A Friday List: The Beverage Book’s Cocktail Charms

Sometimes you just need A Friday List to get the weekend started off right — a few things to do or duly noted oft overlooked but worth looking at. Ellie first posted one on the Harry’s Pizzeria Tumblr. Now you can find it minted as a category here.

The Beverage Book is one such treasure trove of list-worthy charms at The Cypress Room, in its focused collection of cocktails and spirits, craft beer, as well as wines with attention to regional, old world varietals from TGHG wine director Eric Larkee.  With adventures in Chablis, Nebbiolo and Madeira on the horizon, today is all about the classic, barrel-aged, and house specialty cocktails concocted by TGHG Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed.  Like an Old Pal, opening up from a barrel’s winter slumber, this catalog of drinks draws you in, its mysteries continuing to reveal themselves as you dive deeper into its pages.  Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the preface to our Beverage Book story.

1. Glassware was meticulously chosen after trips to NYC, hours spent pouring over magazines and types of cocktails being served.

2. Many items, cut crystal and trinkets were sourced locally at thrift stores and online at eBay, Etsy and others.

3. Two tastings were held in Ryan’s home kitchen before finalizing the menu.

4. It was discovered that we all shared an appreciation for Pistachios during the first tasting when we had no food and only cocktails… They later became the bar snack at Cypress.

5. Pistachios are shaved on top of the Count Basie cocktail.

6. Count Basie was a jazz musician, bandleader and composer who got started in the 1930s, and whose career spanned fifty years.

7. Barrels are new American oak charred medium plus plus. Cocktails are Aged 3-5 months, tasted weekly and noted. Most ambitious barrel program in Miami – 16 full five gallon barrels, 4 filled each month for four months.

8. Egg white is found in many cocktails to enhance body and flavor.

9. Sarsaparilla is made from sassafras bark, sarsaparilla bark, burdock root, licorice root, ginger and white and brown sugar

10. House made bitters include hibiscus, orange, root beer.

11. Thunder ball is a different take on the Mai Tai. But using only 3 main ingredients — Full bodied Rum, fresh OJ, and Cardamaro (a wine-based cordial infused with Cardamom)

12. 6 brands of raspberry preserves were tried before picking one (Bon Maman)  for the Clover Club cocktail

13. Nasturtium is a plant with edible flowers that grace many of The Beverage Book cocktails including aperitifs Go Lightly and The Sippy Cup.

14. Agricole rums (Floradita Daiquiri) are distilled from “fresh pressed sugarcane juice” as opposed to Molasses.

15. Vieux Carré, or French Quarter, is a classic cocktail originated in New Orleans.