…there’s extra excitement, when it’s part of the show for theatrical tableside cocktails.
It’s one thing to order a drink from the bar. It’s another thing entirely to watch your drink be measured, poured, shaken, smoked and garnished from the comfort of your table.
For a recent popup event at Sleepy Hollow Country Club (Scarborough, N.Y.), Grill Room Manager Ron Brown upped the theatrical value of the dining experience for members and guests by preparing two innovative cocktails tableside.
The first, a smoky and spicy margarita, was made with Casamigos Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, fresh-squeezed lime juice, agave, egg whites, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and slices of jalapeno. Each glass was smoked before the cocktail was poured over one giant ice cube and garnished with salt, lime and jalapenos. (View recipe here.)
The second, a barrel-aged Manhattan, was made with Makers Mark, Cinzano Rosso Vermouth and a dash of bitters. Like the margarita, the glass was also smoked before the cocktail was poured and then garnished with blood orange and Luxardo cherries.
“Tableside cocktail service is a throwback, but it speeds up the time it takes to get the drink into our members’ hands,” says Brown, who is passionate about mixology and has been with Sleepy Hollow for almost three years. “It also engages all the senses, to make the drink a relevant part of the experience.
“The smoke especially accomplishes something unique that you can’t achieve from using juices or syrups,” he adds. “It brings out a totally different texture and enhances the flavor profiles distinguished in the spirits.”
As soon as Brown approaches the table, he begins making the drink. While the cocktail settles, he smokes the glass (see photo, above). Then, just before he pours it, he releases the smoke, to set the aromatic stage for that magical first sip.
“Anything we can do to make the experience more memorable is worth the time and effort,” says Brown. “It takes us from good to great.”