Viewing entries tagged
Craft Cocktails

Comment

Fritts: the new face at Dorćol

Eric Fritts ( Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co., Chavis Barron )

Eric Fritts (Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co., Chavis Barron)

On the cusp of celebrating our fifth anniversary, Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Company has added a new face to the award-winning bar program. Starting today, Eric Fritts (just call him Fritts) is the team’s newest barman. Joining us from Paramour, he will run day-to-day operations at the South Flores tasting room and lead the creative direction for the spot’s robust cocktail menu. The Connecticut native has worked in the San Antonio bar scene for years. He got his start in scrappy dive bars and eventually worked his way into respected craft cocktails joints, learning the ins and outs of the craft. Aside from slinging cocktails and pouring beers, he’ll be helping to grow the Kinsman and HighWheel brands as a Brand Ambassador.

As a previous barkeep familiar with Dorćol from the start, I sat down with Fritts to chat about his new role at Dorćol, thoughts on the craft beer scene, and his take on using our award-winning apricot brandy. Let’s see what's in store:

Barmen usually have several base spirits to work with when slinging cocktails. What are your thoughts now that you only get to use one?

It’s exciting. I like that we feature just one spirit because I know the goal of every drink. Every cocktail that comes from behind this bar will feature Kinsman and feature it well.

How would you describe Kinsman’s versatility?

It’s only going to add to a cocktail and never take away anything from it. You can use it in a variety of cocktails and it’s going to compliment and accentuate the drink. As the main feature of a cocktail, you can’t go wrong. Kinsman is always going to make whatever you're concocting better. I like that it’s apricot based, which is something you don’t see everyday. I like that it’s unique and there’s nothing else out there like it. A spirit can be iconic because of the story it was inspired from. This spirit has a great family history and it’s part of what makes it special.

As the creative force behind the bar, what are your plans for the cocktail program?

I’m excited to come in and work to develop my own drinks and use such a great spirit while doing it. I want to develop different syrups, shrubs, and tinctures to compliment the brandy and not overwhelm it. I’ve worked with so many great mentors. I’m ready to take what I’ve learned and really create something special. But really, I want to help further establish and grow the identity of our brands.

What are your thoughts on HighWheel’s place in the craft beer scene?

There’s so much more to craft beer than hoppy IPAs and artificial flavorings. I think most breweries don’t get that. IPAs are great, I personally love the one we have, but you don’t need nine of them. I love that we take it back to the beginning, embracing the classic styles. It’s handcrafted beer, but it’s not pretentious, it’s not excessive flavors for the sake of excessive flavors. It’s just really good beer.

Aside from the gig behind the bar, what else excites you about this opportunity?

I’m excited to experience the entire process, both spirits and beer, getting out from behind the bar and help grow a brand beyond the tasting room. I’ve been behind the bar for six years and now it’s exciting to have the opportunity to sell beer and spirits in another way. It’s something I’ve always been passionate about, so I’m ready to learn everything from production, to sales, to consumption.

What can people expect with you behind the bar?

I always want to make sure you’re going to have a good time. That’s the whole point. You’re coming here to relax and enjoy yourself. Every time I get back here I’m ready to have fun. This is my passion. I enjoy this. I want to make drinks people will really enjoy and develop a relationship with them over time. I want to be their bartender.

Describe your approach to cocktail making?

It’s versatile and quick. I like to adapt to each guest and make sure I give them what they are looking for.

How would you describe Dorćol to someone who hasn’t visited?

You have to know it to find it. There’s relaxed identity here. The whole place has this cool industrial feel that’s refined, but not pretentious. It exemplifies the spirit it was inspired by. We are makers of the world's highest-rated brandy, that needs to be shared. 

Where does brandy fit into the craft cocktail scene?

Brandy is one of the oldest spirits and it's starting to re-emerge in its own niche. Not many people know brandy was America's original spirit, long before whiskey and vodka, so it’s going to take a little education, but that’s part of the fun. We’re bringing something different to the table and that changes things.

 

by Valentino Lucio

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Piatti

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Piatti

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Piatti

Piatti is well known for serving up Italian-inspired fare at both it's Quarry and Eilan locations.  Lucky for us, they're both also participating in this year's Brandy Alexander Cocktail tour with two unique and imaginative takes on the classic.   

Concocted by Beverage Director Matt Collett, both takes enhance the original with the addition of white chocolate and an espresso liqueur, respectively.  Whether you're a fan of chocolate, coffee, or both, you won't want to miss what Matt put together for a perfect after-meal libation. 

PIATTI AT THE QUARRY // DANDY ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 1/4 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur

1 1/4 oz. aromatized heavy cream (pink peppercorn, clove, cinnamon)

1 drop of tiki bitters

Rim coupe with chocolate ganache. Combine all ingredients in a tin over ice.  Shake.  Double strain into coupe and top with freshly-ground pink peppercorn.

 

PIATTI AT THE EILAN // CAFFE ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Caffe Broghetti

1 oz. heavy cream

1/2 oz. Lazzaroni Amaretto 

Combine all ingredients in a tin over ice. Shake. Strain into coupe and garnish with ground cinnamon dust

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  Piatti

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Bite

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Bite

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Bite

This eclectic restaurant is well known for pouring creativity into everything that they do.  From the art on the walls to the food on your plate, Chef Lisa Astorga-Watel has created a fun and unique culinary experience in the heart of Southtown. 

Bite's Alexander Frappe is a perfect example of this creativity.  This rich and creamy cocktail features an entire scoop of pistachio gelato to go along with crushed pistachios on the rim.  Whether you eat the gelato or let it melt into the cocktail, there's no wrong way to savor Bite's take on the classic Brandy Alexander.  

 

Bite // Bite's Alexander Frappe

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. crème de cacao

1 pistachio gelato scoop

1 oz. heavy cream

Combine ingredients in a tin over ice. Shake. Double strain into a coup with a finely crushed pistachio rim

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  Bite

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Brooklynite

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Brooklynite

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Brooklynite

This stylish cocktail joint has long been a local favorite for their playful twists on classic cocktails. The BKSA Alexander is no exception with the team over at Brooklynite throwing golden grahams into the mix. 

This decadent cocktail boasts notes of honey, nuts and vanilla and has a silky mouth feel.  If you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, the BKSA Alexander has you covered.  

 

BROOKLYNITE // BKSA ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/4 oz. white chocolate macadamia nut liqueur

1 oz. house cereal milk (rice, almond, heavy cream infused with golden grahams)

Combine ingredients in a tin over ice.  Shake. Double strain into a coup

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  The Brooklynite

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: George's Keep

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  George's Keep

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  George's Keep

Nick Kenna’s no stranger to the cocktail scene. Having opened Dorćol’s bar program in 2013, he’s no stranger to Kinsman either. A veteran of the Kinsman Brandy Alexander Cocktail tour he continues to raise the bar with his creative take on this classic libation.

Nick's imagination is front and center in this year’s version which boasts hints of spice and perfectly balanced notes of mint and vanilla.  Experiencing this cocktail is definitely worth the drive up north.  

 

GEORGE’S KEEP // YORK PEPPERMINT PAPI

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

3/4 oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

1/4 oz. orgeat

1 oz. mint and serrano pepper house-infused vanilla almond milk 

Combine ingredients in a tin over ice.  Shake. Double strain into a coup. Garnish with bakers chocolate shavings and a mint leaf.

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  George's Keep

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Rosella at the Rand

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Rosella at the Rand

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Rosella at the Rand

With barman Jesse Torres at the reins of this freshly minted Houston Street eatery's beverage program, the bar is poised for success in creativity and execution alike.

Rosella at the Rand's inaugural participation in this year's Kinsman Brandy Alexander Tour is presented with a berry twist - a refreshingly light and airy take on the classic. Equal parts a well built cocktail and a good ol' fashioned "adult" strawberry shake, this rendition with a cute name is a must on your Tour stop. 

 

ROSELLA AT THE RAND // APRICOT ME BY SURPRISE

1 1/2 oz. Kinsman Rakia

3/4 oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

1 oz. heavy cream

1 strawberry

Muddle a strawberry in a tin. Combine remaining ingredients in the tin and add ice.  Shake.  Double strain into a coupe lined with house-made chocolate ganache on the inside. Garnish with a fresh strawberry slice.

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  Rosella at the Rand

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Juniper Tar

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Juniper Tar

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Juniper Tar

The barman behind this swanky downtown cocktail lounge is well known for his fun and imaginative cocktails.  It's no surprise then that Benjamin Krick's take on this classic strays slightly off the beaten path. 

Served over crushed ice and including a spiced rum cream liqueur, the Kinsman Brandy Alexander has a nutty, butterscotch flavor that takes even the most avid Brandy Alexander enthusiast by surprise.  A trip downtown is well worth the smile this cocktail will put on your face.  

 

JUNIPER TAR // KINSMAN BRANDY ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Kringle Cream

1/2 oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

Combine all ingredients in a tin over ice.  Shake.  Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Dust with Abuelita chocolate for garnish.

 

Dorcol Distilling Co.: Juniper Tar

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Hoppy Monk

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Hoppy Monk

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Hoppy Monk

While The Hoppy Monk is often recognized for a broad beer selection, their spirit offering is as creative and diverse. Brittany Dinhobl showcases her cocktail know-how with her take on this classic cocktail, which aptly includes a house-made coffee-porter liqueur. 

The King Alexander is a complex cocktail that combines subtle notes of coffee, chocolate and cardamom with a rich, creamy mouth-feel. Appreciate the creativity on display in The King Alexander and order yourself one (or two) on your next visit.  

 

THE HOPPY MONK // THE KING ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. House-made Merit coffee and Deschutes Black Butte Porter liqueur

1 oz. heavy cream/St. Brendan's/China China "cream"

Combine all ingredients in a tin over ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain into a coupe. Sprinkle cocoa powder and nutmeg mix to garnish.  

Dorcol Distilling Co.: The Hoppy Monk

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Biga on the Banks

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Biga on the Banks

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Biga on the Banks

Biga on the Banks, a San Antonio staple owned by James Beard Award nominee Chef Bruce Auden, has long been celebrated for its culinary achievements. Barman Shane Clifford with his Alex-En-Rakia, a light and frothy cocktail with balanced notes of coconut and vanilla, is continuing Biga's history of excellence. It's not hard to imagine drinking more than one of these on your next visit.

 

BIGA ON THE BANKS // ALEX-EN-RAKIA

1 oz. House vanilla infused Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar

1/2 oz. orgeat

1 egg white

4 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters

Combine ingredients in a tin over ice. Shake and strain back into tin removing the ice. "Dry" shake vigorously. Strain into a brandy snifter and freshly grate nutmeg for garnish.

 

Dorcol Distilling Co.: Biga on the Banks

Comment

Comment

Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Liberty Bar

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Liberty Bar

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Liberty Bar

Liberty Bar's Ana Cabrera took her admiration of Kinsman and married it with her house-made ice cream for this decadent inspiration. Shaken without ice, and garnished with an orange zest, her Abuelita Alexander is an envy of even the savviest of grandmas.

Liberty Bar's Abuelita chocolate ice cream folded into Kinsman Apricot Rakia and Montenegro Amaro topped with milk chocolate shavings and orange oils is a humdinger of a cocktail with or without a meal. 

 

LIBERTY BAR //ABUELITA ALEXANDER

1 1/4 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Montenegro Amaro

2 oz. scoop soft house-made Abuelita ice cream

Combine all ingredients in a tin. "Dry" shake combined ingredients. Pour into coupe. Garnish with an orange zest and freshly grated chocolate shavings. 

 

Dorcol Distilling Co.: Liberty Bar's Ana Cabrera 

Comment

1 Comment

Behind the bar with Don Marsh

 

Don Marsh is one of San Antonio's well-versed and creative barmen. Over the past two decades, Marsh has worked his way from an aspiring bartender at Bennigan's  to becoming the proprietor of Bar 1919. The San Antonio native was at the forefront of the craft cocktail renaissance, educating tipplers at time when they couldn't tell the difference between a Negroni and an Old Fashioned. Visit his South Town haunt and you'll quickly see his love for whiskey. Still, always behind the bar is Kinsman Rakia, one of the few Texas-made spirits he has on hand. 

How'd you get into bartending? 

One of my best friends who worked at Chili's told me that they were looking for people to wait tables at Bennigan's. I eventually was promoted to bartending. I just started studying. I sucked. I was horrible. They say you learn the most when you get thrown to the wolves. Back then Bennigan's would get packed as shit. I would get my ass kicked. One day I was by myself because they thought I was good enough to do it and I wasn't. This guy orders a Dewars White Label 10 Year and soda. So I'm looking for this bottle and I couldn't find it. So I grabbed some bottle of scotch and poured it fast and put some soda in it and handed it to the guy. He looked at me, pays his tab, shook his head and walked off. I was so embarrassed. I'm extremely competitive so I went out and bought the Bartender's Bible by Gary Regan. It was the very first cocktail book I ever bought and it's still behind this bar. It changed my life. It got me started.

What makes Kinsman an interesting spirit to use in cocktails? 

I love it. It's a great spirit. We use it and it's a spirit we like to play around with. I think it's well made and if it wasn't I wouldn't use it.

What ingredients play well with the spirit? 

Juices, lemon go very well with it. You can do riffs on Aviations, Sidecars. It plays well with cordials. I like to use it with spice: ginger syrups, habaneros, serranos. We like to offset the sweetness in the brandy. We talk about the spice and the bitters, which help make the drink more approachable. 

Photos by Sara Ellis/Dorćol Distilling Company

River Romance

1 1/2 ounces Kinsman Rakia

1/2 ounce orange liqueur

1/4 ounce Maraschino liqueur

1/2 ounce lemon juice

2-3 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Instructions: Assemble ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Double strain into the cocktail glass rimmed with sugar and garnish with a lemon zest.

Cocktail by Don Marsh of Bar 1919

1 Comment