Each print issue, FLOOD asks one of the country’s most outstanding barkeepers to give us the lowdown on their favorite drinks. This installment: Jennifer Keyser, Chief of Bar Operations at Geraldine’s, the upstairs food and drink hotspot in Austin’s brand new Hotel Van Zandt. Working in accordance with the restaurant’s menu, Keyser’s bar program features a selection of innovative cocktails and spirits, and a locally driven craft beer list, plus it’s home to over eighty different American whiskeys.
Inspired by the legend himself, Willie Nelson. Hemp seed milk is the star of this cocktail: made with raw hemp seeds, maple syrup, and nutmeg. it’s a creamy concoction. The addition of High West Double Rye whiskey gives the drink a little spice and some muddled sage freshens it up.
1 ½ oz. High West Double Rye
½ oz. hemp seed milk
Sage sprig/bandana (for garnish)
Build all in julep cup, mound with crushed ice, and garnish with sage sprig and bandana (on the cup)
HEMP SEED MILK
1 cup raw shelled hemp seeds
3 cups filtered water
4 pitted dates soaked, or 2–3 tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. natural vanilla extract
1 tbsp. non-GMO soy or sunflower seed lecithin (optional for smooth consistency)
1 tbsp. raw unrefined coconut oil/butter (optional for richer milk)
1 pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
Combine all ingredients into blender for about thirty to sixty seconds; sweeten to taste, add lecithin and coconut butter for a richer taste; strain the milk into nut milk bag and squeeze until all drops are out; keep in a sealed glass jar for two days
THE VELVET VOICE
A twist on a Negroni, swapping the typical gin with mezcal. I infuse the sweet vermouth with dried hibiscus flowers to give it a floral kick. Smooth, smoky, and a bit bitter. Drinks really well.
1 oz. Del Maguey Vida mezcal
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. hibiscus-infused Dolin Rouge (use dried hibiscus flowers, takes an hour)
2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
grapefruit peel (for garnish)
Quickly stir all ingredients, pour over large ice cube in highball glass, garnish with a grapefruit peel
A nice coffee cocktail with Cognac and Averna. The addition of sweetened condensed milk and house-made orgeat gives it a really nice texture and nutty flavor.
1 oz. Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac
½ oz. Amaro Averna
½ oz. house-made orgeat
1 oz. Caffe Vita cold brew coffee
½ oz. condensed milk
1 egg white
grated nutmeg/anise pod (for garnish)
Shake all and fine-strain into cocktail glass; grate nutmeg over top, float anise pod
DEEP IN THE HEART
We are in Texas, after all! This drink pays homage to the great Texas vodka brand Deep Eddy. We use the Ruby Red Grapefruit version here and add Strega (which is flavored with orange and saffron), fresh lime juice, and sparkling wine to finish this one off.
1 ½ oz. Deep Eddy Ruby Red vodka
¾ oz. Strega
¾ oz. lime juice
2 oz. cava or champagne
grapefruit Horse’s Neck twist (for garnish)
Shake all but champagne, fine-strain into champagne flute; top with champagne and garnish
Everyone loves a Moscow Mule, but kick it up with some muddled jalapeño for the Texas version!
2 oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
¾ oz. lime juice
3 oz. ginger beer
2 slices of jalapeño (muddled)
2 slices of jalapeño and lime wheel (for garnish)
Muddle jalapeño in glass, build rest; top with ginger beer