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Drinking like a local

Four Seasons bartenders create supremely signature libations

Author Claire Oliver


With their “100 Mile Cocktail” campaign, running through this month, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has tasked its bartenders with creating drinks that embody the spirit of their respective locales. The catch? They can only use ingredients found within 100 miles. For instance, the Chicago Four Seasons uses the white of a local farm egg to replicate the froth on Lake Michigan. In Beijing, senior bartender Elvis Zhao uses erguotou, a sorghum-based Chinese liquor, to create his take on the city’s lanterns. Here, he explains how to make it.

Red Lantern (Four Seasons Beijing)
›  ¾ oz erguotou                                                                                                                                       
›  1 oz Campari                                                                                                                                        
›  1 oz red date and longan tea syrup (recipe follows)                                                                                                                     
›  1 stick cinnamon
›  1 star anise
›  1 cup and ½ cup sugar, separate
›  Candied plum petals          
1.    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 an hour.
2.    To make rim rub, chop anise and cinnamon stick finely. Mix with about 1 cup of sugar and crushed candied plum petals.
3.    Shake erguotou, Campari and syrup with ice in a shaker. Wet edge of rocks glass and roll in rim rub. Strain cocktail into glass over ice.

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