Checking In With Cliff House’s Beverage Manager Caitlin Hula
Plus, an easy-to-follow summer cocktail recipe
We checked in Caitlin Hula, the Beverage Manager of Cliff House, on why she loves cocktail culture, how she gets inspired to work, and trends she sees on the horizon.
What do you love about creating cocktails for the property?
I love being able to take ingredients that traditionally “don’t mix,” and be able to create a completely different flavor profile. I love being able to transform someone’s opinion of a specific spirit. Currently, I get a lot of guests that don’t like the taste of bourbon. There’s a cocktail I make with bourbon, lemon, honey and bitters – suddenly, a lot of those guests now like bourbon.
How do you get inspired to come up with new recipes?
The best inspiration for me is being in a kitchen. I love talking with chefs to see how they put different ingredients together to create their favorite dishes.
What cocktails are most popular at Cliff House?
The Sour and the Manhattan. Both cocktails are plays on traditional cocktails. The Sour is a vodka-based cocktail with an egg white and homemade blueberry, peppercorn syrup. The Manhattan is bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Averna, an Italian bitter liquor.
What trends are you noticing at your bar?
I’ve noticed a lot of guests going back to the classics. We get a lot of requests for old fashioneds, dirty martinis, and sazeracs.
Thanks for sharing the recipe of Sea Smoke, one of your new cocktails, with our readers. What do you love about this drink, and why?
The complexity of the drink, along with the ease of making it. You smell the smoke of the mezcal first, then when you take that first sip you get the sweetness from the pineapple and agave. The drink finishes with a little bite from the ginger. Even though you are only using three ingredients, it completely transforms the mezcal.
2 oz pineapple and ginger infused mezcal (To make: Let a half pound of ginger and one pineapple, cut into cube, sit overnight with one bottle of mezcal. Strain after 24 hours.)
.75 oz agave syrup
.75 oz fresh lime juice
2 slices of muddled ginger
Shake all ingredients and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with ginger and pineapple wedge. Enjoy!