NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Mood Mixology Series Begins

{/literal}{include file="blk:fooddude_header"}{literal}

 

Better late than never.

Cliches might be tired but they got that way because their truth has been passed along for so long. That cliché couldn’t be more cogent than to the mixology movement that’s only recently caught on in Oklahoma City.

When Heather Warlick-Moore and I were discussing the city’s signature drinks, it quickly became apparent the list was short in both quantity and quality. Listen, I’ve rocked my share of Lunchboxes at Edna’s — and done it happily — but Coors Light plus Amaretto and orange juice isn’t a libation bound for the Cocktail Hall of Fame.

Mixologists Scott Glidewell of Paseo Grill, Kyle Fleischfresser of Ludivine and Jason Ewald of A Good Egg Dining Group are committed to bringing truly inspired, perfectly balanced and ultimately delicious cocktails become the expected in Oklahoma City. It’s time to call a ceasefire on getting Jaeger-bombed and start examining what a mixed drink can really be.

To do our part, we introduce the Mood Mixology series. Part one brought together the aforementioned three amigos of mixing with one common cause: champagne — namely Duval Leroy, which Rick Naifeh’s Premium Liquors is introducing to the market.

You met Glidewell, Fleischfresser and Ewald in Mood over the last month, so it was clear the time had come to bring them together. With spirits provided by Premium Liquors, each concocted a drink in honor of the No. 1 New Year’s Eve spirit for a group of selected guest who scored their efforts. Hosting the event was Paseo Grill in its Reserve room, which is across the street from the restaurant. The versatile event space seats up to 80, but its wood floor and track lighting could easily be the setting for a dance.

The drinks were judged on flavor, presentation, balance and adherence to the theme, which in this case was New Year’s Eve. A maximum five points could be given for each category, making the highest possible score 20. Scores were added together and averaged. Chefs from each restaurant were asked to make an amuse bouche to pair with each drink.

A Good Egg Dining Group mixologist/beverage director Ewald mixed his version of the classic French 75, with sweet and spicy bacon-wrapped quail from chef Robert Black. Ewald told me he’d initially wanted to present some molecular mixology, but couldn’t get the needed chemicals in time. So, he went to a classic. Personally, I would’ve liked to see an original drink, but his flavors wowed the crowd and earned him the highest cumulative score, 17.4. This was a crowd-pleaser, a little on the sweet side but the perfect blend to make sure the bubbly remained the star. Black’s spicy quail balanced the drink and was cleaned out by our guests.

Fleischfresser’s Bare-Knuckle Foxing rated 17.3 and was my favorite drink. Easily the most balanced of the drinks we tasted, the man behind the bar at Ludivine is quickly building a reputation for that skill. Chefs Jonathon Stranger and Russ Johnson braised pork belly over lemongrass sauerkraut with ghost pepper-infused caviar. A decadent bite, the heat from the world’s most fiery pepper was truly a ghost in this instance. But when there’s pork belly involved, flavor is never lacking. Add caviar, and it’s game on.

For my money, Glidewell is still the favorite in this exhibition. While his Old Savoy scored behind his counterparts at 16.1, Glidewell is the Jedi Master in this group. His drink was beautifully presented, and well-conceived. But it had a bitter finish that threw off the balance. That’s not to say it wasn’t a drink worth ordering. On the other hand, the bite of Chilean Sea Bass from chef Jason Heald, in my opinion, paired best with its appointed cocktail.

Mood Mixology will continue into 2011 with events planned in spring and summer. Scores will be kept at the upcoming events and averaged with December’s to determine which of these three is Master of Mood Mixology.

If you’re interested in attending the next event, leave me a comment. Find the recipes to these three New Year’s Eve cocktails in Thursday’s print edition of Mood, inside The Oklahoman. (Or you can roll back the video above).

{/literal}{include file="blk:fooddude_bottom"}{literal} {/literal}{include file="blk:fooddude_rail"}{literal}
Comments