New Libations: Bottle Fermented Cocktails

I’m always fascinated with some of my fellow bartenders for their curiosity, resourcefulness and creativity when it comes to improving, creating or bringing back a new technique to savor cocktails. Jeff Josenhans bartender from the US Grant in San Diego  is part of a small group of bartenders that are experimenting with a new breed of cocktails.

“Cocktails Sur Lie” (French for having been rested in yeast) is this novel bottle conditioned cocktail concept, launched just recently during the Autumn Mixology Dinner in Grant Grill this October. So far, Josenhans has two master creations, believed to be the first of their kind. The “Mule in a Bottle” is a hoppy, bright drink made from Garden Flower Infused Vodka, Ginger, Rock Candy Sugar, California Hops and Champagne Yeast. Calling upon fall flavors and based off of a seasonal cocktail featured on the Food Network, “Smokin’ Pumpkin” is made from Pumpkin Infused Rum, Allspice Dram, Applewood Smoke Coconut Sugar, Dash Laphroiag, Saffron and Vanilla, and Ale Yeast.

What makes these drinks exceptionally impressive is Josenhans’ trailblazing as the first mixologist to successfully craft bottle conditioned cocktails combining the beer and champagne method of fermentation.

The highly complex and rarely attempted process of combining the champagne method with the brewer’s method adds yeast to the bottle and allows the bottle pressure to create carbonation. Next, spirits and sugars are mixed in according to the champagne method while the hopping process adds the brewer’s flare. It ends happily with a cocktail that has the texture and look of champagne, but with the hoppy bite of beer.

While the drink preview just brewed up in October, the new “Cocktails Sur Lie” menu will be on Grant Grill’s January cocktail menu.

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