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BRUNCHIN’ WITH BEX Behind the Bar

PHCP: So, let’s start with NRA – can you tell me a little bit about the thought process behind developing the cocktails for an event like this and any challenges you faced?

Rebecca: For NRA, the events that I did drink development for were the Hangover Brunch, which was Sunday morning, and the Baseball Game [at Wrigley Field on Monday].

One of the challenges with doing Hangover Brunch – even though Hangover Brunches are my favorite event to develop drinks for –is they start SO early. Normally, we would have a whole day to batch drinks. For Hangover [Brunch] you don’t have that much time, but then again, you can’t pre-batch cocktails that have fresh juice in them, or bitters, or anything like that. All the batching must be done that morning, and then you also have to train bartenders that typically don’t work shifts that early…so they aren’t always as enthusiastic to be trained on new, specialty cocktails that are kind of over the top. Fortunately, at Hampton Social, the two bartenders we worked with were really into it. They were helpful and super excited about the event, so that made everything a lot easier.

As far as the drink development process goes, for Hangover Brunch, I like to do things that either you would want to eat, or something you’d crave when you’re hungover – or really anything that will tie-in with breakfast. For the breakfast aspect, we did a drink that was supposed to be similar to a yogurt parfait. We infused RumChata with granola overnight.Then, we had Coco Reàl, which is a fantastic American Beverage Marketers product, and some coconut water. We garnished it with a mint sprig, berries and granola, so it tasted like a yogurt parfait and also looked like it. That drink was called “Parfait All Day” – we like to make sure the drink names are catchy and on trend!

Parfait All Day

PHCP: What were some other cocktails that were developed for NRA’s Hangover Brunch this year?

Rebecca: Another drink that had a breakfast influence was “The Resting Brunch Face.” We infused Blue Chair Bay Spiced Rum – which is a new product – with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. We made a spiced brown sugar syrup, [and mixed that with] lemon juice as well as cranberry bitters. Then, we garnished the cocktail with grated Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a lemon wheel.

Resting Brunch Face

Rebecca: For the “Early Morning Breeze,” we took the Peach Reàland mixed it with orange marmalade to make a Peach Reàl marmalade, and that was in the style of an Old Fashioned. It had Wild Turkey Longbranch, and it was garnished with a gummy egg to tie the breakfast aspect into it.

Early Morning Breeze

Rebecca: Then for the hangover side of the event, we wanted to do something along the lines of an Avocado Toast Martini. For that, we used Agave Reàl, avocado and fresh lime juice to make a purée. We also used Partida Reposado Tequila, Finest Call Premium Citrus Sour and crumbled toast to coat the rim of the glass with some Tajín salt, so [every sip] tasted like Avocado Toast.

Avocado Toast Martini

Rebecca: We also had a fun one that was basically a Moscow Mule with Pineapple Reàl, which was served over ice in a rocks glass – but we put the rocks glass in a Chinese takeout container. I always crave cold Chinese food when I’m hungover, so I thought it would be a funny play on that.

PHCP: That’s a fun vessel too that you don’t see a lot! I remember hearing people attending the event talk about how cool they thought that was.

Rebecca: Right – it was so fun! Another thing I try to focus on with events, especially Hangover Brunch, is that everyone will be taking photos. Everyone is seeing people that they haven’t seen in a long time, or don’t see that often, so they’re going to want to take photos together. I think it’s fun to have a cool vessel or garnish that matches and goes with the theme of the event.

Good Vibes Only

PHCP: What would you say was your favorite cocktail that you created for the Hangover Brunch at NRA?

Rebecca: That’s like asking which is your favorite kid!? To drink? Probably the “Parfait All Day” – I really liked that one. I also really liked the “Electrollini”, which had Prosecco, Peach Reàl, Fruit Punch Gatorade and the rim was Pedialyte Powder. From a visual the standpoint, probably the “Good Vibes Only,” which was served in the takeout container.

Electrollini

PHCP: Okay, shifting gears to Aspen now – let’s talk about that since I know that was a big event for you and the PHCP Team.

Rebecca: Again, I think Hangover Brunch is my favorite event to develop drinks for. A side drink that wasn’t really listed on any of the recipes was the jello shots we made with ABSOLUT Citron and Pedialyte. I made them as a novelty, and they were gone within the first 45 minutes of the event – so next year we’ll definitely make more!

Aspen Hangover Brunch Cocktails
ABSOLUT Pedialyte Jello Shots

Rebecca: The “Wake ‘N’ Bacon” was fun; that was [made] with Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churro-infused Jameson Irish Whiskey, Disaronno and honey sour, garnished with bacon, a cinnamon roll and a gummy egg.

Wake N' Bacon

Rebecca: Another infusion we did was the “Down to Fiesta”. We infused Olmeca Altos with Apple Jack Cereal and infused the triple sec with electrolyte water. It was kind of like an apple margarita, which was super fun!

Down to Fiesta

Rebecca: Another infusion we did was the “Down to Fiesta”. We infused Olmeca Altos with Apple Jack Cereal and infused the triple sec with electrolyte water. It was kind of like an apple margarita, which was super fun!

Hot Mess Espresso

Rebecca: Another infusion we did was the “Down to Fiesta”. We infused Olmeca Altos with Apple Jack Cereal and infused the triple sec with electrolyte water. It was kind of like an apple margarita, which was super fun!

Get Brunched Up

Rebecca: We also had “Captain Brunch” which had Monkey 47 Gin; we infused the Passionfruit Reàl with electrolyte water and garnished these with drunk gummy bears, so [the cocktails] were all really fun, light and super drinkable!

Captain Brunch

PHCP: What’s your favorite memory from this event?

Rebecca: We had a bunch of clients and guests there that were going through, trying every single cocktail, so I love watching their reactions and seeing them enjoy and take pictures of all of the cocktails we developed!

PHCP: Ok, so the Aspen Hangover Brunch had a different cocktail feel when compared to NRA. What was your favorite cocktail at this party?

Rebecca: Probably the “Drunk in Love”. [That] was really good, and anytime I can name a drink in reference to Beyoncé, that means it’s important to me. We infused the Finest Call Bar Syrup with goji berry powder, so it had that healing aspect to it. It also had Malibu with banana liqueur and ginger beer. But I think it would be between the “Wake ‘N Bacon” and the “Hot Mess Espresso”.

Wake N' Bacon, Amaretto By Morning, & Captain Brunch

To read more information about these events, head over to the linked article HERE!

To read more information about our Mixology Team’s capabilities, CLICK HERE!

Author: admin
Created: 2019/07/15
Updated: 2019/09/12
Category: Behind the Bar
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