Apotheke’s Orson Salicetti is developing cocktails with the a mind of a chef. His culinary influence stems from his youth in Venezuela, where he began working in his mother’s restaurant at the age of 15. With his trained palette, ingredients like cherry tomato infused gin, and adding a slice of bell pepper as garnish make perfect sense. His latest experiment, a house-made Vermouth, was inspired by apprenticeships in small towns in France and Italy, whose residents would heat wine with local botanicals, fruits and herbs, creating distinctive local tastes. Also in the works is a citrus-oregano infused Mezcal. I got to have a taste of the works-in-progress. In the photo above, Orson makes a dramatic display of heating a glass of Absinthe, which, I am here to say, went down smoothly and appealingly. This is what I call good medicine. See more photos of the cocktails and Apotheke here. If you’ve got a surplus of cherry tomatoes, try this recipe:
INFUSED GIN by Orson Salicetti
1/2 bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin
30 cherry tomatoes, pierced with a skewer
36 basil leaves, torn
1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns
Put gin into a pitcher, add tomatoes, basil and peppercorns. Pour mixture into a glass vessel and seal. Allow to soak overnight. When mixing in cocktails, muddle approximately 6 cherry tomatoes per serving, before adding other ingredients, to get all the rich flavors.