Deep in the bowels of the liquor closet of the Dutch lie some old bourbon barrels, just sitting around..or so it seems. Those barrels actually contain the Dutch's limited edition series of libations aged in small batches.
First a cocktail is invented and crafted by the Dutch's bar team. Then the potion, which simply goes by a sequential number, is placed in a bourbon barrel and aged for about six-eight weeks before it's presented on the restaurant's drink menu. The result is a smooth drink, which flavors have blended together to almost make a completely different spirit. The libation is served on the rocks with a twist. They, and all the other classic cocktails featured on the menu are $15.
The program, which is being held only at the Miami Beach restaurant (the New York flagship location simply doesn't have the space to store eight gallon barrels), was started even before the restaurant opened this past fall, with Cocktail #1 being prepared in anticipation of the Dutch's first meal service in Miami.
The first two cocktails in the series have sold out, which led head bartender Robert Ferrara to get the idea to save
some of each batch in reserve, starting with the current Barrel Aged
Cocktail #3, a blend of original moonshine white whiskey, Mandarine
Napoleon, Pimm's No. 1, and mole bitters. The resulting cocktail has
strong honey and orange notes, with a lemon finish brought to the front
by the freshly cut twist in the glass.
Ferrara is currently working on the fourth cocktail in the series, a
blend of pisco, two different kinds of vermouth, and bitters. What's
next in the series of barrel aged potent potables? "I love tequlia and
mezcal, so I'd like to work with them next. The first cocktails were
more boozy, made with classic American spirits, so maybe something
smoother. The options are pretty much limitless," said Ferrara.
Ferrara is also experimenting with different infusions, bitters, and elixirs. Sometimes, one spirit inspires an entire cocktail, like this Kermann's Reviver, made with Beefeater gin, Lillet Rose, Dolin blanc, and hibiscus tincture. The inspiration came from the Lillet Rose, which Ferrara knew he had to incorporate into a drink upon first taste.
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The First Word, made with jalapeno-infused Del Maguey "Vida" mezcal, green chartruse, marachino cherry, and lime, is a take on the classic "Last Word" cocktail.
The Indigo Smash blends Banks 5 Island rum, smashed blueberries, and an Absinthe rinse to make a fruity (and potent) cocktail.
An "off the menu" favorite is a classic old-fashioned, made smokey with bacon-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon. Ask for it and tell 'em Short Order sent you!