Michael Webster’s Older Flame cocktail is a take on the Old Flame, which was on the original Bar Isabel menu. Webster uses a dried fruit-infused gin, which includes mangoes, apricots, raspberries, blueberries and some rooibos tea for colour. Webster points out that many people have an aversion to egg whites because they can give off an undesirable odour at room temperature, which doesn’t affect the flavour profile of the drink. “We finish it with a Chartreuse flame; basically the proteins try to come back together so if you ‘brûlée’ the top, it seals in the aroma,” he says. “People see the cocktail come up on the bar then you do a little flame: ‘What the hell is that?’ It looks really pretty.”
2 oz dried tropical fruit-infused gin (method follows)
1 oz fresh pressed lemon juice
0.5 oz 1-1 simple syrup
1 oz egg white
1. Dry shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake again, and double strain into a coupette glass.
2. Finish with a Misto*-sprayed Green Chartreuse flame.
*A Misto is an olive oil mister/sprayer that is also a bartender’s tool. In this case, the Misto is filled with Green Chartreuse and, while holding a lighter in between the nozzle and the cocktail, sprayed on the surface of the cocktail.
TROPICAL FRUIT-INFUSED GIN
Webster gets dried tropical fruit from markets, independent grocers, and tea shops, which he finds are usually “the best and cheapest in the end.”
1. You'll need 5 heaping tablespoons of dried fruit for a 1.14 L bottle, or 3.5-4 tablespoons for a 750 ml bottle). Using a large mason jar or other container, add the dried fruit and gin and taste for desired strength and flavour every couple of hours after agitating slightly.
2. Once the desired flavour profile has been achieved, strain through cheesecloth squeezing every last drop from the soaked fruit.
3. Store the mixture in a labelled bottle.