Friday, January 30, 2009

Get Your Red Hot Poker Cocktail at L’Ecole

Dave Arnold Red Hot Poker

Cold weather calls for hot drinks. So where does that leave cocktail hour?

Thanks to Dave Arnold, The FCI’s Director of Culinary Technology, the L’Ecole is now offering two seasonal drinks, made toasty warm using a very high-tech piece of custom-made equipment. The Red Hot Poker, Dave’s latest technological innovation, is a supercharged take on the loggerhead, a metal rod, commonly used during Colonial times, that was heated to a fiery temperature then plunged into a mix of beer, sugar, and flavorings.

A few New York City bartenders have toyed with the idea of creating small loggerhead setups to use barside, but Dave took things one step further by rigging an electric version capable of reaching temperatures of up to 1600 degrees. The extreme heat of the Red Hot Poker caramelizes sugars in the alcohol and brings out unique flavor notes that can’t be achieved by simply heating a cocktail over a stove. (So don’t try the recipe listed below at home!)

Stop by the bar at L’Ecole this winter to sample a Red Hot Manhattan or Red Hot Ale.

Red Hot Manhattan

Created by Dave Arnold, Director of Culinary Technology at The French Culinary Institute

2 oz Sazerac rye
1 oz Dolin vermouth
1/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
Two dashes Angostura bitters
1 1/2 oz water

Combine ingredients in a glass and heat with a Red Hot Poker heated to 1600 degrees. Use poker to flame if desired. Pour into a glass with a handle and garnish with a twist of orange.

Open six days a week, L’Ecole, the Restaurant of The French Culinary Institute serves prix fixe multi-course lunches and dinners.

Read more about Culinary Technology courses taught by Dave Arnold.

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