Show 148, November 28, 2015: DINE LBC Holiday Cocktail Contest

Dan TapiaThe first DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week Holiday Cocktail Contest was held at The Sky Room’s Cielo rooftop lounge on November 15th. Five amateur finalists were selected (out of dozens of qualified entries) to create their concoctions in front of a panel of five thirsty judges, including the Executive Producer of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” and noted food writer Anne Marie Panoringan (OC Weekly’s “On the Line” columnist.)

Little Drummer Boy Cocktail by Dan TapiaThe cocktails were scored on the basis of Creativity of Ingredients, Taste/Flavor, Presentation and Likely to Order at The Sky Room. After careful deliberation the Judges’ decision for the First Place Winner was unanimous and Dan Tapia, the creator of Little Drummer Boy, joins us. The cocktail is a creative variation of a Hot Toddy. It’s his Thanksgiving Dinner specialty for a crowd.

Dan’s prize was a pair of JetBlue Travel Certificates for anywhere JetBlue flies domestically.

Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is taking place April 23 – May 1, 2016! Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented, three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

Each participating restaurant offers a three-course menu priced at $20, $30, $40 or $50, per guest either with wine pairing options at fine dining locations OR dinner for two priced at $20, $30, $40 or $50, where diners share an appetizer, each enjoy their own entree, then share a dessert at more casual establishments.

Dan Tapia, a Navy veteran, is opening 4th & Olive in Long Beach in January. The concept for the restaurant is a Franco-German beer and wine garden serving Alsatian-inspired food. He’ll employ as many veterans as possible.

Little Drummer Boy

Bartender: Dan Tapia
Courtesy of DineLBC

1.5 oz Pecan Infused Rye Whiskey (instructions below)
4-6 oz California Clementine-infusion, piping hot (instructions below)
1 Tb Cinnamon/Nutmeg Compound Butter (instructions below)Little Drummer Boy Cocktail by Dan Tapia
salt to taste

Pour whiskey into mug. Ladle clementine infusion on top. While mug is still steaming hot from infusion, add one tablespoon of compound butter to the top. Toddy should be hot enough to melt the butter to form a delicious layer on top, and the spices will diffuse into toddy as well as remain on the butter layer. Throw a pinch of salt on top of you like the butter to come out a little more, don’t if you like the spices to dominate.

Pecan Infused Rye Whiskey
For rapid infusion, take a 1L cream whipper and add 750 ml of rye. Fill to top with pecans, allowing enough space in the whipper for the gas cartridge, about a cup’s worth. Charge whipper and give a little shake. With whipper standing upright, release the gas as rapidly as possible (the rapid change in pressure is what creates most of the infused flavor). Whiskey may also shoot out, so put a jar or bottle over the business end of the whipper.

Clementine Infusion
Cut 8 clementines in half, and squeeze juice into 1.5 L of water. Add the rinds into the water as well and bring to a boil. This is probably the hardest to do behind a bar, but I imagine a clementine squeezed into a French press with some hot tea water should do the trick nicely.

Compound Butter
Here’s where the magic happens! Soften 500 g  sweet cream butter to where it can easily be whipped in a mixer. Add 300 g light brown sugar (dark brown works well too, it’s all about taste. If you like it a little more on the molasses side, use dark. Have fun, this is boozeplay), 20 g ground cinnamon, and 10 g ground nutmeg. This can be easily scaled, and kept in a deli container for quite some time.