Words by: Simon Difford
Bristol’s Ben Alcock is an accomplished bartender and bar entrepreneur. Like most entrepreneurs, he’s also very resourceful. Hence, when my fellow judges and I visited Ben’s Her Majesty's Secret Service bar he wowed us not only with his cocktail but also with his creative use of a newly acquired canning machine. He even gave us customised cans each loaded with candy and amusements for the long train journey home.
It was this creativity coupled with his delicious Raconteur cocktail that earned Ben one of the three winning places on the Tennessee Calling III trip to New York and Jack Daniel’s home in Louisville, Tennessee.
Glass: An ornate punch bowl & serving cups or a rocks glass
Garnish:The drink can be served with a pureed fruit roll-up
Method: Combine all ingredients in punch bowl and lightly stir over a large block of ice. For the cordial: using an off-set smoker and old Jack Daniel's barrels staves or Jack Daniel's smoking chips. Smoke cider apples or cooking apples for around 2 hours, depending on the size. Place the apples on a large, shallow baking tin or gastranorm to catch any juice that burst out the apples; that stuff is like unicorn tears! Once smoked and chilled squeeze out of the skins and purée with unfiltered organic Scrumpy Somerset cider, Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry, a nob of unsalted butter, a vanilla pod, caster sugar, filtered water and fresh lemon juice. Once pureed pass through a high micron super bag. Allow to strain until all you are left with is a damp apple sauce in the bag and a clear amber cordial below. Pasteurise and bottle for eternity; or store in bottles or tubs until it goes a little funky. You are now ready to use at will.
• 40 ml Jack Daniels Old No.7
• 20 ml Demi-sec champagne
• 15 ml Smoked cider apple & butter cordial
• 15 ml Lemon juice
• 1.5 ml Damson vinegar