Secrets to Share

Some of the best innovations come by accident.  Charles Goodyear accidentally spilled a mixture of hot rubber, sulfur, and lead onto a hot stove, and voila!  Vulcanized rubber, as in tires, shoe soles, and hockey pucks. 

Most innovations start by moving the needle through trial and error, though.  Ask any lover of food and drink.  If you are like me and have a stable of go-to recipes, you know they didn’t always start out perfectly.  Over the course of my culinary education, I can count innumerable overcooked roasts, undercooked chickens, under-seasoned potatoes, over-salted soups, and a couple of totally disgusting inedible dishes.  The good news: I haven’t killed anyone – yet.

Making something completely delicious takes perseverance, and even a few secrets:  ingredients that will take an ordinary dish and send it into the stratosphere.  You know what I mean.  The fork goes in, the eyes close, the eyes open – large and full of wonder. 

Have you ever made French toast?  Try adding a hint of vanilla (or scrape a small amount of bean) or OJ to the egg batter.  What about tomato sauce?  If it needs a little Je ne sais quoi, stir in some anchovy paste.  It will add a salty richness that cannot be found in box of kosher or sea salt.

The same can be said for cocktails.  Some incredible artists out there use small amounts of wondrous ingredients that alter the complexion of the drink.  You don’t know what it is, but you do know that you want another.

This summer, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Travis Joiner.  Based in Orlando, Travis is the USBG’s Central Florida Chapter Secretary.  The United States Bartenders Guild is a professional association that serves it members by imparting education, training, and core values that include service, integrity, tradition and camaraderie.  To the ultimate benefit of the consumer, more chapters are popping up across the country supporting creative, dedicated bartenders.

Travis and Will Whitely created this masterpiece for a USBG welcome event.  Their secret ingredient?  Why FRUITATIONS Cranberry, of course! 

The Cavendish

1¼ oz Enlightened Grain Windsor Earl Grey Tea and Sage Vodka

1/8 oz FRUITATIONS Cranberry

2 dashes Bitterman’s Orange Cream Bitters

Build in shaker with ice to blend.  Pour into double old fashioned or coupe glass over ice.  Top with soda and rub rim with caramelized lemon wheel.


–      Allison Goldberg

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