As usual, last weekend was chock-full of grand events taking place around the Magic City, including the Miami Beach Polo World Cup, which started on Wednesday, April 21, through Sunday, April 25. Grey Goose was one of the brands integral in making the weekend enjoyable for all, both with a team in the competition, and with a VIP mixology lounge. Grey Goose Master Mixologist Nick Mautone, who hails from NYC restaurants like Gotham Bar and Grill and Hudson River Club, before he was tapped to work side-by-side with Danny Meyer and Tom Colicchio as a managing partner of Gramercy Tavern, was on hand throughout the weekend to host the many festivities.
On Thursday evening, the premium liquor brand invited several members of the media for a vodka pairing event at STK at the Gansevoort, South Beach. While many may think of wine at the mention of a pairing dinner, Mautone proved to us all that the right blend of ingredients makes vodka a perfect complement to starters and entrees.
We started the affair upstairs at the bar where we sampled several of Mautone’s specially prepared cocktails, including the Grey Goose L’Orange Polo Mallet (see recipe below). After mingling with fellow friends in the industry, we made our way into the reserved dining room that is located upstairs next to the bar.
Tuna Tartare with Grey Goose Green Goddess
To start with, I chose the tuna tartare, which was, of course, delicious. The other option was a refreshing and hydrating tomato-and-avocado salad, which I can also attest was delicious, thanks to my dinner date who didn’t mind sharing. So, you might be wondering, what kind of vodka concoction could Master Mixologist Mautone come up with that would complement both a tuna starter, as well as a fresh spring salad? Believe me, when he got up to demonstrate how to make a Green Goddess cocktail, and the first thing he did was slice off a hunk of ripe avocado and chuck it in the glass, I was feeling a bit apprehensive. Check out the recipe below, and see what you think of the ingredient list. Sounds a bit strange, but it was anything but weird. After Mautone’s group demonstration, he stopped by our tables and explained that the key to this drink, and any other for that matter, was to be vigorous in the shaking. This technique is what allowed the avocado to blend so well with the liquid that it was quite a refreshing beverage.
Fillet with Grey Goose Asian Summer
For the main course, I could not resist the fillet. I mean, we were at STK, so why not take advantage of what they do best. This was their night to shine because my steak was so perfect that I paid very little attention to what anyone else ordered. To accompany the main course, Mautone came up with one of the most intriguing flavor combinations that has ever passed across my taste buds, by the name of Asian Summer. The star for the evening (in addition to Nick Mautone) was Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka, so he used it in this cocktail with things like disaronno, simple syrup, lime juice, star anise powder, dried ginger, and sesame oil (see full recipe below). When the master mixologist stopped by for comments on this one, almost in unison, we said, “that is different.” It may have been the first time that I have ever made that comment without meaning it as a way to be polite. It was truly one of the most unique flavor combinations I have ever tried and I loved it so much I attempted to make it for friends later in the weekend (although, without the Mautone touch, my own version seemed to lack some of the umph).
Should you be in the mood for some mixology fun this weekend, without further adieu, here are the recipes:
L’Orange Polo Mallet
- 1 1/2 oz Grey Goose L’Orange
- 1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- ≤ oz Simple Syrup
- Garnish: Marraschino Cherry
- Glassware: Rocks
Add all to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a cherry.
- 1 1/2 oz GREY GOOSE L’Orange Vodka
- 1 oz Simple syrup
- ≤ oz Lime juice
- Sprig Cilantro
- 1 teaspoon Ripe Avocado
- Garnish: Cilantro Sprig
- Glassware: Rocks
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add all ingredients and shake vigorously until the outside of shaker is frosted and beaded with sweat. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with cilantro.
- 1 1/2 oz Grey Goose Le Citron or L’Orange Vodka
- 1/2 oz Disaronno
- ≤ oz Simple syrup
- ≤ oz Lime juice
- Pinch Star Anise Powder
- Pinch Dried Ginger
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil and 1 tsp sugar for rimming glass
- Garnish: Whole pod of Star Anise
- Glassware: Martini
Using your finger rub the outside edge of the glass with the sesame oil and then roll in the sugar to coat rim – set aside. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add vodka, Disaronno, simple syrup, star anise powder, ginger and lime juice. Shake vigorously and strain into prepared martini glass. Drop whole Star Anise in glass for garnish.