The scope of the menu at Justice Snow's, a new bar in Aspen, Colorado, leaves heads spinning--even if it weren't for the more than 100 cocktails offered.
Classic cocktails, annotated with time, place and creator, exist next to cocktails garnished with banana chips or made with muddled Hot Tamales.
So it surprised us, on looking closer, to find that this bar has some worthy lessons to teach about “less is more.”
Meticulous with textures, bar manager Joshua-Peter Smith likes to use quail eggs in cocktails in the summer months, citing their ability to create a silky mouthfeel without the weight and richness that comes from a chicken egg. In his Antartique (see the recipe), cachaça, pineapple juice, vermouth and St-Germain are combined with a quail egg for a round, balanced sour.
He is also frugal with sugar. Almost all of the cocktails have ¼ ounce or less of sugar syrup, which he makes using a cold dissolution process instead of dissolving with heat. By keeping it cold, he ensures that the syrup never turns into a complex sugar (think high-fructose corn syrup) and retains an intense cane flavor.
Smith explains his approach as “attacking all different kinds of palates.” But it’s his palate in which we trust most.