- 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 an amazing mixologist and challenge them to create innovative cocktails using unique local ingredients. In this episode, we're putting spice on ice. I'm in Houston, an international city with a young population that demands great cocktails. At the award winning triniti restaurant, the Ladies of Libation are designing some incredible drinks. I'm gonna head there and meet Leslie Ross, half of this dynamic duo, to see what they're up to. Talk to me about your bar program here at triniti.
- Lori and I, we are Ladies of Libation, and this is our home base. We follow classic rules but then we also take our own artistic license sometimes and we'll take a variation on a classic.
- Well, I'd love to try an example of what you're talking about.
- Absolutely. Well, I'm going to make you the Kipling Cup, which is our version of a Pimm's Cup.
- [Bartender] It's gonna be one and a half ounces of Bombay Sapphire. One ounce of the Pimm's chutney.
- [Shawn] Okay.
- And this was made with Pimm's Number One and then we added all the traditional elements of a Pimm's Cup condensed down into one ingredient. The last thing we're gonna add into this shaker is going to be the darjeeling and Earl Grey Dolin dry vermouth. We did a cold infusion overnight in the fridge. So we did 24 hours with the teabags just steeping.
- And the last element is our house-made ginger beer that we typically do. And we swapped out the water with IPA so it's gonna add a rich, malty character to the cocktail itself. But wait, there's more. So to tie in all the elements in the glass, we actually made candied hop cones.
- [Shawn] Amazing.
- [Bartender] We're going to perfume the glass. What many people don't know is the traditional garnish before there was cucumber was actually borage flower. This flower tastes like cucumber.
- Wow, I almost don't wanna drink it.
- Oh, but you should. There you go.
- [Shawn] Thank you so much, that's impressive, cheers.
- Here's to your craftsmanship. Wow, the aromatics are so distinct. With a traditional Pimms you get all those muddled ingredients, all that fruit in there looks like a big fruit salad in your drink. You get all the complexity of those flavors, and you managed to do that by making that cordial you talked about. This drink is phenomenal, really, really well done.
- Thank you, thank you very much.
- So I learned that there's actually another dynamic duo of sorts here in Houston. They make hot sauce so I'm gonna head there and find you an ingredient.
- All right, bring me something awesome.
- All right, I'll see you soon. When Houston natives Jeremiah Tallerine and James Nelson started Bravado Spice their go-to spot for the best local ingredients was Canino Produce. In the beginning they made each bottle of hot sauce by hand, with ingredients they purchased here. I'm meeting up with them for a trip down memory lane.
- When we first got started out this is pretty much where we were at every weekend picking up all the goods.
- [Shawn] Well what are we looking for today specifically?
- Pineapple, habanero, yellow bell pepper, and garlic. Habaneros have a bright citrusy flavor that works really good with tropical flavors and the yellow bell pepper helps protect the color, it helps balance out the sweetness of everything, and luckily we always find some pretty good ones here.
- Alright, next, let's get some pineapple. What's the way to find a good one here?
- The easiest way is if you see the pineapple straight up like this and you grab a center leaf, if you can pull it straight out like that it's fresh. All right, this one is gonna be a good one. Gotta have the one last ingredient, our favorite it's almost in every one of our sauces. We just need like two heads or so. Let's pay for these guys. Thank you, ma'am.
- You're welcome.
- These days Bravado Spice hot sauces are made in a commercial kitchen but when James and Jeremiah first started they made everything at home and that's exactly where we're going to make it today. So before we get started on actually making the sauce, tell me a little bit about how this all began.
- A little under two years ago, me and him were hanging out making ribs, grilling down by the pool and we decided we were gonna go get some hot sauce from the store. We're looking around at one of the bigger chain stores near my house and we're trying to find things, and everything was kinda the same thing over, and over, and over again. High vinegar, high salt, who knows where anything came from. So we kinda decided we're like let's make our own hot sauce
- So we did what we always do and pretended we knew everything about it.
- Next thing we know we're in 100 stores.
- Where did you guys come up with the name Bravado Spice?
- I threw out the name Bravado because it's Latin for brave and dumb, which is what we both are for starting a company in an industry we have no idea how it worked.
- And you guys still source locally as much as you can?
- Yeah, everything comes from two companies here in Houston.
- Awesome, and this is sort of like your guys' signature.
- Back when we just formed our company the first idea we had was the pineapple habanero combination. And you're gonna help us make it. Two full cups of the chopped pineapple, put in one of those yellow bell pepper slivers, all three of those habaneros, four of those garlic cloves, throw in two heavy pinches of that salt right there. Here's some vinegar for ya. Go ahead and fill this guy three quarters of the way up.
- [Shawn] And what kind of vinegar is that?
- Plain, distilled vinegar. So now we're gonna do a little blend action here. And then slowly turn this guy all the way up.
- [Shawn] Voila.
- [Shawn] That's it?
- That's it.
- Get in there and give it a taste.
- That's some good hot sauce.
- Really good hot sauce. The habaneros aren't overpowering.
- No, we try to keep it balanced between sweet, spicy, and a little savory and just overall balanced.
- Yup, that dude right there.
- And that's this right here?
- Yep, that's it.
- Pineapple and habanero hot sauce.
- That's exactly what it is.
- It's what it is.
- I would love to take a bottle of this and bring it to a bar and see what a bartender can do with this. Because I think they're gonna have a lot of fun with this.
- I believe you.
- 100% make it happen.
- And thanks for showing me this stuff is great. I wish you guys all the best in the future and your guys' company. Jeremiah and James are really doing it right, their hot sauce is so fresh and unique it's easy to see why Bravado Spice is making its mark on Texas.
- This actually is a little more savory than I think maybe I expected.
- So, in that case, I'm going to use it as sort of a shrub component, I think.
- Okay, yeah.
- I think that would be a good way to utilize this, cause you're still going to get the heat and then that bright vinegar and salt is gonna help all these other flavors. I think we should go tiki with this. And tropical and spicy work really well, and I think that the Grey Goose Citron would work really well in this. We're gonna lighten it up a bit and instead of doing a traditional rum cocktail, I feel that all these other elements are bold enough to allow for a lighter spirit. Let's get started.
- Gonna start with your botanicals there?
- Yeah, let's take some of this sage, it's really fresh.
- [Shawn] Smells it.
- [Bartender] And I'm gonna actually use a couple of bar spoons of this. Two bar spoons is probably a good place to start. Next we're gonna add a quarter of an ounce lime juice. Now we're gonna do the Don's Spice mix, a syrup basically that's made of allspice, cinnamon, and grapefruit. And ours is homemade and ours is pretty thick so I think maybe half an ounce is good. Bittermen's Amere Sauvage.
- [Shawn] Amere Sauvage, it's like a citrus cordial.
- [Bartender] You can use it in place of Triple Sec, it does have some spice components too, but it also has a nice balance of bitterness along with the sweet. Then, I think, to play up the pineapple and the habanero this is our grilled pineapple juice. That's made by macerating pineapple and brown sugar. Let's do two ounces of the Grey Goose. Some crushed ice we can swizzle. And this is going to mix everything as well as put a lovely frost on the outside.
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