Summertime at the Genuine Bar

Summer is not complete without cocktails. We thus met with The Genuine Hospitality Group’s Beverage Director, Ryan Goodspeed, to review four newly added cocktails to the menu at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. I call him our chemist. Ryan has been involved in the beverage industry for 20 years and we could not ask for a more passionate and sincere mixologist. His combinations are carefully crafted and his love for the process can quasi be tasted in every sip. Ryan’s overview describes the complexities of each of these drinks, which were born out of classics. Despite their history, he emphasizes that where you finish is never where you started, which makes each cocktail so very original and genuine.

Let us begin! The Far East Cocktail is ideal for island time, in Ryan’s words. It entails a mixture of Tanqueray Malacca Gin, mango infused Ancho Chile Liqueur, muddled mango and lime. Note that this style of Gin is sweeter with hints of citrus, unlike a traditional dry gin, which makes it the perfect summer companion. The Ancho Chile Liqueur is truly the magic touch as the mango infusion was Ryan’s will. This detail yields a cocktail with sweet and bold flavors with some spice as well. Here is the scoop to impress your friends at home:


  • 1 ½ oz Tanqueray Malacca Gin
  • 1 oz Ancho Reyes infused with Mango
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped mango

Glass: Coupe

Ice: Regular

Garnish: Mango peel rolled & skewered

Method: Combine ingredients in shaker. Muddle. Add ice. Shake and double strain. Garnish.

Our next cocktail, The Fiddler, is iced to the rim, to stay cooler, longer. Moreover this drink pays homage to our genuine motto: fresh, simple, pure. How? It combines Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof, Ferrand Dry Curacao, fresh grapefruit and basil, both sourced from South Florida. It is inspired by the Mint Julep cocktail, made popular at the Kentucky Derby, but this version clearly emits Miami flavors. Ryan recommends enjoying The Fiddler on your back porch, as this gem is both refreshing and easily constructed.


  • 1 ½ oz Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof
  • ½ oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • 1 ½ oz grapefruit juice
  • 3 large basil leaves

Glass: Generic Berliner Tulep

Ice: Crushed

Garnish: Basil sprig

Method: Combine ingredients in shaker. Add ice. Shake and double strain into glass full of crushed ice. Garnish.

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Rye once again steals the show in our next offering, The Barrel Aged Waldorf. Ryan’s twist from the traditional Waldorf, is to substitute Pernod for a Absinthe, which offer anis notes, and age the drink in a barrel. The beverage matures for 2.5 months in medium charred American Oak, which creates complexity. As this cocktail is free of juices, the focus is on the spirits, but more so on how elegantly the flavors interact. Ryan recommends Carpano as the vermouth of choice for this cocktail, due to the apricot and honey essences. Ryan’s version is aged, but you can create your own with the same recipe, without the aging process. Below are the details on how to get down to business:


  •  1/4 ounce Pernod
  • 2 ounces Bourbon or Rye
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Glass: Coupe

Ice: Regular

Garnish: Lemon Twist

Method: Add ingredients to mixing glass full of ice. Stir for 10 seconds. Strain into coupe. Garnish.

Tradewinds Punsch

Tradewinds Punsch

Lastly, the Tradewinds Punsch brings the whimsical side of summer to life. It features Kronan Punsch (yes, the spelling is correct), a Swedish liqueur made of sugar cane and spice, and is well complimented by citrus and ice (sorry for the rhyme). A classic punch would make use of gin and brandy, but Ryan opts for Puncsch and Bols Genever, a form of “malt wine”. Therefore, when passion fruit and lemon are added, the result is a refreshing,  balanced yet tangy tropical awakening. Directions to pure pleasure follow:


  • 1 ½ oz Bols Genever
  • ½ oz Velvet Falernum
  • ½ oz Kronan Punsch
  • ½ oz lemon
  • 2 oz Passion fruit (jiggered with seeds & pulp)

Glass: Coupe

Ice: Regular

Garnish: Lime Twist skewered

Method: Combine ingredients in shaker. Add ice. Shake and double strain. Garnish.

Ryan believes that every cocktail emerges from a classic, but we are always welcome to experiment with modern approaches. Enjoy making these at home, or better yet, enjoy them from genuine hands at Michael’s.

Teas the Season to be Fancy

With the balmy Palm Beach sea breeze, silver candelabras, and our pinkies up, we debuted The Longest Night this weekend at Saturday night’s Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival chef’s after party, The Cypress Room High Tea. Starting tomorrow, our winter tea cocktail will be available at the restaurant.  Beginning with Hendrick’s gin and Gunsmoke green tea, Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed added the flavors of St. Germain, cardamom, lavender, lemongrass, tarragon, lemon and honey to create the delicate flavor of this drink. Served cold for two in a bone china teapot it is the perfect after dinner cocktail, or before. After all, it is the season to be fancy.

[VIDEO] Shaking and Stirring Things Up at the Raleigh Martini Bar

I always say one should not be a baker if you don’t like cake.  I love the culture of Martini’s the way the glass feels in your hand..  That bar demands proper cocktails, it’s about the room the music the conversation between the guests and  general merriment.

RMS Menu-4.25x11-Martini Culture + Snacks_073013That’s straight from the mouth of greatness, tonight’s Martini Culture guest mixologist Crispy Soloperto.  Crispy knows a thing or two about culture, and curating it, as she does behind another kind of bar day in and day out where she presides as concierge at The Standard Hotel.  It’s a statement that rings true even for a martini amateur like me.  Incredible what a little culturing can do.  As someone who wasn’t versed in the ways of this drink that is the ultimate expression of the golden age of cocktails, doing the weekly Martini Culture event has been eye opening.  A delicious learning experience in fact, and one that has stuck.  And most importantly, thanks to all the talented bar people we’ve met and who have put themselves in the hands of The Genuine Hospitality Group beverage director and Martini Culture chairman Ryan Goodspeed and Raleigh Hotel head bartender Trevor Alberts for the evening.  Here’s to Tuesdays, and to homecomings.  See you there tonight from 7-9:00 p.m. at the Raleigh Martini Bar, when Crispy will present her martinis and through them, a peek into a past re-imagined.

Spring Break for The Genuine Kitchen

The man with a plan, seen yesterday evening before pre-shift with reservationist Margaret Taverni manning the host stand. Chef goes on a vacay himself today with the fam. When the cat's away...

Tomorrow I depart for a two week holiday (how server Hinmahtooyah told me I must refer to my vacation!)  traveling mostly through northern Italy.  The Genuine Kitchen will take a break when I do, but there are plenty of ways for you to stay connected online with all things Genuine during this hiatus.  Here’s my recommended list:

Tweet Tweet  The chirping in our nest just increased by one decibel.  Our Beverage Director Mr. Ryan Goodspeed is tweeting as of this morning @goodspeedryan, so give him some love with a follow. He will return the favor with plenty of 140 character spurts on bitters, bourbon and the like. For the full list of TGHGers on the bird horn, from chef’s assistant Ellie Groden to our Grand Cayman executive chef Thomas Tennant, click here.

Meat Notes  While I’m out Miss Ellie will be taking over the @MGFD_MIA Twitter, tweeting lunch and dinner bells to keep you on top of daily menu changes, like this here delicious wabbit pate.  She will also be taking over updating our menus online weekly at  As usual, she’ll be doing the same for Harry’s on its Tumblr. Woof!

It’s Eventful  Through the end of March we have lots for you to enjoy outside of the restaurant.  Visit the events page for a list of our ongoing events as well as special ones.  In some cases, buying tickets online applies, which is good news for you because it’s super easy. Two are top of mind: @MGFD_GCM’s Farm-to-Table Dinner (3/17) and  OMG! Dinner & a Movie with Harry’s Pizzeria (3/19). 

Kitchen Interviews  My own blog is roused from its slumber over the next couple of weeks serving its primary purpose over recent years, chronicling travels.  I’ll post the itinerary tomorrow, which begins when I arrive in Roma on Sunday and journeys through Toscana, Piemonte, Valle d’Aosta, Lombardia, Umbria, and back to Roma — some in train and some in macchina! I promise not to text and drive : )

Black Olive Cola

Black olive cola, my favorite olive revelation.

We’ve been having some fun getting a little more up close and personal with olives and olive oil recently, as Michael was asked to serve as chef spokesperson for the International Olive Council’s new Add Some Life promotional campaign for North America. He and MGFD Beverage Manager Ryan Goodspeed cooked up eight recipes showcasing these Mediterranean goodies and shared them with media at an event during New York Fashion Week on Monday.  It’s always interesting being tasked to focus a batch of recipes on a single, or in this case two related, ingredients. Especially when they are olives and olive oil, ingredients that those of us in the industry and many of the home cooks we know take for granted as everyday staples in the kitchen.  So you gotta get a little creative. Enter Ryan, who chucked the expected dirty martini for… black olive cola?  Renegade, sure.  Tasty?  Most certainly!  The homemade drink combines simple syrup with Kalamata olive puree and soda. I’m thirsty just thinking about it. You too can sip and contemplate its salty sweetness.  Make it at home with the recipe found here or come into MGFD in Miami soon.  Ryan’s mixing up a batch on Saturday.  Cheers!

Michael and Ryan represent.