L’Chaim Cocktails You Can Make For the Sukkah – COLlive

Michoel Hayes, the Manager & Beverage Director of Gruit Garden + Eatery in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, provides a quick guide on how to prepare mix drinks and offers 2 specific ones that can be made at home and enjoyed for a l'chaim in the sukkah. Full Story
Michoel Hayes, the Manager & Beverage Director of Gruit Garden + Eatery in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, provides a quick guide on how to prepare mix drinks and offers 2 specific ones that can be made at home and enjoyed for a l'chaim in the sukkah. Full Story
By Michoel Hayes for COLlive Magazine
When people hear that I am the Manager & Beverage Director at Grüit Garden + Eatery in Brooklyn’s Prospect Lefferts Gardens, they respond, “so like a bartender?” When I confirm that to keep the conversation going and not to nitpick, the next question is often, “so what are you saving up to do?”
It’s a fair question. Bartending is commonly thought of as a job youngsters take to make money while learning or pursuing a dream job. It was a temporary job to get you to your real goal. These days, many people are making it a career and a growing number of kosher establishments are steeping their game behind the counter.
For me, serving drinks is something I really enjoy.
Having filled many roles at food establishments, I have witnessed how a well-executed drink and a properly stocked bar at a simcha, gala dinner and a restaurant can literally transform the setting. Drinks – alcoholic or not – elevate the room with sophistication and class. It also adds exciting energy that feeds off everything else that is served or presented.
As a bartender and restaurant manager, my goal is to give people the best experience possible. Whether it is through a different new cocktail they have never tried before, a bottle of wine that pairs perfectly with the meal, or even a cold beer, the objective is to put a smile on everyone’s face. As well, I love experimenting and discovering new combinations of flavors that go well together. There is a never-ending amount to learn about mixology.
To the home bartender, my advice would be to just try anything and everything. The only way to learn is to make mistakes and spill out some pretty awful tasting drinks. Don’t worry about your shaking technique, or having all the right equipment and gadgets, those are just a bonus. The most important thing is to taste and identify what is right or wrong about every drink you make. Is a drink too sweet because you put too much simple syrup? Or does it just need some more citrus? things like that will have you on your way to mixing some great drinks.
There are only a few items you need to make the drinks I have here.
First, you need a cocktail shaker. I recommend a Boston shaker, but any shaker from Target will do. Second, you need a measuring jigger to measure the correct ounces of the ingredients.
Then let’s get into all the ingredients needed for both drinks.
– Freshly squeezed lime juice
– Simple Syrup (equal parts hot water and sugar)
– Tequila (I recommend Espolon Blanco. The best tequila for the price) – Rum (I recommend plantation 3-star Rum)
– Cointreau
– Fresh mint
– Blueberry Puree
– Maldon Salt
– For glassware, you will need a tall Collins glass and a double rock glass.
The first drink is notably one of the most popular cocktails in the world. Made all over the world. The Margarita. Unfortunately, it’s easily butchered (cheap sour mix and cheap tequila). I have made a lot of margaritas and I have wired down what I believe is the best margarita recipe out there. A perfect balance of citrus, sour, sweet and booze. Let’s get into the specifics.
– 1½ oz Tequila
– ½ oz Cointreau
– ¾ oz Simple Syrup
– ¾ oz Lime Juice
– Lime Wheel and Maldon Salt for Garnish
Add Tequila, Cointreau, Simple Syrup, Lime Juice to a cocktail shaker. – Add ice and shake hard for 10 seconds.
Pour all contents into a rocks glass
Garnish with lime wheel and sprinkle Maldon Salt on Top of the lime.
The second cocktail is a classic summer drink most people have made in their life and it can also be enjoyed in the fall. The Mojito is an easy drink to make but easy to mess up. I will show you a great twist on it that I make.
– 2 oz White Rum
– ¾ oz Blueberry Puree
– ¾ oz Simple Syrup
– ¾ oz Lime Juice
– 8 Mint Leaves
– 5 Fresh Blueberries
Add Rum, Blueberry Puree, Simple Syrup, Lime Juice and Mint to the shaker. – Add ice and shake hard for 10 seconds.
Pour all contents into a tall Collins glass.
Add in your fresh blueberries and a mint sprig on top for garnish.

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