Each week the maniacal people behind the bar at Oak Cliff’s Bolsa ask their Facebook buddies to suggest an ingredient for their cocktail challenge they hold on Wednesdays. This is a fun process where they first mention a liquor and the fans get to participate by suggesting fun but sometimes crazy ingredients. The chosen five cocktails are sold through out the evening for a mere $5.
Before I continue with this story, I should reveal that I was a guest bartender during the Lucky Campbell and Jason Kosmas era which was just over a year ago. This was before Kosmas was named beverage director at Marquee, and Lucky gained ownership of his own lounge, Chesterfield.
During the day of bartending, and I started early in the morning for prep, we had a crazy adventure that led us across the city hunting ingredients.
The night before my duties at Bolsa, Lucky called late to inform me what the booze we would be using and what ingredient I should match up a drink with. We chatted a bit and I was off to bed to dream about cocktails.
The next day we stopped by our friends at FreshPoint where Christina LaBarba showed us around her mammoth warehouse and we nabbed some fresh ingredients like rhubarb and quince. The next stop was to chef Matt McCallister’s home where he helped me make juicy caviar to garnish the cocktail. Then we aimed Lucky’s car to Oak Cliff where we started prepping for the evening. I had to wear a vest and a hat.
Since that grand day I felt a kinship to the cocktail challenge and always make sure I drop my vote in for ingredients. My choice has always been “A Duck” which I derived from the movie The Holy Grail in which Arthur Pendragon shouts out to Sir Bedevere as he decides whether a young peasant girl is a witch. If you forgot the scene here is a clip.
Each week went by with my suggestion of a duck going unheeded. I would see barman Kyle Hilla in person and we would invariably grin as we discussed duck cocktails. But this week was different. My suggestion was finally chosen. Watch the selection on this Bolsa video on their Facebook wall.
For the cocktail, Hilla decided to use a duck egg as a foaming agent for the drink. The duck whites made a thick and frothy addition to the ingredients of simple lime, Pisco, and the egg whites. He shook this vigorously for a few minutes to get that foam to set just right. His other option was to infuse duck skin with Pisco but thought that would best be served on a whiskey night.
Pisco Porton is a South American brand. It’s a mosto verde pisco, which means that it’s distilled from grape juice that has not completely fermented into alcohol. Overall it is a dry earthy liquor with a silky mouth feel and a dry finish. It is best used for sour drink like a Tom Collins.
Check out Kyle Hilla and the staff at Bolsa for their drink challenge, or hit the restaurant up for the new menu being thrown down by chefs Jeff Harris and Matt Balke.