiful cocktails!

Team Moet
Team Moet finishing off The Interlude cocktails
(blackberry liqueur, falernum, Gran Marnier, honey, and topped with Imperial Brut)

There were a LOT of cocktails to try over the week, take a peak of this post in Zagat narrowing down some of top drinks from this year’s Tales. And if you were at the right time and place, you may have even found yourself in the middle of a Harvey Wallbanger Disco Flash Mob!

And if you missed this year’s action, there is Tales 365.This new membership program offers exclusive, year-round access to Tales of the Cocktail® content, events and special discounts for bartenders and members of the cocktail industry. Founder Ann Tuennerman wanted to give dedicated cocktail professionals the opportunity to follow their passion for spirits every day of the year. “Now whether you live in New Orleans, New York, New Zealand or New Delhi, you can be a part of Tales of the Cocktail® 365 days a year.”

Tales 365 members will have access to videos from Tales of the Cocktail seminars (I’m especially excited about this!), “Shake Ups” – interactive Google hangouts with industry glitterati, spirited dinners and lots more benefits all specially geared toward spirits professionals including distillery tours, networking events, special discounts, and much more.

If spirits are your business, Tales 365 lets you experience the best of Tales of the Cocktail all year long.

It’s a bit early but keep your eyes peeled for next year’s Tales of the Cocktail (already set for July 15-19) – it’s worth the wait! -Kathy

 

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