0.5 ounce Trinity absinthe
1 ounce Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple rum
0.5 ounce guava puree
0.75 ounce fresh pressed lime, pulp removed
1 ounce coconut cream
Shake ingredients and pour into a Collins glass over crushed ice. Top with more crushed ice and add 7 heavy dashes of Peychaud’s bitters so that it covers the ice. Add a sprig of fresh mint (smack it to wake it up). Add two straws, and serve.
Robert Gregory spent his first eight years in the restaurant business in the kitchen. So it makes sense that once he got behind the bar, fresh ingredients would matter to him.
Now, some 12 years later, Gregory is still making great drinks with quality ingredients. These days he holds court behind the bar at Fin in Newport News, serving his Peninsula guests an experience hard to find elsewhere: well thought-out cocktails that go through intense recipe development.
His drink, the Alotta Colada, is a craft touch on a fond memory, inspired by drinking piña coladas in Key West with his wife, Christine.
It’s a complex tipple, refreshing and intriguing, with the addition of absinthe and Peychaud’s bitters playing a lovely foil to pineapple-infused rum. Guava puree and coconut cream lend a tropical hand alongside a little lime juice for acid.
It’s as mindful a drink as Robert is a bartender.
All Shook Up
Superstar bartender Charles Joly has released a line of barware that includes a high-quality Boston shaker perfect for any home bar. Part of the Crafthouse line, by Fortessa, the stainless steel, two-piece Boston shaker is pleasantly weighted, which helps it seal well and feel sturdy in the hands. The larger side has a footed base to ensure that it stays upright even while mixing the third or fourth drink of the night, and the polished look and metal banding make it a joy to hold and behold. Form and function make this a fine addition to a home bar collection. Retails exclusively at Williams-Sonoma for $49.95.
Brandy Fit for a King
The word “craft” gets thrown around a lot these days. Before the advent of “artisan everything,” the word craft indicated a product mindfully produced, from quality materials, rooted in history. No description better fits Copper & Kings American Craft Brandy. The distillery, in Louisville, Kentucky, prides itself on a spirit free of any additives, sustainably produced, and exceptionally delicious.
Aged for five to 12 years in new, charred, American oak barrels, the amber-colored brandy begins with an extremely pleasant, fruity nose. Upon first taste, the depth of flavor and ease of drinking belie the strength, a cool 90 proof. The finish reminds the drinker that it is definitely brandy, rich and luxurious like its French cousins. Copper & Kings makes for a perfect sipping spirit, and a versatile cocktail ingredient.
Josh Seaburg has established several award-winning bar programs and a series of innovative pop-ups, highlighting elaborate cocktails and food from local chefs. He is chief mixologist for the restaurants at
The Main, in Norfolk.