Photo Credit: Madelynne Ross/Black Restaurant Week, LLC

Caught Up In The Newness

 This cocktail creates that feeling for women who don’t usually forage into the space of bourbon especially alongside the use of aromatic Lemongrass. Using the herbaceous, sweet & refreshing notes of familiarity that women like in cocktails, we cohesively meld these flavors with Maker’s Mark 46’s higher proof and its signature notes of vanilla & caramel to create a New cocktail to enjoy.

Glassware: Narrow Highball glass

  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • 0.5 oz Charred Pineapple Syrup
  • 0.75 oz of Lemongrass Paste
  • 1.5 oz Maker’s Mark 46
  • 3 oz Mandarin Orange Juice
  • 3 oz Club Soda

Method: Place ingredients into shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into a spouted glass to remove lemongrass paste. Place 8-10 pomegranate ice balls into the narrow highball glass. Pour mixture into the highball glass. Drip 0.5oz of pomegranate juice on top. Garnish with lemongrass frond & dehydrated pineapple piece placed partially in the glass. Drink and get Caught up in The Newness!

Charred Pineapple Syrup prep

Put 8-10 pineapple chunks into a dry pot on medium heat and allow to char on all sides while pressing into them with a muddler to release the additional juices. Once the pieces start to stick to the bottom of the pot, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of cane sugar. Continue to cook for 30-45 minutes on medium until the mixture reduces and the pineapple pieces are dark & very soft. Allow to cool. Place in strainer to remove pineapple pieces and store syrup in squeeze bottle. Set aside.

Mandarin Orange Juice prep:

Take 1 can of mandarin oranges, strain off the syrup & add wedges to a blender cup. Blend & strain out any unwanted pulp. Keep in a glass bottle.

Lemongrass Paste prep:

 Get 1 large bushel of lemongrass (8-10 stalks) and set aside a few for the garnish. Cut off the green tops, similar to a scallion, and keep the yellow/purple bottom. Take a heavy pan or rolling pin & bang the stalks to loosen the fibers. Cut them up & place into a blender with a sprinkle of sea salt & water. Blend until a paste is formed. Scoop the paste out and set aside. (Store-bought Lemongrass paste will work for this purpose as well.)

Garnish: Lemongrass Frond (the part where the stalk splits): Use a stalk of Lemongrass with the green still attached and cut it right past the start of the yellow, keeping the stalk intact.

Dehydrated Pineapple: Place pineapple pieces onto a baking sheet & bake in the oven on 200 degrees for 8 hours. Cool and keep in an airtight container. (Store-bought dehydrated pineapple pieces will work also if allowed to soften.)

Pomegranate Aril (seed) Ice Balls: Sprinkle 3-4 arils (seeds) into each space in a small silicone half ball mold & freeze. Upon those halves being frozen, remove from freezer and moisten halves to stick together to form the balls and re-freeze until ready to use.


Marlena Miko Richardson has been in the industry for over 15 years from bars to lounges to the creation of my own custom mixology business. She was the first minority woman owned fully licensed & insured full service beverage company in Kansas City. She has worked on both sides of the business from R&D at a local distillery & seeing my creations on the shelves as a Distilled Beverage Specialist to working with brands as they introduce their beverages to the city by utilizing my skills as a mixologist. Follow her on  Instagram.

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