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Shawn is in Miami visiting one of the country's best bartenders at The Drunken Dragon, and grabbing a unique ingredient from Little Havana.

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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. In this episode, we're using the flavor of Little Havana to turn up the heat in Miami. I'm in Miami, the multicultural hub of the south east, known for its beautiful beaches and more recently, craft cocktail bars. Today I'm headed to Drunken Dragon to meet up with Gee Jeroski, where his polynesian drinks are spicing up the neighbourhood. Let's talk about Drunken Dragon. - We do tiki-style cocktails, kinda go back to that original tiki concept of asian flavors and exciting drinks. Cool contrasts of flavors again, with like spices and fresh fruit and rums and tequilas now we're trying to do. With this cocktail revival that we've had, it's all about sort of classic style and kinda muted flavors and tiki kinda comes in to be a little more fun. - I would love to try one of your tikis. - Maybe I'll make you one called the Voodoo Lady? - Okay. - It's a really cool tequila drink with a lot of unexpected flavor combinations I think. There's some homemade ingredients with some kind of classic ingredients as well. - Do your thing, man. I'm excited. - [Gee] Perfect So for this one, we're gonna do 3/4 of an ounce of lime juice, always fresh lime. 3/4 an ounce of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. 1/4 ounce of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram. - I love that stuff. - It's really awesome, it's an intense flavor-- - [Shawn] It is. - [Gee] But it's really cool. - [Shawn] A little goes a long way, but it certainly has a lot of like, nutmeg and cinnamon. - [Gee] Yeah. I'm going to put in 3/4 an ounce of house-made cinnamon syrup. - And you make that just like a simple syrup but cinnamon sticks? Or... - With fresh cinnamon, this one has a little black pepper as well just to give it another level of complexity. - [Shawn] Yeah of course. - Absolutely. - And then we're gonna do two ounces of tequila, blanco. - [Shawn] 'kay. - And then the final touch is a couple drops of this ylang ylang extract. So ylang ylang is like a really fragrant flower that they put in everything from Chanel number 5 to various fragrances. And then we'll give it a nice hard shake. Strain into a tiki mug. And top it off with lots of crushed ice and just a little fresh mint and grapefruit again about aromatics. - Thank you. - You're welcome. - The Voodoo Lady. - Yeah, cheers. - Cheers, thank you very much. That's really nice. Good choice on the blanco tequila. If feel like if you used an aged it would've been too much of those barrel spices, and it really works well with the grapefruit, and I imagine the Voodoo Ladies because it has that slightly feminine fragrant to it, from those flowers. Really great drink. - [Gee] Awesome, awesome. Good. You know, it's a twist on sort of like a sour, if you will, or whatever, - [Shawn] Yeah, of course. - [Gee] But you just kinda change up some of the ingredients. I always think of classics as templates. You can sub out any of those things if you're thinking about ratios that work. - It's my first time in Miami, and when I go to a city I try to find an ingredient that really captures what the city's all about, and I have no idea where to find that local ingredient that I'm looking for. - I mean, probably just at the root, at the heart, the most quintessential Miami spot would be Calle Ocho, Little Havana. You should definitely make it out there and get some cool ingredients there that you won't find anywhere else. - [Shawn] Walking down Calle Ocho in Little Havana, I found Angel Hernandez behind the juice ca-na-ra, Los Pinarenos. His family has owned this place for over 40 years. Locals walk here for the fresh fruit and I'm excited to try their famous guarapo. I have been walking around this beautiful neighbourhood looking for fresh ingredients. - Oh yeah? Well you came to the right place, man. We've been here for 48 years, we're the last assisting farmer's market, and everything we do here is fresh and very, very good. - That's awesome. - And we have the best juices in the United States of America. - I would love to try one. - Alright cool, it's called the Miami Explosion. - Alright, the Miami Explosion, yeah. - [Angel] Cool? - Sounds great. - I'm gonna grind some of sugarcane. This is what I use as my sweetener. - [Shawn] Fresh sugarcane juice? - Fresh juice. - And you get the sugarcane from around here? - Yeah, from the same grower for the last 40 years. - Wow. - There you go. - Thank you so much. - You're welcome. - Thank you. So what have we got in here? - We got a little pineapple, we got watermelon, we got mint, and fresh squeezed sugarcane juice. - Wow. - Should be very refreshing. - That is just what the doctor ordered. - [Shawn] Wow. - There you go. - You grow sugarcane on site as well? - Yeah. - [Shawn] That's awesome. - I have a couple stalks. - Does it grow like bamboo? - Yeah, like a bamboo. - guarapo? - [Angel] guarapo. - [Shawn] guarapo. That's the sugarcane juice? - Yeah, there is the machine, special machine. - And you said this stand has been here for-- - It's been originally 102 years, but we've owned it for 48. - 48? Family owned? - Family owned. - One of the things I'm looking is to find an ingredient that captures that personality that Little Havana has, and Miami has. - Well that would be, that would be the sugarcane. - You think so? - [Angel] Oh for sure. - Wow look at the froth on that. - [Angel] Yeah. That's when you know it's fresh. - It has that slight vegetal taste, like you can taste the plant, you can taste the ground that it came from, you know? - Oh yeah, yeah. - It's not too sweet. Really, really nice. Wow. That's delicious. Well if I could take some of that delicious guarapo? One or two cups full would be amazing. - You have to remember, it starts fermenting, so you have to use this very quickly. - Well I'm going to take this, I'm going to run back to the bar, and I'm excited to see what he can do with it. Thanks very much, it was a pleasure meeting you. - Likewise, sir. Come back again. - I will be back again, this place it amazing. - Alright, cool. - Alright, see ya Angel. - Alright, bye bye. - [Shawn] Guarapo is such a unique ingredient. I've never seen it anywhere else in the US. Gee was right about Little Havana. It's definitely a unique place. I can't wait to try this juice in a cocktail. Time is of the essence. I can already tell actually, this stuff that I brought you is already starting to change color. When I first got it, it was a little bit more green, and so apparently the sugars are already fermenting. What I love about it, it's not really, really sweet like a lot of refined sugar can be. You can almost taste the plant that it came from. - Yeah. - What do you think you can do with this fresh sugarcane? - Nice, it has really nice mouth-feel to it, almost like a little, tiny touch of coconut, and the sweet, it's really, really cool. You could go a lot of ways with it. Maybe like a daiquiri. - I'm in your hands. - Let's do it. I think cucumber would go with this. We cut a few slices of that to muddle in. - [Shawn] Okay. - [Gee] Four cuces seems about right, ya know. - [Shawn] Sure. - [Gee] And then break that up and give it some of that flavor. I don't know, maybe about... We'll do about an ounce and a half of that cane juice. About a half ounce of lime juice. And then we just got this grey goose le melon. - Oh yeah, sure. - Really, really good stuff. I think that could go really well. I think that could be a really fun thing to pair with all these flavors we've got going on. Strain it into a chilled coup. And garnish with a slice of cucumber. - Awesome man, thank you very much. Cheers. - [Gee] Cheers. Wow. If you were going for a really light, fresh, summer cocktail. The melon is so subtle, I get it more on the nose than anything else. It's really refreshing. Before I finish this you gotta try it. - [Gee] Oh, awesome. - Yeah your proportions were just right on there. I mean that is so crisp and fresh. - Yeah, but you're right about the melon on the nose. - [Shawn] Do you know what I mean? - Yeah, cucumber and melon from the grey goose. - [Shawn] Yeah, the fresh sugarcane pairs really well with the grey goose. Solid work. - [Gee] Awesome. - Really solid work. - [Gee] Awesome. - Now before I leave you, you have to name this creation. So, what do you think, I mean, we got sugar cane from Little Havana, trying to capture the essence of Miami. It's tropical. - I think it's gotta be, El Wapo. - El Wapo. - There's Guarapo in it, and El Wapo's like the good looking kinda proud guy, so yeah. - El Wapo. - [Gee] El Wapo. - [Shawn] Well I feel like El Wapo while drinking this. I'm gonna do pinky out. Cheers to you man. - [Gee] Cheers. - Thank you very much, this is a great cocktail. Great work man. Thank you so much for you having us here. - Yeah, dude. Great meeting you. - Yeah, take it easy.

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