Posted on July 18th, 2011 by Jason Kleinberg
We recently did a Q & A with Mary Breclaw, mixologist at Morton’s in Chicago, IL who shared with us why she likes being a mixologist, a couple tips for the home bartender, and a great recipe called the LBG (Lemon, Basil, Ginger), which is perfect and refreshing for the summer months.
How long have you worked at Morton’s?
Seven years this August.
What’s the best thing about being a mixologist?
I love talking to people and making sure that they are having a good time. I don’t consider myself a mixologist at work because I enjoy the interactions I have with guests, not the drinks I make. At home it’s a different story. I love trying new things, especially when it comes to cocktails. And at home I can drink, and enjoy, my creations with my friends.
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to the home bartender?
First of all, never drink and drive. After that, think of the flavors you like in your food from using fruits and herbs, and try to incorporate them in your drinks. There will be trial and error, but that’s ok. You will surprise yourself, and have a lot of fun doing it.
How did you come up with the LBG (Lemon, Ginger, Basil) cocktail you created with Van Gogh BLUE Triple Wheat Vodka?
I love using fresh lemon juice instead of lime juice for my gimlets. By adding fresh ginger to my “gimlet”, I felt I made my own healthier version of the Moscow Mule. ( A Moscow Mule is vodka, ginger beer and fresh lime juice.) Honestly, I had some basil in my fridge, and I knew I loved the way basil and lemon went together. So, I added some basil to the fresh ginger and lemon juice, just a little simple syrup to sweeten, and shook it all up with some vodka and ice. The result is unique, you get a bold drink that’s also refreshing and you can still taste and enjoy the vodka.
How did you like working with the Van Gogh BLUE Triple Wheat Vodka?
It was a lot of fun. It’s a very smooth vodka with a clean finish. It’s great by itself, but I liked using it to experiment in cocktails as well.
- 2 oz Van Gogh BLUE Triple Wheat Vodka
- ¼ tsp simple syrup
- ¼ tsp freshly grated ginger
- ¼ of a large lemon. (1/2, if the lemon is small – should be about 1 tablespoon juice)
- 1 large, or 2 small basil leaves
Squeeze lemon and drop into the shaker. Then add basil, simple syrup, and fresh ginger, and muddle in the bottom of the shaker. Add ice and Van Gogh BLUE. Remove lemon wedge. Shake about 15 times and pour into a small rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.