Tag Archives: Scott Beattie

Sunny and Dry

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

2 oz Leopold’s Gin
5 Lemon Verbena leaves
0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
0.5 Mint Simple Syrup (see here, use Cold Infusion method)
0.75 oz Seltzer
10 Spearmint Leaves, cut into chiffonade
5 to 10 Sunflower, Black-eyed Susan, or Marigold petals, cut into chiffonade
10 pieces Preserved Cucumber (see below)

Place the verbena eaves in the bottom of a mixing glass and thump a few times with a muddler to release the oils
Add gin, juice, syrup, and seltzer.  Stir well.
Add spearmint, petals, cucumbers, and enough ice to fill the glass
Shake gently a few times, then pour (without straining) into a collins glass
Poke at the greens with a knife or straw to distribute them

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You quickly sense a sort of quiet reverence in every drink that bartender Scott Beattie creates.  Reverence for craft – measurements are precise, syrups are homemade, and citrus is freshly-squeezed.  Reverence for natural ingredients – fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers are seasonal, local, and organic.  Reverence for the spirits themselves – each liquor used is chosen for its distinct profile. Beattie’s culinary approach to cocktails elevates each drink, creating a product that is a sensual and sensorial tour de force.  But perhaps what appeals most is Beattie’s subtle, perhaps even unknowing nod to the past when Arab physicians distilled violets and roses for medical tinctures, and monasteries produced herbal liqueurs from their vast pharmacopeia. In many ways, I see Scott Beattie as a modern alchemist, using the base materials of nature to transform cocktails into artisanal wonders.

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12 Rounds With… Scott Beattie

As a young bartender in the ‘90s, Scott Beattie recognized a disconnect between the cocktails of the time (think Cosmos and Lemon Drops) and the true art of mixing drinks.  After much research and experimentation, plus the good fortune of having the San Francisco Bay Area’s bounty in his back yard, Beattie arrived at his seasonal, local philosophy as the bar manager at Cyrus Restaurant.  Beattie’s approach – freshly-made syrups and squeezed juices, seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as vibrant herbs – has helped take modern mixology to the next level, making it as much a culinary art as a learned craft.  Having departed Cyrus, he currently runs Spoonbar in Healdsburg where he now explores the complexity of classic cocktails, giving them his own ingredient-driven twists.

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From the 12BB Library: “Artisanal Cocktails” by Scott Beattie

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

At first glance, “Artisanal Cocktails” might seem an odd choice for the 12 Bottle Bar library.  After all, many of the drinks are vodka-based and, with their plethora of herbal/floral ingredients, complex to assemble.  The Wall Street Journal went so far as to describe author/bartender Scott Beattie’s drinks as “garden shrubbery in a glass” (meant in the best possible way… we think).  Yet, Beattie’s seasonal, craftsman philosophy is not far removed from that of 12BB or, for that matter, the realm of the original mixmasters like Jerry Thomas to whom we all owe a debt.

Like Thomas, Harry McElhone, and others from the past, Beattie has always championed the freshest, highest-quality ingredients possible.  Like today’s and yesterday’s best bartenders, Beattie uses precise, chef-like techniques, stresses the importance of quality ice, and shows how edible ingredients can elevate even the most basic drink.  In many ways, Beattie has been our Virgil in the realm of aromatic, seasonal mixology, teaching us to riff on the classics and encouraging us to create our own unique beverages.  While many of his recipes fall outside the purview of 12BB’s “rules”, his approach is dynamic and modern, making his book a must-have for any bartender, at home or otherwise.

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In Good Hands – Part Two

If there’s one reason to do a blog like this, it’s the people we get to meet.  As I mentioned in Part 1, it’s the egalitarian nature of the cocktail that lured us in and keeps us coming back for more.  No matter who you are – even if you’re some Johnny-come-lately blogger – as long as you can appreciate the simple art of combining this with that via a flick of the wrist, well, you’ve got all the credentials you need to join the club.  At least, that’s how other people seem to treat us. Read More…