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Nominated for Tales of the Cocktail 2008 Spirit Award for Best Cocktail Writing


Spirited Dinner Cocktail Pairing Recipes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   

Dona Flor Cocktail created by Luxury Experience CompanyThe Spirited Travelers aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta of Luxury Experience Magazine share their cocktail recipes from their guest appearance as Bar Chefs at Ralph's on the Park in New Orleans for a spirited evening of cocktail and food pairing during Tales of the Cocktail.

We love a cocktail challenge, so when we were asked to be the Guest Bar Chefs for a Spirited Dinner at Ralph's on the Park, and create cocktails to pair with each course of Chef Haley Gabel's four course menu, we let our imaginations run wild to create cocktails that would complement her culinary recipes.

People often ask us how to go about pairing cocktails with food, and our approach to that question is to suggest that they select ingredients that will either complement or add a slight contrast to the food. Much like a wine pairing where you might select a wine that has similar components or complementary notes to the food, the same is true when pairing cocktails with food.

For the Spirited Dinner held on July 17, 2008, we looked to incorporate similar ingredients in our cocktails to complement Chef Haley's menu. Coming up with the Welcome Cocktail, the Dona Flor was easy, as champagne based cocktails are always a perfect beginning and add a celebratory note to a special dinner. The cocktail, Marie's Garden, for the first course picks up the elements that are in the Creole Tomato Salad, as does the Clambake with its interesting blend of rum, clam juice, and fresh corn, which is paired with the second course of Soft Shell Crab, and the Fenneltini for the third course paired with Fennel Crusted Yellowfin Tuna made with a fennel infused coconut vodka.

When you are mixing spirits in a dinner, it is a very nice idea to offer a palate cleanser between courses, and the Ginger and Lime Sorbet has just the right refreshing note. As the grand finale cocktail of the evening, the Toast of the Town plays up the luscious elements of the decadent Chocolate Pecan Pie for a delectable finish.

The Spirited Menu

Welcome Cocktail - Dona Flor
First Course - Creole Tomato Salad paired with Marie's Garden
Second Course - Soft Shell Crab Soup paired with Clambake
Palate Cleanser - Ginger and Lime Sorbet
Third Course - Fennel Crusted Yellowfin Tuna paired with Fenneltini
Dessert - Chocolate Pecan Pie paired with Toast of the Town

The Cocktail Recipes

Dona Flor Cocktail by Luxury Experience Company

Dona Flor
Recipe for: 1 cocktail

Glass Used: Champagne Flute

1

Ounce

Moët and Chandon Champagne

1

Ounce

Rose Jelly

¾

Ounce

Hibiscus Flower Juice (made with 1 part Jamaica Concentrate, 1 part sugar, and 12 parts water)

¼

Ounce

Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

1

Ounce

Sagatiba Pura Cachaça

¼

Ounce

Grand Marnier

 

 

Edible flower to garnish

Method: Chill champagne glass. Pour champagne into the glass. In a shaker can with 4 ice cubes, add rose jelly, hibiscus flower concentrate, lime juice, Sagatiba Pura Cachaça, and Grand Marnier, and shake hard until metal can is frosty and ice is incorporated. Carefully strain drink into the champagne glasses. Garnish each champagne glass with an edible flower.

Marie's Garden Cocktail by Luxury Experience Company

Marie's Garden
Recipe for: 1 cocktail

Glass Used: Highball glass

2

Ounces

Cognac

4

Ounces

Tomato Juice

2

Teaspoons

Pesto (purchased or homemade)

½

Ounce

Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

3

Dashes

Fee Brothers 2008 Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

3

Dashes

Hot Sauce

 

 

Basil leaves to garnish

Method: In a mixing glass with 4 ice cubes, add the Cognac, tomato juice, pesto, lime juice, Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters, and Hot Sauce and stir well. Strain into highball glass with fresh ice cubes. Garnish with basil leaves.

Clambake Cocktail by Luxury Experience Company

Clambake
Recipe for: 1 cocktail

Glass Used: Rocks glass

2

Ounces

Rhum Clement Première Canne Premium Rum (White)

1

Ounce

Clam Juice

1/8

Cup

Corn kernels, freshly cut off cob

½

Ounce

Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

½

Ounce

Simple syrup

 

 

Baby corn to garnish

 

Method: In a blender, add Rhum Clement Première Canne Premium Rum, Clam Juice, Corn kernels, lime juice, simple syrup, and liquefy. Add the ingredients to a shaker can, shake until metal is frosty, and strain into clean rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a baby corn.

Ginger and Lime Sorbet by Luxury Experience Company

Ginger and Lime Sorbet
Yield: 26 small servings

Ingredients:

½

Cup

Lime Zest (approx. 3 limes)

½

Cup

Sugar

12

Ounces

Water

½

Cup

Sugar

2

Ounces

Lime juice, freshly squeezed

18

Ounces

Water

8

Ounces

Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur

1

Tablespoon

Fee Brothers Peach Bitters

 

 

Candied Ginger (make in-house) and Lime Zest garnish

Method: In a blender, pulverize the lime zest and sugar until zest is fine (will take around 3 minutes). Add 12 ounces water and liquefy the lime/sugar mixture. Strain mixture in a fine sieve into a saucepan, and discard the zest.

Add ½ cup to the mixture and simmer for 3 minutes to completely dissolve sugar. Add 2 ounces lime juice and 18 ounces water and let mixture cool over ice water bath. Add 8 ounces Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur and Fee Brothers Peach Bitters. Pour into an airtight container and freeze until firm (several hours), remove from container and mix in blender until mixture is fluffy and light. Return to container and freeze overnight until ready to use. Can be made several days or a week in advance.

Method: Candied Ginger: Thinly slice ginger, cut into squares. Add ginger to equal parts sugar and water and cook until golden syrup forms. Remove ginger and dry on parchment paper. Can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container.

Presentation: Add ball of sorbet to a small glass or demitasse. Garnish with candied ginger, lime zest, and a teaspoon of Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur.

Fenneltini Cocktail by Luxury Experience Company

Fenneltini
Recipe for: 1 cocktail

Glass Used: Martini glass

3

Ounces

Pearl Coconut Vodka

1

Piece

Fennel

½

Ounce

Extra Dry Vermouth

 

 

Fennel frond as garnish

Method: Cut a large piece of fennel and put in a bottle of Pearl Coconut Vodka. Let rest for 2 weeks to create a fennel infused coconut vodka. In a shaker can, add 4 ice cubes, Pearl Coconut Vodka infused with fennel and Extra Dry Vermouth. Shake hard until metal can is frosty. Strain into chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a fennel frond.

Toast of the Town Cocktail by Luxury Experience Company

Toast of the Town
Recipe for: 1 cocktail

Glass Used: Martini glass

1

Ounce

Mount Gay Rum Eclipse

1

Ounce

Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur

2

Ounces

Half & Half

1 ¼

Teaspoons

Fee Brothers Caramel Cordial Syrup

 

 

Cocoa to dust cocktail

 

 

Dark chocolate to melt and rim glass

 

 

Crushed pecans to rim chocolate on glass

Method: Melt chocolate over simmering water (or carefully in a microwave). Rim the outside of a martini glass with chocolate, and then roll in crushed pecans. Make ahead and chill in freezer or refrigerator.

In a shaker can with 4 ice cubes, add the Mount Gay Rum, Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur, Half & Half, Fee Brothers Caramel Syrup, and shake hard until metal can is frosty and ice is incorporated. Pour into chocolate/pecan crusted martini glass. Dust drink with a light sprinkling of cocoa.

Ralph's on the Park is open for Dinner Sunday - Thursday from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, and on Friday and Saturday from 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm. The restaurant is also open for lunch on Friday from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, and for Sunday Brunch from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Read more about Ralph's on the Park in the Restaurants and Chefs' Recipes sections where Chef Haley Gabel shares a taste of New Orleans with recipes for a delicious three-course menu. Read the article on Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook with Gene Bourg in the Luxury Products - Gifts section.

Ralph's on the Park, New Orleans
Ralph's on the Park
900 City Park Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
United States
Telephone:      +1-504-488-1000 
Website: 
www.RalphsonthePark.com

Read other articles on the Tales of the Cocktail and New Orleans in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Liquor Cabinet, and Awards sections.

Tales of the CocktailFor information on the Tales of the Cocktail, please visit the website: www.TalesoftheCocktail.com. For information on New Orleans, please visit the website: www.NewOrleansCVB.com.

© October 2008. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.

 
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