Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Year's new cocktail recipes...elegant yet simple and for any budget!

The holidays are a favorite time of year for many people and they certainly aren’t going to let the recession deter them from celebrating this cheery season filled with parties and events with family and friends.

Bartender Hall of Fame™ Inductee, Francesco LaFranconi, is the go-to guy for elegant, yet simple cocktail recipes that are perfect for holiday entertaining.

Made with classic Sobieski Vodka, Crème de Cassis, cranberries coated with edible gold (if you feel the need to add that extra bling!) and Brut-style Champagne, Francesco’s new seductive New Year’s Swanky Toast drink guarantees to get you in the holiday spirit!

New Year’s Swanky Toast
(Created by Francesco LaFranconi)
1.5 oz Sobieski Polish Vodka
0.5 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Cassis
1 oz Cranberry Juice
Top with Brut-style Champagne (or Extra Dry-style for a sweeter taste)

Method: pour the vodka, crème de cassis and cranberry juice in a shaker tin with half cup of ice and stir gently and strain into a flute or cocktail-martini glass. Top up with 2-3 of chilled champagne
Garnish: 3 fresh cranberries floating on the drink

Note: for an incredible “luxurious effect” coat the cranberry berries with 23 karat edible gold (source: Put some berries in a sandwich bag then add some gold flakes, seal the bag ad shake for 4-5second, the berries are now gold-coated.

About Francesco Lafranconi:

As Director of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada's Academy of Spirits and Fine Service, Mr. Francesco Lafranconi presides over a unique educational program in the United States. Prior to joining Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, Mr. Lafranconi worked at many of the world's leading hotels and bars, including the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, The Palace Hotel in Gstaadt, Switzerland, the Intercontinental Hotel in Cologne, Germany, Harry's Bar and Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Italy - with stages in Singapore and Australia as well. Mr. Lafranconi is also the Chairman and Co-founder of the United States Bartenders Guild (U.S.B.G.)-Nevada Chapter- and an active member of the International Bartenders Association (I.B.A.), recognized in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Mr. Lafranconi won several prestigious international cocktail competitions including the most famous in the world: The Bacardi-Martini Grand Prix World Final in 1998, the J.White Course in Singapore and 2 Italian national finals just to name a few.

Mr. Lafranconi shares his professional knowledge and talented creativity promoting supplier's new brands and developing cocktail programs for world renown celebrity chefs like D. Boulud from Daniel Restaurant in New York City, T. Keller's Per Se in NYC and Bouchon at The Venetian in Las Vegas. He created the cocktail program for Chef Emeril Lagasse's new Pan-Pacific concept in Orlando, Florida and also contributes to celebrity Chefs like W. Puck's Spago Group, Bradley Ogden at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas (winner of the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the U.S.) and Hubert Keller's new restaurant Fleur de Lyls in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

Mr. Lafranconi's latest involvement with Wynn Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the newest addition to the Las Vegas strip was to put together 75 signature drinks for the property. He was also responsible for training approximately 700 members of their staff that make up this world-class food and beverage department.

Currently, Mr. Lafranconi is involved in developing beverage programs for different national accounts consisting of more than one hundred restaurants and bars throughout the country.

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