Beverly Hills: Take a Cocktail Class at Caulfield’s for Valentine’s Day
Jeremy Back (formerly of City Tavern) has taken over the beverage program at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills. He has already revamped Caulfield’s, the restaurant at the Thompson and is working on the pool bar along with beverage room service for the hotel rooms. For Valentine’s day, Jeremy and his team will be demonstrating cocktails at Caulfield’s and give couples a chance to make custom cocktails for their dates. The demonstration and hands-on mixology dubbed “The Best First Date” includes passed appetizers from the bar menu.
I had a chance to check out Caulfield’s recently to taste what’s on the current menu and to check out what Jeremy’s working on.
Barzillian – Leblon cachaca, lime, grapefruit juice, egg white, Miracle Mile Forbidden bitters, Angostura bitters
The Barzillian’s name may have started out as a typo but it’s a cool typo so the name stuck. I love egg white drinks and thought this was fantastic.
Caulfield’s version of guacamole is simply Haas avocado, tomatillo, olive oil and lime. It’s served with corn tortillas. I really liked the larger chunks of avocado and we somehow magically had enough tortillas. All right, so some of the dip was simply scooped up…into our mouths.
Lipstick – St. George Bontanivore gin, beet juice, lemon, Bitter Truth habenero shrub
I’ll say it again, I love beets and beet-juice cocktails. If this drink doesn’t get your lover revved up with the spicy shrub, I don’t know what will.
Rye-ality – Templeton rye, grapefruit serrano pepper and cayenne preserves, Miracle Mile yuzu bitters
For the whiskey lovers, you got a bit of spice in your life as well. This time, the drink seems to be a play on an old-fashioned. I liked the modern interpretation — the bits of grapefruit have the preserves spooned over them so a bit drips int your drink as you have it.
Here’s Jeremy showing us a sneak preview of his menu development. He didn’t have a name at the time but I loved the torched cinnamon.
The cocktail has Scotch (love Scotchyscotchscotch) as its base.
I confess I’ve never had kale chips until now. I know it’s all the rage to make your own but I never turn on my oven. But I do eat a lot of kale. I’m glad Caulfield’s did all the work and put kale chips on the menu. I can see why they’re addictive. They must be healthier than potato chips, right?
Bar & Dining Room – Maestro dobel tequila, olmo grape shrub, cracked black pepper foam, proscuitto dust
Jeremy explained he wanted to do more cocktails inspired by cooking. He came up with this cocktail based on one of his signature dishes. It’s like liquid BBQ gold. Be sure to lick up that proscuitto dust on the side of the glass to get the full effect. For me, the savory foam was also great.
One of the popular bar menu items are the latkes with salmon caviar. It’s probably not very kosher but that dab of creme fraiche ties in the briny roe and crisp-creamy potatoes. I know people hate describing latkes as hasbrown-like but these were exactly that.
The rooftop pool has its own beverage list and Jeremy came up with his variation of a Hemingway. This served long and on ice is delightfully refreshing. Bonus, if you stay at the hotel, you get access to the special section with the cabanas (see top photo).
We also had a chance to taste a cocktail Jeremy submitted for a magazine shoot. Jalisco Kisses as the name implies is tequila, grapefruit, white pepper syrup (made with chamomile, agave and white pepper) and a whole lot of love. Perhaps Jeremy will show you how to make this for your honey.
It’s not the sweetest holiday without dessert. This evening I was feeling the chocolate a bit more than the doughnuts but either would probably produce a swoon or two.
Caulfield’s Bar & Dining Room at the Thompson Beverly Hills9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212 — (310) 388-6860
© The Minty 2013