09/02/2024

Special lunar new year 2024: “Il Drago”配方 cocktail

“Il Drago”(The Dragon), is of course inspired by Chinese traditions of the new year, and the Year of the Dragon.

 

“The Year of the Dragon – says Chase White –  is considered the most important and spectacular year of the 12-year cycle overall. It represents wealth, strength, and prosperity. To reflect this in a cocktail, I chose to use Cocchi Chinato for its extra bold flavor and laced it with a touch of cognac and barley shochu for extra depth. I paired it with cherry tomato for their color, and savory tartness. Tangerine, which is a popular (almost compulsory) gift during the holiday, I added for its bright and balanced acidity. To tie the drink together and give it a kick, its finished off with a dash of chili and Shanghainese Worcestershire sauce. Finally its garnished with thai basil, and a halved cherry tomato with gold leaf. A rich bounty of flavor with the looks to match!”

 

 

Recipe:

IL DRAGO 配方

30ml Cocchi Chinato

15ml Barley Shochu

15ml Cognac

30ml Tangerine Juice

15ml Verjus

5ml Shanghainese Worchestershire Sauce

2 pieces Cherry Tomato (Muddled)

3 dash Chili Tincture

Garnish: Thai Basil Leaf + Halved Cherry Tomato covered in gold leaf

Vessel: Rocks Glass (Block Ice)

 

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH CHASE WHITE

 

Chase, introduce yourself.

As with many in our industry I stumbled into hospitality simply because I needed a job. With the initial plan of going to school I was looking for something part time, that might be able to work around my class schedule. After knocking on countless doors, I found just about no one was currently hiring. If anything, they were cutting staff. Then it dawned on me that a big brother figure who I practiced martial arts with was planning on starting a fine dining pop-up, and I begged him for a job. He agreed, with the understanding that id work my ass off all day every day for pennies on the dollar. I started out washing dishes and doing whatever minuscule kitchen prep I was capable of. While I quickly found that the kitchen was not the place for me, I did find that I loved the environment and personalities of the industry. I also gained a strong sense of core work values. Cleanliness, organization, sense of urgency, efficiency, and to constantly reassess and challenge the how and why of all one does.
After a year working in SF I set my sights on NYC. I found a job as a food runner my 3rd day in the city. While I certainly enjoyed being between the floor and the kitchen, I was ultimately drawn to the sense of engagement and creativity at the bar. As luck would have, the restaurant had just hired a new bar directer by the name of Naren Young (Saxon+Parole, Caffe Dante, Sweet Liberty) to elevate the venue. I asked to speak to my GM and told him I wanted barback, or i’d be looking for employment elsewhere. He agreed, and my journey behind the bar began. My initial introduction to the magical world of cocktails under Naren’s tutelage had me hooked. From there I was hired to the opening team of Experimental Cocktail Club’s NYC outpost where I met my ultimate drinks mentor, Nico de Soto.

Since the ECC days, I helped Nico open his first NYC venue MACE, ran the bar program at Saison in San Francisco, and spent time at Attaboy in NYC’s lower east side before returning to China in 2017.

 

Understanding of the Cocchi

I first came to know Cocchi’s products in NYC as I was just beginning to study bartending. I remember my mentor showing me a bottle of Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino, and telling me we were upping our game! I was given a side by side tasting of Storico and our previous house vermouth. I could immediately tell the difference in quality and flavor. From there I was introduced to Cocchi Americano, first served to me in a Corpse Reviver #2. Delicious! The rest is history…

 

Which is the preferred  Cocchi product and why do you like it?

This a tough one. In all honesty Id have to say it depends on my current mood. What im looking for, leaning towards flavor wise at the given moment. Today it’s the Chinato. I love the depth, pronounced herbal and bitters notes, with its bright sour and just slightly tannic after taste. For me, it adds a beautifully unexpected depth to many vermouth heavy cocktails.

 

Introduce this special cocktail in one sentence

A light and vibrant take on a Bloody Mary, perfect for holiday drinking.

 

Have there been any funny Cocchi-related incidents in the shop?

Well this one time I was approached to create a holiday cocktail for Cocchi. I of course enthusiastically agreed. My schedule was quite full in the days leading up to the shoot however, and I didn’t have much time to think. I came up with a cocktail in the hour before the shoot, and it turned out delicious. Sometimes spontaneity is key!

 

Is there anything the Year of the Dragon would like to say to you all through this cocktail?

Be brave, be bold, be spontaneous. No matter what, keep moving forward. You’ll end up where you need to be!