On my last trip to Las Vegas I stopped by the infamous bar at Carnevino, home to some of the World’s Best Bar Tenders. One of my favorite Bar Men, JT, had just perfected his seasonal cocktail.
The Pumpkin Patch.
This humbly-named beverage was one of the most sophisticated, multi-faceted concoctions I have ever tasted. JT names his inspiration for the drink as a classic pumpkin pie, but on tasting this delightful cocktail, I’d say the results are more Jimi Hendrix than Martha Stewart.
Using a base of a house-made pumpkin-spice simple syrup, followed by a generous does of white rum, the whole thing is set off like fireworks by a little yellow Chartreuse and laced with bitters.
JT chilled the mixture and strained it into a martini glass, and then topped it with a bit of “panacotta montata” (a rich, creamy cappuccino-like foam). JT generously sifted fresh nutmeg over the top, and finished his masterpiece with a single piece of salty, flaky pie crust.
When you sip through this carefully-layered beverage, the creamy foam coats the cold, bitter-anise-baked-pumpkin-laced liquid, creating a creamy, almost custardy mouthfeel. I could have sworn there was a salty component, aside form the pie crust, that permeated the cocktail as well- a mark of a perfectly balanced beverage.
Although the texture and aromatics of JT’s Pumpkin Patch were spot-on for pumpkin pie, the flavors were embellished, more grown-up, more dangerous.
This is craft cocktail movement at its finest: polished, thoughtful, classic flavors which are and re-imagined into something edgier and more playful. Cocktails are fun, people!
Pumpkin pie will never be the same again.