In our noble pursuit of blogging we get access to some really cool opportunities—most recently, a cocktail clinic with Quality Meats beverage director Bryan Schneider. We love cocktail clinics because we're not great at the whole DIY thing, but we are good at making cocktails under the guidance of seasoned beverage professionals. So, while Bryan was in town, we stopped by Quality Meats Miami Beach (side note: if you haven't been, it is a Miami must) to pick up tips from the man himself on how to make drinks off of his new Fall cocktail menu.
Bryan's list is divided into four sections, each with a unique theme. The Cubes use ice as a dynamic element. The Tropical cocktails are drinks inspired by tropical flavors and culture. The Classics are old school favorites reimagined. The Tap cocktails, as their name implies, are batch cocktails served on tap. One commonality displayed across the four themes is a tropical or Miami twist—an infusion of fruit, a classic Miami cocktail style—that makes this menu perfectly suited for our barely-there Fall. The best part? They're easy to recreate at home so if you're feeling creative, we invite you to channel Bryan's cocktail creativity with these four recipes off the Quality Meats Miami Beach menu:
Cubes: Rubik's Spritz
Inspired by the Rubik's Cube puzzle, this cocktail is served over colored, flavored ice cubes that resemble the puzzle's different colored squares.
3 oz. prosecco or champagne
1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
Pour over wine glass over four Rubik's Cubes*
*Rubik's Cubes: In separate containers dilute Cointreau, mango puree, raspberry puree, and lime juice with water (5 parts water: 1 part flavoring). Freeze in ice cube molds.
Tropical: Pomegranate Daiquiri
During Fall, this daiquiri is topped with a seasonal pomegranate foam that will be replaced by a blood orange foam in the winter.
2 oz. light rum
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
Shake and strain into a tall glass with crushed ice. Top with pomegranate foam* and garnish with pomegranate seeds.
*Pomegranate foam: In a whipped cream canister add 6 oz. pomegranate juice, 2 oz. simple syrup, 2 oz. lemon juice and 1/2 cup of egg whites. Charge with a NO2 cream charger.
Classics: Pisco Punch
This recipe is derived from a version that was once popular in San Francisco in the 1800's.
2 oz. pisco
1 oz. spiced pineapple syrup*
3/4 oz. lemon juice
Shake and strain into a brandy snifter over fresh ice, then garnish with a pineapple slice and pineapple leaf.
*Spiced pineapple syrup: Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, and 1 tsp. whole cloves in a pot. Stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Strain out the cloves and pour the syrup in a blender over 1 cup of chopped pineapple. Pulse a few times to chop the pineapple. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
Tap: Cuba Libre
Quality Meats makes the classic Cuba Libre (also known as Rum and Coke) with their homemade cola and serves it on tap from a beer tower. They make their homemade cola with a syrup that blends spices like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus zest and coriander. You can make your own using this cola syrup recipe from NYTimes Cooking or take the easy way out—like us—and buy a Mexican Coke at our neighborhood bodega.
Image of the Rubik's Spritz by Atsushi Tomioka