Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Sean travels to Boston and Philadelphia to make cocktails out of unique local candies.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- I'm Shawn Thomas and this is Local Flight. A show where I travel around to some of the best bars in the country to meet amazing mixologists and challenge them to create innovative cocktails using unique, local ingredients. I'm in Philidelphia, a city steeped in American history, so it's fitting that my first stop would be Square 1682. The bar's name refers to Writtenhouse Square, created by William Penn as one of the nation's very first city parks. Chauncey Skates is the head bartender there, and I'm interested to see how they craft their cocktails in this historic town. Chauncey, hi. - Hey! - I'm Shawn. - How's is going Shawn? - It's wonderful to meet you. - It's nice to meet you as well. - Thank you for having me here. - It's my pleasure. - This is quite a happenin' space you got here. - Yeah, it is. - What kinda things are you doing here behind this bar? - We pride ourselves on using fresh ingredients, fresh juices, old school spirits. We use a lot of amaros, we use a lot of fortified wines, and do a lot of cognac, a lot of gin, a lot of genever to go along with those fresh ingredients. We change our menu quarterly. It's very seasonally appropriate, and we like to have a lot of fun with it. So, yeah. - That's awesome. I'd love to try something. Is there something you can make for me? - I have something for you, a boozy tiki drink but with kind of an adult feel. We've got fresh pineapple juice, our in-house orangia, which is an almond and orange flower water syrup. - [Shawn] Yeah - Fresh lime juice, a bitter orange apertivo, and Bombay Sapphire East. It has Vietnamese black peppercorn and Thai lemongrass. Our tiki glass. - [Shawn] No tiki drink is complete without it. - Add some crushed ice, and we're going to swizzle. - So is that similar to, say, stirring a drink? - Swizzling a drink gets it chilled without adding too much delusion. And... - [Shawn] Oh, wow! Now we just need a pig on a spit and we'll be all set. Cheers, thank you! - Cheers! What do you think? - I like how instead of the rum, you know rums tend to be sweet, the gin is really dry. - Yeah. - So it definitely makes the drink nice and balanced. It isn't coying at all. - Yeah. - And you get that slight bitterness from that aperitivo that you were talking about. Yeah, and it's really dry from this Bombay Sapphire. That's great; it's almost like a gin mai tai. What do you call this drink. - This is the Eve's Limit. - Is there a story behind that name? - I was participating in a cocktail competition but the winner gets man of the year cover of GQ, and so Eve's Limit is from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" where she's lamenting the fact that she isn't a man, so it was kind of my, like, tongue and cheek poke at.. - [Shawn] Stick it to the man, right? - You know, whatever. Yeah ladies, so.. - I think this drink is a delicious way to stick it to the man. - Thank you, me too. - Talk to me about the name Square 1682. - So, 1682 was the year that William Penn established Philadelphia as the capitol of Pennsylvania County. And the way he originally did the layout of the city was to have kind of a grid system, with these big blocks of public park spaces in between the commercial and residential spaces. - Amazing. - It was one of the first of it's kind to pass a law like that and we are around the corner from one of the original parks. - Wow! - So, we named ourselves after the square. - Uh huh. - And the year that he did that. - And what a great way to just preserve nature in the middle of a big city. - [Chauncey] Exactly. - That's awesome. Well, I think what's great about Philadelphia is there's so much history here. I mean you have the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Liberty Bell. There's also this great place called Shane Confectionery. - I love Shane's... - [Shawn] You know this? - Yeah. They are awesome, awesome guys. - Yeah, well, they've been around since the 1800's which is incredible. - Yeah. - And I think it's a great place to find an ingredient for you to play around with in a cocktail. So will you come with me and check this place out? - I will come with you. - Well, let's do this, go find some candy. - Shane Confectionery has been around since 1863, making it the oldest continually operating candy store in the country. In the upstairs kitchen, they still use century old techniques and equipment. Downstairs, we met up with the owner, Ryan Berley, to find the perfect candy for our cocktail. This place looks like something out of the history book of candy making. How long have you guys been here? - Well, the store's been her for 150 years. This is America's oldest candy shop. - Wow! - My brother and I bought the building and the business from the previous owner, the Shane family. - Do you make all the candy in house? - What you see in front of you, this stuff's all made right here in our kitchens upstairs. And the candies we make and the chocolates are made with old fashioned tools and old recipes. - Well, for a city that's, you know, steeped in such rich history it feels like you guys are definitely keeping that alive here. - Yeah, that's our mission. Essentially using local ingredients, hand-made. - It's incredible. - Maybe you'd like to taste something? - I would love to taste something. - Well, this one was developed by our candy maker, Chef Cauld. That's the Whirly Berley. And this is our raspberry caramel. - Wow! - It's decedent. - That is divine. - So, what brings you folks into Shane's? - We want to make a drink using some of your condy. - She is a master mixologist. - Wow! - And so, we're on the hunt for a local cocktail ingredient. - It is summer, and it is hot outside, and I was thinking of something a little more along the lines of light and refreshing. - Perhaps something that would infuse into the drink and compliment it, a hard candy. Maybe if we check out the other side of the store. - That would be great, yeah. - Yeah. - [Ryan] Let's do that. - Lead the way. Okay, I'll meet you over there. - Cool, all right. So what do we have here? These look like gummies and jellies. - This is the kid's corner. - [Shawn] Okay. - So everything's colorful. I'm thinking let's move down towards the licorice section and some of the more adult candy. - That sounds great. Adult candy, adult beverages, they go hand in hand. - We make these clear toy candies, which are a hard candy, and we make them in different shapes. It's actually an old, local tradition; it's a Pennsylvania tradition. Let me just take a look for a moment. - Please, yeah. - Fingers crossed. - This is a sitch we have, I see a bear and an airplane or a goose? I don't know. - We'll take the goose for sure. - Yeah. - Do you have a goose mold? - [Ryan] Oh, yeah! - Great! What does it taste like? - It's got lime zest in it and here's a little sample if you'd like to taste. - [Shawn] Oh, great! Yeah, absolutely. - And there's citric acid in there, gonna make it a little tart and sour. Essentially how you make it is, you boil sugar up to about 300 degrees and you pour them into these fancy metal molds. When the sugar cools, you color it and sometimes flavor it. - What do you think, is this something that would play in a cocktail? - Yeah. - Absolutely. - I think this is perfect actually. - Great, we'll take it. - Wonderful. I'm glad we could help out. - Thank you very much. Absolutely. - Sure. - Thanks for helping out. - [Ryan] Thank you. - Thank you so much. - Yeah, good luck to you. Save one of those cocktails for me. - We will. Cheers man! Thank you very much. Ryan is upholding a great tradition at Shane's. These handmade lie flavored geese are going to be incredible in a cocktail. So, what do you think we can do with these guys? - I think I'm going to have to pulverize them so I can actually incorporate them into a drink. He was talking about how they were kind of tart. - [Shawn] Citric acid. - Uh huh. - Yeah, okay. - So that works out really well for me. I won't have to add a lot of juice... - Okay. - To the cocktail. And we're going to use it like sugar so I need it to be able to break down as I shake the cocktail. - Well, lemme just say goodbye. Goodbye geese, it was nice knowing you. - Are you good? - I think so. - You sure? - Yeah. Good. - Okay, all right. - I'm not gonna watch, though. - Okay. You wanna help? You sure? I really need them broken down. - All right. Give me that. - All right, go. - [Chauncey] Just really get it. You took the pointed side. - Ooh - Not nice. All right. - Sorry. - [Chauncey] It's okay. So we have sugar. - No geese. - So roughly how much sugar would you say you put in there? - If that was a syrup, it would be about 3/4 of an ounce of syrup. - [Shawn] Sugar? - Yeah. So, I'm going to add fresh lime juice. - [Shawn] Okay. - About an ounce. I actually wanted to include something that had the anise flavor to it. - [Shawn] Yeah, the Galliano. - [Chauncey] The Galliano. - That's great. It also has a lot of vanilla, too. The anise is actually very much in the background of that flavor. - Yeah, and since it is lime flavored, I was thinking it would go really well with my other favorite flavor of candy, which is cherry flavored candies. - [Shawn] Yeah. - And we have Gray Goose Cherry Noir. - I like where your head's at, dark fruit. - [Chauncey] Very summery. - [Shawn] An ounce and a half? - Yep, and Dandelion Burdock Bitters. - What's Burdock? - Burdock is a root. - [Shawn] Okay, probably like and angelica root or something like that. - Exactly. Ice on. - [Shawn] I can hear the candy. - Yeah. All right. - [Shawn] Collins glass? Nice - [Chauncey] Nice and uh... - [Shawn] Yeah, the color. - [Chauncey] Green. As a final touch a little quinine, a little tonic water. Give it some bubbles. - Uh huh. - All right. - That looks amazing. All that color is from the candy, eh? - [Chauncey] Yeah. - [Shawn] Well, what do you think? This guy needs a garnish. - I think we should try and put this guy with the rest of his friends. - Yeah, let's just not tell him that his crushed friends are in there. Aww... - [Chauncey] That's close enough. He's floating. - [Shawn] That's so sweet. Cheers! - What do you think? - That's really nice. It's just a bright, limey rickey, but still, you get a little bit of that dark cherry at the end there. And the quinine was a nice touch and the tonic. Really nice touch. It's perfect for the summertime. Now, what do we call a drink like this? I feel like we need to pay homage to the gooses that we've used in this cocktail here. - We should call it No Harm, No Fowl. - No Harm, No Fowl. - Yeah. - Here's to all the geese out there. - Yeah. - Chauncey, thank you very much. - It was such a pleasure. - It was. Here's to you. Here's to Philadelphia. Cheers! - Yeah, drink up. Cheers! - Boston is a city rich in history, and Oak Long Bar is no exception. Opened in 1912, the bar was originally a gentleman's club, located in The Fairmont Copley Plaza. Updated in 2012, the revamped space now houses an 83 foot copper top bar, where I'm meeting up with Lou Saben. - What can I do for you today? - Well, I'm back in my hometown. This is actually where I was born and raised. - Welcome back, my friend. Good to have you. - It feels good to be back. This is a beautiful hotel. I imagine the name comes from how big this bar is because it's a long bar. - It's the longest copper bar in North America. - Really? - You know, you're a Boston boy, so you know that here we appreciate history. - Of course. - It's a hotel built in 1912, the same year the Titanic sunk. - [Shawn] Wow! - You see ceilings that have been here for over 100 years and we try to preserve a lot of that history here. We channel that through our cocktail program. - Oh, yeah? - It's a mixture of modern and classic. We do a lot of the classic cocktails: manhattans, martinis, that's what we're really famous for. - Sure. - Can't stay in the past all the time. Gotta update it, we got a lotta nice, new, bright, modern cocktails on there as well. - That's great, man. Is there a drink you'd like to make me to kinda showcase what you're doing here? - Yeah, I think so. What I'm gonna make for you today is a cocktail that's not only authentically Boston, it's authentically American. Play on the Moscow Mule. - [Shawn] Okay. - [Lou] Just a couple slices of lemon. We're going to muddle those a little bit. Fresh juice, always important. A little bit of ice in there. - Crushed ice? - [Lou] Yeah, you got it. Some nice, locally made ginger beer adds a nice sweet element to all the citrus that's in there. So this is a locally distilled New England spirit made with real blueberries out on the island of Nantucket. Garnish on there, a little bit of lime. Here we go. So this drink is called Goodbye Blue Monday. - Goodbye Blue Monday. - So, I always recommend you stir it up a little bit before you drink it. - [Shawn] All right. - [Lou] It's the ultimate title to my favorite book, "Breakfast of Champions" by Kurt Vonnegut. - Sure. - What a lot of people don't know is he actually lived in Cape Cod for a while. - Well, goodbye blue Monday! - Do it, do it brother. - Yeah, I could drink these all day. You'd say this is one of your more popular ones? - Yeah, I make a lot of these, you know? Kind of a seasonal drink, but right now we got sun, we had a long, hard winter here in Boston, so it's time to drink light, ginger, citrusy drinks. - [Shawn] Delightful! - [Lou] Yeah. - All right, so let me tell you a little bit about what I'm doing here back in my hometown. - Okay. - I have certain connotations when it comes to authentic New England. - Okay. - And I was hoping you could help me find a side of New England, maybe, that I haven't seen, But that's still traditional, classic New England and incorporate them in a drink. - Yeah, when you hear about Boston, you hear about the Cape a lot, you hear about Nantucket, you hear about Martha's Vineyard a lot. - Martha's Vineyard, of course, yeah. - All that sort of stuff. Real hidden jewel, a lot of people don't go to it, North Shore. We got towns like Rockport, Manchester by the Sea, and Gloucester. Gloucester is actually the oldest seaport in America. - So you think it's a great place for us to go ingredient hunt? - Good start at least. - Yeah? Then I say we hit the road. - We head up to Gloucester. - Okay. - And we see what we can find up there. - Got it, Gloucester it. - Gloucester it. - Sure, let's do it. - [Shawn] New England has a long history of candy making, dating back to the colonial times. Just north of Boston, Nochols Candy in Gloucester, Massachusetts has been carrying on that tradition since 1932. We're meeting up with Barbara Nichols to learn more about their hand-made confections. When did you celebrate your 82nd year? - In June it will be 83 years. - 83 in June, wow! We're looking for some authentic New England style candy so we're hoping that you could maybe show us a few things. - Okay, let's see. Authentic New England candies. - Yeah, you do some of the production actually here in the store. - All of it's done here in the store. - [Shawn] Amazing, wpw! - Yes. This is a favorite. - [Shawn] What's that one called? - This is a snowflake. - [Shawn] A snowflake? - It's coconut. You want to try one of them? - [Shawn] Yeah, let's do it. You like coconut? Mmm, that's delicious. We're off to a good start here. - Right behind you are turtles. - Now, what are turtles? I feel like I've heard of them. - It's caramel, dropped on a clump of nuts, and then rolled in chocolate. - I want all those things . - Yes, they're delicious. - Well, put it in the box? - Let's throw it in the box. - All right, we'll put it in the box. Barbara, what's the craziest thing you've ever covered in chocolate? - Oh my goodness! - I don't know if she can tell me. No, I don't think I'd better say. - It seems like you've got almost every possible thing to cover in chocolate covered in chocolate. - And now to Gloucester salt water taffy. - [Shawn] The real deal. - The real deal. - [Shawn] Is this one of your better sellers? - Yes, in the summer, we can't keep it in stock. - I imagine. - And here we have fudge and penuche. - [Shawn] Now, how do you say that? - [Barbara] Penuche. Penuche. - Now, what goes into that? - [Barbara] Brown sugar, vanilla, and butter. So the color depends on what kind of brown sugar you use. - You can smell the brown sugar before you even taste it. Oh, the texture. - That is delicious. - The texture is really great. - Very, very soft. - Mmm hmm, but still substantial. - Yeah and not as robust as a caramel. It's a little bit more subtle than a caramel. - If you cooked it longer you would have frosting. - You're full of fun facts. - Oh, I know. - Barbara, I love this. - I anticipated the salt water taffy, but I'm really intrigued by this penuche. - [Barbara] Yeah. - [Shawn] That's gonna be the one you think you're gonna draw from? - [Lou] I think it's the leader in the clubhouse right now. - [Shawn] All right. - [Barbara] Okay. - [Shawn] It's hard to resist trying all of Nichols handmade candies, but we're going with penuche. The brown sugar will make a great base for the cocktail. Next stop, we're heading to the beach. Atlantic Salt Works is reviving the once prominent tradition of salt making on the north atlantic coast. Their salt is special due to the all natural process involved in extracting it directly from the seawater they collect off the shores of eastern Massachusetts. We're meeting up with Heather and Rob to learn more about their process. So, what are we going to be doing today? Are we literally just going to be collecting... - We are literally walking into the water with five gallon buckets and getting seawater. Keep the buckets on the top, don't scoop down. Let the water just flow. Oh, I'm wet! I'm wet! - [Lou] Yeah, same. All right, I'm not going to be afraid of the ocean. I don't think people appreciate the lengths it takes to make a good cocktail. And there you have it. - [Rob] Yep, that's it. Put the lids on. - So, all this is going to make how much salt? - [Heather] So, you're gonna get three or four ounces of salt out of a gallon of water. These are five gallon buckets, so about a pound of salt. Here's where the magic happens. - [Heather] Welcome! - [Shawn] I'm excited. - [Lou] We've reached headquarters. - Yes! All right, so now that we have our water. - [Shawn] Yes. - We need to turn that seawater into salt. - [Shawn] It makes sense. - Seawater starts between three and four percent salt. We need to get it up above almost 30%, turns into a brine. So we need to get it into that big tank right there. - That is a big tank. I saw the turbines outside. Are you guys eco friendly here? - We are as eco friendly as possible, so it's nice to know that there's actually wind energy about 100 yards away. - Nice. - Paying respect to Mother Nature actually gives you your product. - [Heather] Exactly right. - [Lou] How much liquid can this guy hold? - [Heather] Over 500 gallons in there. - That's a lot. And what is this essentially doing? Is it like a centrifuge, where it's like.. - It's vacuum boiling it. - [Shawn] Okay - Yep - [Shawn] So raising the temperature and drawing out all the air. - [Heather] Yep, yep. To do it quicker and more efficiently. - [Shawn] Gotcha. - [Heather] And let's have Rob hook up the hoses so we can see what happens in the next room. You'll see on the top of the water some baby crystals forming. - And at this point, this is actually considered a brine with consistency? - [Heather] This is considered a brine. It's very, very salty. I dare ya. - Okay. - Ooh! Ooh! - Oh yeah, that's a lot of salt. - [Heather] That's a lot of salt. - Ooh! - [Heather] Harvesting is pretty high tech, it's a strainer. Scoopin' a big scoop here, pullin' it up, lettin' the water drain out. And we have a couple different kinds of salt in here. You can see that there's some very fine grains and down at the bottom you can see some bigger ones. So, what we wanna do is separate those. - [Shawn] Okay. - [Heather] We're gonna wash it and the baby stuff is gonna fall out and you're gonna see the difference in the salt immediately. Then, you're just gonna let it dry. So, you just harvested salt! - There it is! Check that off the bucket list. - There you go! Let's check out some dry salts, the final product. - [Shawn] Look at that. That's amazing! - Take a taste, what do you think? - Yeah, let's do it. - [Heather] The difference between table salt and sea salt is gonna be taste. Any commercially made salt is gonna have chemicals in it and it's gonna really mask the salt flavor. When you taste it against an all natural product with nothing added it's an incredible difference. - That's delicious. - Like a nice crunch in there, too. - Yeah. - I love the texture of it. This stuff is a must. We gotta put it in there. - All right, great. - Can't wait to see what you do with it. Let me jar some up for ya. - Great, thank you so much. It's hard to get more local than salt pulled directly from the ocean and fresh penuche fudge made on site. Now it's time to see what Lou can do with these ingredients. Back at the bar, Lou and I head down to the kitchen to melt the penuche fudge. - It's essentially just like sugar and milk so it will go into a nice little thick syrup here. - [Shawn] We'll make one syrup for the cocktail, and another version for the topping. - So we're gonna heat this up, make it into a syrup, and what I was gonna do, combine it with a little bit of sea salt that we got from the Atlantic Salt Company. Make like a nice sweet-savory combination. I also think that we can reduce this here, put it in with a little heavy cream and make a nice whipped cream to go on top of it, too. And see, it's already changing color nicely there. You don't really have to fuss with it too much. All you have to do is just make sure it doesn't burn. I think we got our syrup right here, my friend. So now we just let that cool. - Okay. - And that's gonna go straight into our cocktail there. - Awesome! - All right, we got our penuche syrup here. So we got it nice and still hot in the pan. We'll make a little whipped cream with this. - [Shawn] Okay. - Garnish go on top. Pretty easy. Throw that stuff in there. And we're gonna do a little bit of heavy cream. We'll do six ounces here. So that's an old bartender's trick I learned, it's the Hawthorne strainer we got here. - [Shawn] Yeah. - Take off the spring, throw that in there, it agitates it quicker, makes it a little bit of a quicker process. - Look at that. - Once you stop hearing that Hawthorne shaker ring around in there, that's a good sign that it's just about ready. - [Shawn] Looks good, looks finished? - What do you think? Looks good? - Yeah, looks good, smells good. - We're gonna start our base spirit, an ounce and a half of Grey Goose. Do ounce and quarter Irish Cream. Gonna do 3/4 an ounce of our penuche and sea salt syrup. And freshly brewed espresso, add a nice little bit of bitterness in there. Balanced. We're gonna put a little bit of ice. So, we're gonna do our classic Oak Room setup here: bucket of ice on the side, got these nice little carafes here, we pour directly here into the carafe, and it goes into the cocktail glass here. Might need a spare on the side, my friend. - [Shawn] Would you look at that? - [Lou] Now we gotta top with some whipped cream. Little dollop on there. - [Shawn] I'm gonna have to double up on the crunches today, man, all these sweets we been having. - And, for the finish, just a couple of those nice, big flakes right on top of the whipped cream. - Cheers, my friend! Thank you much. - [Lou] Sure, enjoy! - [Shawn] Decadent. - Yeah. - My God. All right, so, I get the bitterness from the espresso. The whipped cream is actually a really nice touch. It helps kind of elongate the flavors. - And just a little bit of balance from that salt, just rounds out the flavor. And a little bit of savory. - Yeah it accentuates it. That's delicious. - [Lou] New England, my friend. - That's definitely New England. - There we go. - All right, so, what do you say we name this cocktail? - Okay. - [Shawn] We got some sea salt, the penuche, so it's sweet. - [Lou] Yeah. - [Shawn] The city of Gloucester. Any ideas? - Cape Ann, that's all part of Cape Ann. - Okay. - I don't know. Maybe, do you think you've had your first Cape Ann here? - [Shawn] I think I have. Cape Ann. - You're a South Shore guy, I took you to the North Shore across enemy lines up there. - It's okay. - You were safe, you survived the whole time. - Yeah. - You got a good drink out of it, too. - It's a great drink and I think I got a little extra here. Just pour that. - Here we go. - [Shawn] This is delicious. - Thanks man, I appreciate it. Shawn, great times, my friend. - Cheers man! Thank you for this. - Don't be a stranger.