Winter Cocktail Challenge: Balthazar

Clinton Cawood

Clinton Cawood

10 January 2020

During Christmas, there are plenty of occasions for inventive cocktails. In this four-part series we asked four bartenders to each create a celebratory, festive drink. Clinton Cawood reports


Balthazar looks like the perfect spot for a winter warmer, so there’s little doubt that the team is in the right place for their third drink. Head bartender Alice Wakley explains that she had her mother’s homemade rhubarb ginger crumble in mind when creating it.

‘My mum has always grown rhubarb for the crumble. The Giffard liqueur has really good rhubarb flavour,’ she says, as she adds it, along with gingerbread liqueur, to a mixing glass. She stirs and strains into a flute.

BRAND: GIFFARD
DRINK | FRENCH CRUMBLE

Glass: Flute
Garnish: Orange wheel studded with cloves
Method: Stir ingredients over ice, strain into flute and top with champagne.

30ml Giff ard Rhubarb Liqueur
20ml gingerbread liqueur
champagne

It’s not a celebration without champagne, so that’s the final ingredient in the drink, before a decidedly wintery garnish of an orange wheel studded with cloves. ‘I think the cloves really go well with the ginger,’ she adds.

It’s a deceptively simple, elegant serve, and perfectly suited to the time of year, with its wintery flavours lifted by the rhubarb and the champagne.

‘It has that crumble element, but it’s also really clean and subtle. I thought it might be a bit cloying, but it’s not.

'And I love that orange and clove garnish. It reminds of a hot toddy,’ says Milliken. ‘It’s good to have a cocktail without too many ingredients.’

‘The rhubarb contributes towards an overall freshness and balance, while the ginger really gives it a more warming, wintery feel. It’s perfectly suited to Thanksgiving, or a welcome drink at a Christmas party,’ adds Cawood.

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