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12.02.10 by  

Cocktail Texture: Strong

NYC’s Duane Fernandez Jr. doesn’t want to brag, but he does know a little something about stimulating your palate. It’s all about the mouth feel. Part 2 of a 5-part series.

NYC’s Duane Fernandez Jr. has got one of the busiest bartending schedules in the city: Opening and running Donatella Arpaia’s new DBar in Chelsea, co-crafting the drink menu for soon-to-open Theater Bar, and holding down the fort at his first love, Entwine. We caught up with him on some down time to talk texture in cocktails. This second installment covers what goes into drinks that are strong, boozy and stirred and includes his signature recipe for the Prohibidor Fumar cocktail.

served raw: what are the components that make up strong cocktails?
Duane Fernandez, Jr.: Strong cocktails, or as I like to call them, boozy cocktails, are my favorite of all. Not because I’m a drunk, but because I truly like to taste the spirit as it should be.

For the social smoker, the Prohibidor Fumar.

i’d like to think of these in the stirred, not shaken, category. What other techniques can be used to build strong cocktails?
Stirring is the way to go to successfully chill the spirit without bruising. When I’m building a few cocktails at a time I simply just add the ice to the ingredients in a mixing tin and then submerge the tin into ice, so I’m completely chilling the cocktail.

a boozy cocktail still needs to be balanced …
When you’re making a boozy cocktail, you really want to have a complementary middle spirit like vermouth or a liqueur to balance out the spirits.

what classic cocktail fits this bill?
One of my favorite classic cocktails is one I just discovered recently: the Full House, created in the early 1900s. It contains applejack whiskey, benedictine and green chartreuse with bitters. The balance between these three spirits and the bitters is absolutely wonderful.

how about a signature cocktail that fits this profile?
My newest edition to my cocktail list is the Prohibidor Fumar with rum, maple syrup and liquid smoke. I choose to use a syrup here instead of a liqueur — it’s a great way to balance the cocktail without taking away from the base spirit. This cocktail evokes an appetite in some people, it’s like having a bbq in a glass.

Prohibidor Fumar

  • 2 ounces Flor De Caña 7 year rum
  • ½ ounce maple syrup
  • 1 dash of liquid smoke
  1. Shake over ice, strain into cocktail glass salted halfway around the rim. Garnish with a flamed orange zest.

Full House

  • 1 ounce applejack whiskey
  • 1 ounce benedictine
  • 1 ounce green chartreuse
  • 1 dash of aromatic bitters
  1. Stir over ice, strain into coupe.