Craft cocktails pop up at Purloo

00:00 September 04, 2013
By: David Vicari

You want to make a Creole Cocktail but can't source a key ingredient - in this case, the bitter orange Amer Picon, which isn't imported in the U.S.

If you're bartender Amy Bissell, you just ask Chef Ryan Hughes to make satsuma marmalade, which he does, from the citrus grown in his neighbor's yard in Algiers.

More bartenders may be wandering into their chefs' kitchens for fresh produce to make up juices, syrups and garnishes, but Amy goes a step further, creatively, with her Creole Cocktail: besides the marmalade infusion, she's made an oregano-orange syrup to bring in the herbal notes, replacing the original's Benedictine.

If you got a spot in this Friday's sold-out Purloo pop-up, you'll have a chance to try it (the bourbon-based drink includes sweet vermouth). The culinary cocktail is meant to pair with Ryan's Creole-inspired menu.

Anticipating a future Spanish-themed dinner, Amy has also crafted saffron syrup for her King's Highway cocktail, preferring to mix it with a single-malt Speyside Scotch. These whiskies, especially in recent bottlings, tend to be more delicate and sweet than Scotch from other regions.

The creamy saffron-Scotch pairing reminds me somewhat of a Rusty Nail; Amy then adds heat with ginger purée syrup and spiced bitters, shaken in with the other ingredients to give a lasting, earthy cinnamon bite.

The King's Highway (a reference to the early spice trade) makes a worthy transitional sipper into fall. Look also for tea-based cocktails, inspired by Amy's year-long stint behind the stick in London.

Purloo (430.1840) at the New Orleans Cooking Experience, 1519 Carondelet Street. Purloo will be popping up Fridays here until they take up permanent residence at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, likely later this year. A themed specialty cocktail is included in the price of Purloo's current pre-fixe dinners, where you'll also have access to a full cash bar.

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