Let me start off by saying I am writing this blog post. I mean I am actually writing this down with pen and paper! We are on our way to San Francisco, and I didn’t bring my laptop. I did bring my iPad, but am saving the battery for our 12-hour flight to Beijing. Rather than sit here bored, I decided to bring a pen and a pad of paper and blog on the plane. I have never written a blog post like this, but I did some preliminary research on writing blog posts before they are transcribed and published. According to some of the articles I read, writing your blogs on paper actually can make you a better blogger. James Patterson, one of my favorite authors, writes all of his novels by hand. I figured I would give it a try.
When we travel, I always look for blog post material in the in-flight magazine. We are flying United on this leg of the journey, and I did find 2 potential blog post topics in the August copy of Hemispheres. The first one is about alcohol. Go figure. Oh, and speaking of alcohol, I packed some small vodka and whiskey bottles for our flight to China. That flight is 12 hours, and even though alcoholic beverages are complimentary, I plan on getting drunk, passing out and waking up in Beijing.
During the month of August, the Four Seasons is experimenting with some clever cocktails. They are rolling out a campaign deemed the “100 Mile Cocktails,” a concept forcing some of the best bartenders in the world to the creative when mixing drinks. Imagine making cocktail using only local ingredients. Not just local, but with ingredients that are found within 100 miles of the hotel. For example, in Chicago, bartenders are using local farm fresh eggs to create froth on some popular signature drinks. In Beijing (ironic) they are using Er Guo Tou (a distilled liquor made from sorghum) to make the infamous Red Lantern. The recipe for this drink came from senior barkeep Elvis Zhao.
¾oz Er Guo Tou (I have to find this while we are in China!)
1oz red date and Longan Tea syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 ½ cup sugar, separate
Candied plum petals
- To make the date and tea syrup, steep dried dates and Longan Tea in ¾ cup hot water for 20 minutes, then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. While the mix is simmering, pour in ½ cup sugar and stir constantly. Strain and let rest for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- To make rim rub, chop anise and cinnamon stick finely. Mix about 1 cup of sugar and crushed candied plum petals.
- Shake Er Gou Tou, Campari and syrup with ice in a shaker. Wet edge of rocks glass and roll in rim rub. Strain cocktail glass over ice.
This seems like a pretty easy to make cocktail, but takes a long time to prepare. I could se a drink like this being a feature on the menu at Citizen R+D or at a fancy steakhouse like Mastro’s. Maybe, while we wonder the streets of Beijing, we can hunt down the Four Seasons and order one of these.
This concept is pretty neat, and I hope these drinks using only local ingredients remain on the menu at the Four Season across the glove. There is a really nice Four Seasons in North Scottsdale that we like to frequent. When we get home I plan on calling them up to find out what drink they were making and what local ingredients they used.
I love the concept and I hope to see more creative marketing like this from other big luxury brands like the Four Seasons.