The Pop Shop guys are back, pumping up bottled cocktails at Faubourg Wines on April 16.
The crew - Steve Yamada (Tivoli & Lee), Sam Kane (Serendipity), Chris Hannah (French 75 Bar) and Brian Adee (The Theatres at Canal Place) - will bring back the carbonated, bottled format that helped sell out last year's smash event.
This time, they're turning their talents to drier, more spirit-forward drinks, crafting these playful variations on classics:
Steve's Ramos Gin Fizz egg cream. The only cocktail to be made à la minute that night, Steve will shake together gin, white chocolate syrup, cream, lemon oil and orange flower water, and charge it on the spot. With CO2, there's no need for an egg white to add texture, and if this recipe seems sweeter than the original, you're right: the guys say that carbonation nicely balances out that sweetness.
Sam's Pimm's Cup. Sam points out that Pimm's No. 1 may be the original bottled cocktail, and his version switches out traditional lemonade for his own blackberry-ginger syrup. It's as clean, refreshing and softly bitter as the original, and more herbaceous besides (Sam adds the sliced cucumber once the bottle's uncapped). Skipping the soda "lets the true flavor come through," he says.
Chris's Marsaw. Inspired by legendary bartender Martin Sawyer's signature drink, Chris muddles strawberries with orgeat (a sweet almond syrup), then adds smooth Four Roses bourbon and lime. His carbonated, bottled version does without the crushed ice, so there's no dilution as you go. (See this documentary about Martin Sawyer, who tended bar for nearly 50 years, most of them at the Omni's Rib Room.)
Brian's New Orleans Mead. This rummy root beer gets around any doubts about sassafras and tonka beans, thanks to Brian's like-minded liqueur, which he infuses with almonds, vanilla and allspice. He's also blended four rums to evoke Wray & Nephew's overproof, dry and now-defunct Dagger label. To these, Brian adds brown sugar syrup, suggesting the earliest root beers made with molasses.
Sam's Sazerac. Where the traditional Sazerac flirts with flowery Peychaud's bitters, lemon (from a garnished peel) and absinthe (as a rinse), Sam's variation bumps up these supporting players. To rye whiskey, then, he adds a full ounce of Peychaud's, an intense lemon cordial, and drops of pure anise. Carbonation binds the flavors, giving a complex, almost chocolate finish.
The Pop Shop runs April 16 from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at Faubourg Wines, 2805 St. Claude Avenue, 342.2217. RSVP here. That night, special cocktails off the menu include carbonated Last Words and Americanos; caterer Open Sesame will bring on "Americana-themed" bites, including meatloaf sliders and creamed chicken.
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