Friday, August 31, 2018

Mixology Class with Susi Zivanovic

Susi Zivanovic

I had a fantastic experience this week learning about the cocktail program at Perry's Steakhouse & Grille with beverage director, Susi Zivanovic. In addition to selecting the wines for the restaurants, Zivanovic creates all the cocktail recipes that guests enjoy at the many Perry’s locations. Zivanovic shared with the group that her philosophy for mixology involves high quality ingredients masterfully blended into well-balanced deliciously drinkable cocktails. She said that when she creates the different recipes, she chooses only premium ingredients - most importantly, she makes sure that there are no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.
Invitees to this event started the evening with the Perry's Hog-Hatten. This drink was prepared by the true professionals behind the bar. This Manhattan-based cocktail is elevated with spicier Redemption Rye Whiskey instead of the more traditional Bourbon. This is combined with Vya Vermouth and is complemented with a Sugar in the Raw rim and some homemade bbq sauce. The drink is then garnished with a skewer of Perry’s Famous Pork Chop Bites alternated with Luxardo Cherries. We learned this mini-meal on your glass can also be added to any Manhattan cocktail of your choice for only $2. They suggest dipping the skewer in this drink which enhances the sweet and smoky flavor combination.


The Lemon Bubbles was the first cocktail that each member of the group created. This light and refreshing drink is a blend of Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Caravella Limoncello, and freshly squeezed lemon juice which is shaken together, poured into a Champagne flute, and then is topped off with sparkling Chandon Brut. 
The Lemon Bubbles cocktail was paired with the Bacon Wrapped Scallops. Together, this combination would be the perfect start to any evening at Perry's.

The Peachy Glen was our next shaken cocktail. It combines Glenmorangie 10 year old Scotch with Belvedere Peach Nectar Vodka, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and stone fruit purée. This is poured into a coupe style glass which is then garnished with organic and edible flowers which provide a beautiful topping and an interesting flavor should you decide to consume them. To me, the flowers started off with a fruity flavor which then evolved into a more celery-like flavor. The fruity flavors of the Peachy Glen drink tasted even more delicious when paired with the Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms served over tomato cream. This was my favorite cocktail and pairing of the evening.

The Bourbon Bloom was our next cocktail. This drink starts with a muddling of blackberries and mint which is then shaken with Woodford Reserve Bourbon, St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. The Bourbon Bloom’s flavor profile has many similarities to red wine which makes it an excellent pairing for the Beef and Bleu Crostini as well
as with any steak on the menu.

For the grand finale, Susi stirred up mini-sized Jameson Mocha Old Fashioned cocktails for the group. This blend of Jameson Caskmates Irish Whiskey, house-made coffee syrup and molé bitters played beautifully with the Chocolate Crunch dessert. This dessert is reminiscent of a Twix candy bar and the spicy coffee flavors of the Mocha Old Fashioned worked extremely well with it. I could imagine myself enjoying this while passing out Halloween candy at home.

Perry's Steakhouse and Grille is a family owned restaurant chain that started off in the Houston area. It has now grown into multiple locations across the country. The Perry family started with a butcher shop so the restaurant is known for its high quality USDA-aged Prime beef but the restaurants are also famous for the 7-Finger Pork Chop, a family recipe that has been perfected over more than 3 decades. The Pork Chop Bites skewer is an ideal way to get a small taste of this classic menu item.


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