Upgrade to Tastemade Plus to enjoy this video

Try it free!

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Coming right up

In this episode, Shawn is in New York City checking out a bar where every cocktail tells a story, and getting a lesson in pickle making from the heart of Brooklyn.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Coming right up

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Coming right up

Facebook Comments

Transcript

- I'm Shawn Thomas. And this is Local Flight. A show where I travel to some of the best bars in the country to meet amazing mixologists. And challenge them to create innovative cocktails using unique local ingredients. In this episode, we're bringing the pickle back in a big way. I'm in New York City. The place where the revival of craft cocktails and classic bar culture all began. My first stop is a place called Distilled. Where each and every one of Benjamin Wood's cocktails tells a story of its own. Benjamin Wood. - Yes. - I'm Shawn Thomas. - Shawn, it's a pleasure to meet you. - [Shawn] Pleasure to be here sir. - Welcome. - Well, let's get right into it. Let's play the name game. Why are you guys called Distilled? - Well Distilled obviously conjures up kind of thoughts of beverage. Secondly, we like to toy with a lot of the definitions. Things like refinement. A separating of, or a creation of something new from kind of a raw substance to a finer substance. - That's awesome. I would love to try one of these said cocktails. - It would be my pleasure Shawn. - Alright. - Today we're gonna try a cocktail that we call the Smuggling Rum. No all of the cocktails on the menu, tell the story of distillation right? So, in a way this is a refinement of the classic Old Fashioned. - Amazing. - [Benjamin] We have some lavender syrup that we source from Harney & Sons over in SoHo. - Do you source locally when you can? - [Benjamin] As much as possible. - [Shawn] Does this classic Angostura bitters? - Angostura bitters. This is aged rum that we're using. Which we've actually put bananas in. We soak'em for 24 to 48 hours then we pull'em out. Tasting it throughout the process. To where we feel it's appropriate. - I imagine the natural sugars in the banana mellow out the rum. - Completely mellow out the rum. So I basically just add ice and stir in the style of an Old Fashioned. The idea here of course is to balance temperature and dilution. And a little orange oil. Some lemon oil as well. Express the oils over the cocktail. Man, the story behind this. It was during prohibition, which everybody's kind of fascinated with in the United States. They literally used to took bottles of rum, they would stuff them in big bunches of bananas. And put'em on banana boats and smuggle the rum into the Untied States. The idea was to tell that story with this cocktail. - Smuggling Rum. - [Benjamin] Cheers. Salud. - [Shawn] Salud. Thank you. - You're welcome. - That's solid. That's really solid. - Thank you very much. - Well done. Very unusual combination between the lavender and the banana but it really works. - Appreciate it. - So are you doing mainly riffs off classics? - It's a good way to start I think. Whenever they've been done well already, to use that as a building block to go on to something else I really like to use. - Well, just staying in line with this idea of keeping things local, New York actually has almost a 400 year pickle history. And I came across these wonderful guys at Brooklyn Brine that are sort of reviving that history down in the heart of Brooklyn. Owner Shamus Jones discovered a love for pickling while working restaurants. And Brooklyn Brine's long list of pickles reflects his culinary talent. What started in Shamus' garage five years ago, has become a thriving operation. Shipping pickles around the globe. Shamus. - Hey, what's up Shawn. - How you doing man? - Hey. - Very excited to be here. - Excited to have you. - So tell me, how did this all start? - [Shamus] Brooklyn Brine started in 2009. In some ways to revive this really traditional New York institution. So Shamus, do you guys source locally when you can? - Absolutely, the two main ingredients that we go through, one being cucumbers. We process 11,000 pounds a week. Our apple cider vinegar is not only pure apple cider vinegar, also every apple that goes into making that comes from an upstate orchard. - That's great man. - I would love to show you around. - Let's take a peek, ya. - Cool. This is where all of our production happens. In a nutshell, we have the cucumbers being hand washed, hand cut, hand sorted over here. We have the raw product being stuffed into a jar that has the spice blend, combination of herbs and peppers. We have the brine being poured in. This is the next step. Over the raw produce. And then from there, they'll get capped. And then processed through the boiling water bath. - Well you guys are definitely keeping that, like, local handmade culture alive. Which I think is incredible. - There's no machine. Or no outsourcing that would a better job than what we can do here. - Agreed. Well, let's head back to the storefront and try some of these pickles. - [Benjamin] Cool. - I feel like I understand the process so much better now. What's first? - I think we should start with our distilled spirit-infused Whiskey Sour Pickle. - Here it goes. Dude that's a really good pickle. - [Benjamin] Up next, I think are Fennel Beets. It has fennel seed and fresh tarragon. - Man, that's delicious. - What I thought, what would work best in a cocktail, was something that might be a little more traditional for people to see in a distilled spirit-infused cocktail. So this is our Moroccan Bean. - Moroccan Bean. - [Benjamin] With the addition of preserved lemons, cumin, coriander, caraway, smoked paprika. That I think would deconstruct nicely into a cocktail. - Well, you get the citrus up front, and then all those spices that you were talking about right through the middle. But it falls away nicely. It doesn't just linger on the palate. So I think the bartender will have a lot to work with as far as the flavor profile goes. If you can spare a jar, I'd be happy to take'em back and see what they can do with them. Awesome. Well, thank you very much. - Great having you here. - You guys are doing a really cool things here. - Thank you. Ya. - Every single one of these pickles was unique, and different, and delicious. - Cheers. - Really nice meeting you Shamus. - Alright, likewise. - Take it easy. - Have a good one. - You too. Brooklyn Brine is upholding this area's long tradition of pickling. And these Moroccan Beans are such a fun ingredient. There are so many flavor notes for Benjamin to play with. I can't wait to try these in a cocktail. I now leave the beans in your hands sir. - I mean, I'm familiar with these guys. I know they do good work. I'm just gonna kind of replicate the ingredients they have here listen on the label, in terms of the Moroccan spice. - Okay. - [Benjamin] I kind of think it'd be fun to do a good salt. - [Shawn] Ah yes. - [Benjamin] A little mortar and pestle. - That's awesome. You guys work with spices behind the bar? - Quite a bit, ya. Just going right off the label, we have some sugar. A little bit of Maldon Sea Salt. - What's next? - Alright, we got some mustard seed. Coriander. Cumin. Black pepper. Caraway. Some red pepper for some heat. A little paprika. And then the last thing, I think tamarind would work well with it. And tamarind's a little sour, so it might help us out a bit. - Awesome. - [Benjamin] Let's just give it a little grind here. - [Shawn] Do your thing. - Crush up the seeds. Make ourselves a salt. - [Shawn] Uh huh. That is quite the aromatic salt that you've created. - Because it's summer, I kind of think refreshing. But obviously, we have some salinity here. So obviously we need some acid in my mind. We're gonna use fresh-squeezed lemon juice here. I'm also gonna throw in some fresh-pressed cucumber juice. - [Shawn] Mellow it out a bit. - A little simple simple syrup to sweeten it up. And this brine. - It's an apple cider vinegar. Which shouldn't over power. But a little probably will go a long way. - It's got some acidity too. So we're just gonna put a dash in there. A little quarter of an ounce. - A quarter ounce? - I also happen to have this spirit back here called Kümmel, which is cumin, and caraway, and fennel. In terms of flavor. So, I think that's gonna work well as well. Well lastly, we need our booze right? - Yes. - Some of our Grey Goose Vodka here. - Sure, the original. A great way to add a spirit without taking away from all those subtle spices. - [Benjamin] Absolutely. - [Shawn] Alright, so there's our completed cocktail. - And I think we should rim our glass here. - [Shawn] Some of that wonderful salt that you made. - Well, they're a pretty good contrast too. - Ya. - Give it a good shake. - Awesome. Great color on that guy. - [Benjamin] Ya, I think the contrast works pretty well, right? - [Shawn] Ya. - [Benjamin] Let's throw some our Brooklyn Brine Moroccan green beans on top maybe. - That looks phenomenal. Alright. - Cheers, salud. - [Shawn] Thank you very much. - You're welcome. - This is certainly creative. And I bet you it's gonna be amazing. Mm. Wow. Okay, where do I start? The cucumber in the brine. They really do this beautiful thing where the cucumber gives it this viscosity. You definitely get the Moroccan spice. The Grey Goose actually compliments the lemon quite nicely. Really, really well done. Well, thank you. - [Shawn] Alright, so the last thing that we have to do is name this delicious cocktail. Your thoughts sir? - Well, I happen to know, back in the day, pickled green beans used to be called dilly beans. And also we use a dram of kumel. In terms of unit of measurement of volume. Maybe we call it the Dram Dilly. - I love it. Rolls off the tongue. - Absolutely. - Let me just tell you. Your Dram Dilly is the dilly-o. So props to this cocktail. Props to you. Benjamin, thank you so much for your time. - My pleasure. - You guys are doing some really great things here. Keeping the people at Tribeca very well quenched. So, cheers to you and your bar. Thanks for having me. - Thank you. You know you're always welcome. Come back anytime. - [Shawn] I appreciate that. - [Benjamin] Cheers. - See ya next time. - [Benjamin] So long.

Tastemade App

Get The Tastemade App!

Watch new episodes and full seasons of the best shows, recipes, and classes on all your devices.