Wednesday, June 12, 2013

purple princess

1 1/2 oz Wireworks Aged Gin
1 1/2 oz El Puente Coffee (chilled) (*)
3/4 oz Crème Yvette
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc
1 dash Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
(*) 44 grams coffee beans ground and steeped in 24 oz hot water.
Two Sundays ago, I attended the Bartender-Barista Exchange event at Backbar in Somerville. The idea started out of bartender Tyler Wang's passion for coffee and his discussions with various coffee professionals at the Counter Culture Coffee Boston Training Center located a few blocks from Backbar. Since Tyler saw so many parallels between the bartender and barista crafts, he wanted to unite the two trades for a friendly competition. No, not bartenders versus baristas, but pairings so that they could work together and teach each other about their professions. Tyler found that the most famous Coffee Cocktail did not even contain coffee, and the most frequently ordered ones that did, such as the Irish Coffee and Espresso Martini, were not all that notable. Therefore, he hoped that the bartender-barista teams could begin to change all that.
My favorite of the competition was conjured up by No. 9 Park's Tyler Wang and Pavement Coffee House's Wolfie Barn. While the other libations were excellent as well, they felt much more like coffee that was flavored with booze instead of my personal preference of integrating the brew into a cocktail-like drink. The coffee that the pair settled on was El Puente; with its plum and lavender notes, it has been nicknamed the Purple Princess. To match the fruit and floral notes in the drink, they paired the coffee with Crème Yvette. Moreover, Tyler likes to pair coffee with gin more so than rum, and he found that the Wirework's light floral notes worked rather well here. Once mixed, the Purple Princess shared floral and roast aromas. The sip then offered a creaminess along with light roast, floral, and berry flavors. Finally, the swallow began with juniper and violet notes and ended with lingering roast and clove elements.

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