José Andrés opened his latest cocktail bar, barmini, in D.C.’s Penn Quarter on Feb. 15. Barmini’s philosophy is to create inventive drinks while paying tribute to classic cocktails and ingredients.
"We want to honor and celebrate cocktail classics," says Andrés, in a recent release, "while still pushing the boundaries of what we think is possible."
Barmini will serve a seasonally rotating cocktail list, which includes 100 cocktails that range in price from $14 to $20. The staff at barmini will use contemporary approaches to craft libations, including "airs," which capture aromas and flavors in their bubbles and provide patrons with a burst of flavor when they sip cocktails; emulsifiers, such as whey, that add texture and bring a new dimension to the cocktail; barrel aging; and carbonation.
In addition they will also use espumas (foams like whipped cream), as well as extractions and infusions to be applied to modern and vintage classic libations, including the Rusty Nail, Mai Tai, whiskey sour, and margarita.
Barmini's classic cocktails include the rum swizzle drink that utilizes an authentic swizzle stick from Eastern Europe, a technique for aerating and cooling drinks made popular in the 1700s at a rum plantation in the Caribbean. The Knickerbocker, a cocktail conceived at the Waldorf-Astoria back in the 1930s with rum, lemon or lime juice, raspberry syrup, and curacao, will make an appearance, as will the Jersey Lightning with apple-jack, peach brandy, egg, lime, sugar, and a squirt of seltzer.
Hot cocktails, shandys, and non-alcoholic options will also be available, and all ice will be cut the old-fashioned way — with a handsaw, of course.
Reservations for the 23-seat space at barmini are required and can be booked here.
Teresa Tobat is the Washington, D.C. Travel City Editor for The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @ttobat88. View her website at teresaktobat.com.
Restaurants Open Up a Whole New Can of Seafood
Tinned seafood display at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich.
At Bar Vivant, “a proper tapas bar” in Portland, Ore., a $10 appetizer of scallops in tomato sauce is ready in 30 seconds flat.
A server opens a can behind the bar, places it on a plate and then presents it to the diner, displaying the hand-packed arrangement of delicate mollusks inside. Diners spear them with a fork or a toothpick.
Restaurant owner Cheryl Wakerhauser says she added the dish, known in Spanish as conservas, for the simplicity. “We wanted quality bar food that didn’t need a whole lot of preparation,” she said.
Adventurous diners on the prowl for the next trendy appetizer have discovered conservas, imported seafood like clams, anchovies, oysters, mussels and octopus that are preserved in brine, oil or a tomato-based sauce and often served straight from a vintage-style tin.
Review: Latest Next menu is a heartfelt salute to chef José Andrés
José Andrés is an award-winning chef and restaurateur whose disaster-relief efforts have earned him the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award and a nomination for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize (the announcement will be made Oct. 11).
A fine target for a culinary homage, in other words, inasmuch as previous Next menus have honored the early-1900s work of Auguste Escoffier, Ferran Adria’s late El Bulli restaurant and Marcus Gavius Apicius’ recipes from ancient Rome. The challenge in saluting Andrés, however, is that all his restaurants are ongoing concerns capturing a single moment in Andrés’ career arc would be difficult, and likely capricious.
Instead, chefs Grant Achatz and Edgar Tinoco chose the theme “The Best of José Andrés,” a menu that traces the chef’s career from his northern-Spain origins to his present-day restaurant empire in the United States. The menu is a pastiche of the chef’s most notable creations, an edible travelogue with stops in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami Beach and even Disney World.
First up: Jaleo, for an array of tapas including the fanciful José’s taco (a thin strip of jamon Iberico topped with golden osetra caviar), pan con tomate with still more jamon Iberico, and crispy bread topped with sea urchin and lardo. There are chicken and bechamel croquetas, served in a clear plastic sneaker (there’s an Andres childhood-memory backstory to that dish), and, in a slight detour to minibar restaurant, triangles of “pizza” with a Parmesan and edible-paper crust topped by matsutake mushrooms, black truffle and burrata. The pizza slices arrive on a melamine plate that looks like a paper plate, with a dusting of chile flakes to complete the visual joke.
Jose Andrés & Adrià Brothers’ Spanish Market: Here's What You Can Eat
The Spaniards are coming to New York. Mercado Little Spain will be opening next week, March 15th, in New York’s Hudson Yards and it’s set to be ‘the’ destination for the best Spanish food in the city, quite possibly the entire US. We don’t expect any less of course, considering it’s a project lead by three phenomenal figures in the world of gastronomy, who happen to be Spanish - José Andrés, Albert Adrià and Ferran Adrià.
With a format that feels very much like the famous food markets in Spain such as Barcelona’s La Boqueria, Mercado Little Spain is expected to be an all-day dining and shopping destination with two bars, 15 food stations, three full service restaurants and retail stores.
Expect the foods that form the basis of Spain’s diverse food culture: fresh produce and excellent seafood as well as specialties such as 2-4 year cured Jamon Iberico from acorn-fed black pigs, artisanal Spanish cheeses from a producer in chef Andrés’ hometown, rich, buttery, briny anchovies, artisanal Spanish breads, coffee, sherry and all the popular tapas to make you feel at a bar in Barcelona as you wash it down with some sangria.
It didn’t take much for Andrés, known as the forerunner of Spanish cuisine in America, to convince the Adrià brothers, of El Bulli fame, to be on board the project. The three friends wanted to bring the best of Spain to the US for years now, and Mercado Little Spain is the first NY project for chef Andres, whilst being the first ever venture in the US for the Adrià brothers.
On deciding on the market format, Albert Adrià said on social media: “The mercado is a meeting point. The mercado is a culture point. Cuisine is culture and we are going to #NewYork, well, to show our culture. And what better way than through gastronomy, which is a beautiful way to learn about culture?”
José Andrés’ Barmini Announces Holiday Cocktail Classes
Famed chef José Andrés, known for his work with molecular gastronomy, has unveiled a new series of cocktail classes at his Washington, DC cocktail lab, barmini by José Andrés, for November 4, 5 and 6.
Led by Juan Coronodo, cocktail innovator and Eater‘s National Bartender of the Year, will lead a special holiday edition of the classes, teaching the best way to make drinks that will be the talk of the town at your holiday party.
Only 20 seats are available at $95 a pop, a steal, considering drinks like the Clover Club, below, featuring gin, lemon juice, egg, raspberries, and grenadine, run around $20 each, and each drink is paired with snacks to match.
Drink Spirits Walks into a Bar: Barmini by Jose Andres in DC
Barmini by Jose Andres
Having spent the past dozen years drinking for a living, I’m not easily floored by experimental cocktails. I like strong, simple, and stirred drinks. A visit to the newly opened Jose Andres concept Barmini in Washington D.C., managed by my former colleague and friend Juan Coronado, not only woke up my palate, but challenged me to look at the art of the drink completely differently.
Barmini is not to be confused with the similarly named Minibar, its big sister bar, which sits adjacent. Both Barmini and Minibar are reservation only, have punctual seating times, and must be booked months in advance. It might seem pretentious to have to book seats for a drink months in advance, but the experience at Barmini is anything but pretentious and well worth the wait.
Barmini is a utilitarian space, designed for function like a chef’s kitchen. Everything is within reach and purposeful. The back wall is one large shelf containing rare cocktail tomes, vintage cookery items, and Coronado’s painstakingly curated glassware collection. There’s no great bar divide between the customers and Juan’s mixology staff – the layout is free form and open. Juan Coronado explains the open concept, which “allow us to connect with the guests, have them walk around to see what we are doing.”
Barmini’s Cactus Couch
Sleek and brightly lit, with funky patterned sofas (including one that appears to be covered in cacti), Barmini has less than a dozen bar stools. It feels like a cross between a Soho artist’s loft and experimental MIT science lab. A Heidolph rotary vacuum machine sits next to a bubble gum pink cotton candy maker, and big glass jars full of utensils line the countertops. Coronado is excited to show me what looks like a waffle maker, but turns out to be a contraption that instantly makes dry ice.
It’s easy to see molecular mixology as something that’s fussy and overdone, but Coronado makes it into something much more interesting and relevant. Coronado is meticulous, but he also has a contagious zeal for cocktails that is pretty darn fun.
Old Fashioned with Mezcal Cotton Candy
Case in point: the cotton candy machine churns out a smoky mezcal flavored version made from agave. When he sets a rocks glass down overflowing with fluff and announces he’s making a version of an Old Fashioned, I’ll admit I was skeptical. But as he pours a potent mixture of rye and bitters slowly over the cotton candy, it dissolves, functioning like simple syrup. Everything works as it should: a balance of spirit, sugar, and bitter.
I’ve had spirits thrown in centrifuges, lit on fire, and turned in to carbonated cocktails, but most of those are done in places for sheer novelty. Barmini was conceived out of Chef Andres’ culture of creative crazy, Coronado’s encyclopedic knowledge and bar skills, and a desire to change the way we think about drink.
Lost in Translation
I’m reminded of Iron Chef, where sometimes strange (and other times ordinary) items are transformed with astonishing results. Coronado whips out a bottle of soy sauce and some mirin and begins setting up to make a cocktail inspired by Chinese takeout. The addition of Bacardi rum, cream, and simple syrup may sound less than appealing, but the result is malty, savory and slightly spicy (he adds a dash of Japanese shansho pepper on top). It’s delicious.
“Lost in Translation”
By Juan Coronado, Cocktail Innovator at Think Food Group
2 oz. Bacardi rum
¼ oz soy sauce
¾ oz mirin
1/8 oz simple syrup
½ oz cream
Shake all ingredients vigorously over ice in shaker. Strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with a dash of Japanese sansho pepper.
There are over 100 cocktails on Barmini’s debut menu, organized by spirit category and developed by Coronado. Besides the classics (and riff on said classics), there are many brilliant originals. Coronado admits the program is ambitious, but that’s the point. His goal is to push the envelope on how ingredients interact in cocktails. It’s a noble experiment that Coronado is more than willing to do in front of an audience of thirsty guinea pigs, and the experience is thrilling.
Barmini is located at 855 E St. NW, Washington DC, in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. The entrance for Barmini is located on 9th Street, just north of E St. (202-393-4451). Reservations are required and can be made via the Barmini website.
José Andrés Makes Spanish Omelet on The Tonight Show
Jimmy Fallon hosts The Tonight Show, one of the most popular late night TV programs in the US, and he generally welcomes the most popular actors, models and politicians of the moment to talk about their latest projects.
In a unique twist, Fallon hosted super chef José Andrés the other day to prepare Spanish omelet live onstage and promote his latest venture in New York City, Mercado Little Spain.
During his brief appearance, Andrés mentioned and used several of Spain’s most emblematic products. He described tortilla as “the most important dish in Spanish cooking,” and used olive oil, potatoes, onions and eggs to make it alongside Fallon. Then he and the host drank from glass porrones, or pitchers, containing beer and red wine (presumably from Spain) and Catalan cava.
Once they tucked into the omelet, Andrés encouraged Fallon to savor it and to let the “ingredients speak to each other, with rhythm and with love.”
When speaking about Mercado Little Spain, Andrés rejected the description of it as a “food hall,” preferring to call it “a way of life.” It’s generally described as an “all-day destination for the very best of Spanish food, drinks and culture.”
José Andrés Brings His Flavors to Marlins Park in Miami
José Andrés and the Adriàs to Open Upscale Restaurant in Mercado Little Spain
The Espresso Martini Was Coffee Cocktails’ First Act. The Second Is Finally Here.
In the 1980s London-based bartender Dick Bradsell invented what has since become one of of the world’s most popular cocktails: the Vodka Espresso. A rich, creamy combination of vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur, this jolting concoction was the drink of choice of exhausted party animals well before Red Bull landed on every bar shelf across the globe. Served in a V-shaped cocktail glass, the drink became known as an Espresso Martini.
Global cocktail culture has changed dramatically since this drink’s inception three decades ago, but the Espresso Martini has remained largely unchallenged. It was generally the only coffee-based cocktail on bar menus — if there was one at all.
“There is a good reason why bartender and barista are two separate professions,” Franz Zauner, Le Méridien’s global master barista, says. He helps oversee the hotel brand’s portfolio-wide coffee initiatives, which includes designing coffee-house-style lounges and bars and creating locally inspired coffee cocktails for almost every property’s bar menu.
36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks
“Making a decent espresso is certainly an art and takes quite a bit of coaching and practice that I think most bars lacked,” Zauner says. “Coffee has a very distinctive powerful aroma that [requires specific] skills to incorporate in cocktails.”
These days, however, cocktail and coffee cultures are surging in tandem. As celebrated cocktail bars and NYC-style speakeasies open worldwide, so are “third-wave” coffee counters specializing in carefully sourced and served espresso and coffee drinks. Now, for some creative bartenders, coffee is almost as versatile a cocktail ingredient as tonic water.
“I think the emergence of cold brew coffee has contributed a lot to the improvement of coffee cocktails,” Miguel Lancha says. He helms “cocktail innovation” at José Andres’ Barmini in Washington, D.C. “[Cold brew] gives cocktails the bold flavors of coffee without any of the bitterness associated with traditionally brewed coffee.”
At Barmini, Lancha keeps a record of every drink that’s been crafted and served. He says that incorporating several coffee-based drinks has been instrumental in maintaining his well-balanced, 200-drink-strong archive. At any given time, the drink menu typically features a few coffee drinks instead of the token one you would find at other bars. Some of these recipes are built with specialty coffee makers: Sigmund’s Discovery in Vienna, for instance, calls for coffee that’s been prepared with a tower that brews drip by drip to maximize flavor concentration while reducing bitterness.
Lancha says the drink that best represents his program is José in the Afternoon, a bright blend of coffee, Cava, Spanish brandy, lemon, and lemon verbena. It was inspired by Chef Andres himself, who tasked Lancha to make a cocktail after he realized that drinking Cava and coffee together produces delicious results.
“There is no limit to the uses of coffee in cocktails,” Lancha says.
Back when Dick Bradsell created the Vodka Espresso, if a bartender wanted to include coffee liqueur in a cocktail recipe, he or she had limited options: Kahlua or Tia Maria. And if that bartender happened to not like or have their hands on either, the chances of making a coffee cocktail became almost nil.
The recent uptick in craft coffee liqueur production has also been vital in reinvigorating the category. Many brands are now distilling spirits with coffee, including St. George Spirit’s New Orleans-inspired coffee liqueur and Fair Cafe, from Cognac-based distillery Fair, which focuses on fair-trade practices.
But what has the bar world buzzing is the arrival of Mr. Black, an Australian liqueur first launched in 2013. According to founder Tom Baker, what sets Mr. Black apart is its coffee focus. Baker and his team roast and distill their product themselves while other brands create a variety of spirits and liqueurs, Mr. Black is exclusively dedicated to making the best coffee liqueur.
This singular dedication has proven to be a hit. It’s only just arrived in New York, and it’s already been picked up by nearly a hundred bar accounts, including such celebrated destinations as Dante, Bar Goto, and The Aviary.
“Up until recently there hasn’t been many good coffee liqueurs for bartenders and consumers to work with,” Baker says of the launch’s success.
Baker’s favorite use for his product is a Cold Fashioned, which adds 45 milliliters of Mr. Black to a traditional Old Fashioned recipe, a tweak that reinforces the ingredients’ naturally bitter flavors.
“Since the start of Mr. Black five ago year, we saw the dual rise of coffee culture and craft distilling,” Baker adds. “And it’s really culminating now with incredible coffee cocktails being offered at top venues around the world.”
Mr. Black is currently available in select Australian cities, London, and now New York.
Baker believes coffee cocktails are most likely to explode in places where there’s a third-wave coffee scene brewing. Le Méridien has over 100 hotels worldwide, though, and is implementing its coffee-obsessed strategy in as many of its locations as possible, both by design and on request. Coffee drinks could easily go the way of chartreuse, amaro, or other cocktails involving other once-obscure, specialty ingredients.
Twice named to Time&rsquos &ldquo100 Most Influential People&rdquo list and awarded &ldquoOutstanding Chef&rdquo and &ldquoHumanitarian of the Year&rdquo by the James Beard Foundation, Chef José Andrés is an internationally- recognized culinary innovator, New York Times best-selling author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup and founder of World Central Kitchen.
&ldquoA pioneer of Spanish tapas in America. &rdquo
A pioneer of Spanish tapas in America, he is known for his avant-garde cuisine and award-winning group of more than 30 restaurants, including the two Michelin-starred minibar by José Andrés.
Share All sharing options for: Dueling Beefsteaks? Marcel Vigneron to Promote His Own Vegetarian Place at Bearnaise Wednesday
Is there room for two vegetable-centric restaurants called Beefsteak in this world?
Time will tell, but sounds like at least two are in the works. José Andrés announced plans for his Beefsteak restaurant last week. And now Eater has received word of another restaurant named Beefsteak coming soon to L.A. — this time from Top Chef veteran Marcel Vigneron.
Here's the D.C. connection: Vigneron will be in town tomorrow promoting his own version of Beefsteak. He's cooking at fellow Top Chef veteran Spike Mendelsohn's Bearnaise restaurant all day. A publicist for Mendelsohn confirmed the pop-up today, though details were limited. They're not sure yet exactly what the chef will be cooking. "It'll be kind of a surprise," she said.
UPDATE: Vigneron said his concept has been about two years in the making he started cooking healthier about three years ago for clients, which led to eating that way himself and developing new recipes. "I just noticed a huge shift in my overall energy and overall health," he said. "I'm kind of a vegetarian by day, omnivore by night kind of guy."
He moved to Los Angeles in January and thought the area would be a natural fit for Beefsteak, due both to the number of diners interested in a plant-based diet, and the easy and affordable access to good produce. He's signed a lease for his first location there, and has been doing pop-up events in San Francisco. It will be fast-casual and affordably priced, he says.
Tomorrow, diners should expect dishes like a cauliflower steak cooked in coconut oil with turmeric and black pepper seasoning, as well as a kale salad with fruit, vegetables and a creamy almond dressing. "I don't want to give too much away," he said. He doesn't rule out Beefsteak making its way to D.C. eventually, but California is his focus right now. "I think a lot of restaurateurs expand too much too quickly I want to do whatever I'm doing really, really well. I want to be in the restaurant every day actually cooking the dishes."
Vingeron acknowledges the fact the restaurant has the same name as Andrés' new venture he said he actually told the chef his idea (and restaurant name) about a year ago at the Cayman Cookout, but didn't elaborate on any potential issues there. "Jose is one of my mentors I've learned so much from him," he said. Eater has reached to Andrés' team for any comment about the name similarity.