Las Vegas, NV – Master Mixologist Francesco Lafranconi of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada entertained the media and the spirits industry on March 9th at a cocktail seminar hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Francesco demonstrated how to make cocktails using what he calls ‘the anatomy of the cocktail”— sight, smell and taste. Guests were greeted at the door with a sampling of a Mojito Andaluso served in South African baby pineapples. This cocktail, with its aromatic flavors of mint and pineapple and its eye-catching appeal, captured the attention of guests. It had the perfect mix of sweet and sour ingredients. “A great cocktail is like life,” said Lafranconi. “You need to know how to strike a good balance with your different elements to achieve success.” Another show stopper was his sampling of the Heirloom Tomato Martini garnished with a cherry tomato and basil leaf. The ingredients were similar to a Bloody Mary but Lafranconi’s drink included dry sherry, celery salt, fresh basil and homemade clear tomato water to enhance this classic drink. “Cocktail culture is a growing phenomenon in America and new recipes like these created by Francesco demonstrate how beverage designers are taking cocktails to a whole new level,” says DISCUS Senior Vice President Frank Coleman. Consumers today have access to artisan cheeses, coffees and breads. It’s now time for cocktails to join the group. Try one of these recipes at your next party and give your guests a tour of their senses. Francesco Lafranconi’s Specialty Cocktails Francecso Lafranconi has developed cocktail menus for some of America’s top restaurants and chefs such as Thomas Keller, Emerils, Daniel and The Bradley Ogden Group. His primary rule is to pull inspiration from the atmosphere, design and cuisine of the space and work all of those components into his final product. Mojito Andaluso 1.25 oz Rum 0.25 oz Cream Sherry 4 Mint Tops Juice of 1 Lime 2 Spoons Canned Pineapple 0.25 oz Rock Candy Syrup Ginger ale Muddle the mint, lime juice, and pineapple with the rock candy syrup in a shaker. Add the rum, sherry, and ice. Fill with ginger ale, roll, and serve (do not strain). Garnish with a sugarcane stick, fresh mint, and pineapple. Heirloom Martini 1 oz Vodka 0.5 oz Dry Sherry 2 oz Heirloom Tomato Juice* Juice of 1 Lemon Wedge Celery Salt to taste Ground Green Pepper to Taste 4 Drops of Worcestershire Sauce 4 Drops of Green Tabasco In a mixing glass, stir together lemon juice, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Add the tomato juice and ice, and then add the sherry and vodka. Stir all ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (do not shake). Garnish with a cherry tomato on a cocktail stick and 2 thin-cut strips of fresh basil. *Francesco’s Heirloom Tomato Juice: Simmer the tomatoes in hot water (180F) for about 7 minutes; extract the liquid from the tomatoes with a strainer lined with cheesecloth to remove the pulp and seeds. Keep refrigerated (it will last up to 48 hours). Rendezvous 1.25 oz Gin 0.25 oz Peach Schnapps 1 oz Pomegranate Juice 4 drops of Orange Blossom Water 1 oz Fresh Sweet and Sour 3 Tangerine Wedges Shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a champagne glass. Garnish with a cape gooseberry and a red currant. The Royal Mile 1 oz Scotch Whiskey .5 oz Orange-flavored Liqueur 1 oz Fresh Orange Juice 1 oz Passion Fruit Coulis 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters Float of Limoncello Foam Garnish the rim of the glass with crystallized ginger. The Dubliner 1.25 oz Irish Whiskey .25 oz Honey Liqueur .50 oz Grade A Maple Syrup 4 oz Irish Breakfast Tea Blend Cardamom-Orange Butter* Combine and heat all ingredients except butter. Do not boil. If possible, heat them with the steam from an espresso machine. Serve in a 7-oz tempered mug with a spoonful of cardamom-orange butter. *Cardamom-Orange Butter: In a large bowl, combine 1 cup salted butter, 1 teaspoon ground green cardamom, 2 teaspoons fresh grated orange peel, and 1 cup packed light brown sugar with a wooden spoon. Mixture can be frozen in a sealed plastic container. Peach Chipotle Margarita 1. oz Tequila 0.25 oz Orange-flavored Liqueur 0.25 oz Cinnamon-flavored Liqueur 1 Bar Spoon Peach Chipotle Jam 1.5 oz Fresh Sweet and Sour Shake all ingredients with ice and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a lime wheel and dried chipotle on the rim. Lawrenceburg Julep 1.5 oz Bourbon 4 Mint Tops 3 Dashes Peach Bitters 1 spoon of Grand Marnier-marinated sour cherries ¼ oz Rock Candy Syrup Muddle the mint with the bitters, cherries and syrup in an old fashioned glass. Shake the bourbon vigorously with ice and strain over crushed ice into the prepared glass. Garnish with orange liqueur-marinated sour cherries, fresh mint, and powdered sugar. BBC (Bailey’s Banana Colada) 1.00 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream 0.25 oz Banana Rum 2 Inches Fresh Banana 0.25 oz Coco Lopez 3 oz Pineapple Juice Blend all ingredients with 1 scoop of ice. Garnish with a float of cream and roasted coconut. Part of drinking responsibly is knowing that alcohol is alcohol. 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits all contain the same amount of beverage alcohol. If you choose to drink, be sure to consume sensibly and responsibly. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is a national trade association representing the leading brands of distilled spirits.