After graduating from culinary school, Ray spent years working in kitchens in Chicago, NYC, and New Jersey. When the chance to work at Alinea’s cocktail lounge, The Aviary, came up, he left his chef jacket behind to become a drink maker. After making the switch he realized his true passion:
“I love when you make someone a cocktail and you see them take that first sip and smile, you don’t get to witness that working in the kitchen. I enjoy going to work and being a part of a guests experience, and getting someone to try something new, and being able to interact with them. I take great pride in conceptualizing thoughtfully hand crafted drinks using seasonal ingredients, and making as much of the ingredients as I can, and taking nods to my time at The Aviary always trying to push peoples idea of a cocktail, and engaging as many of their senses as possible.”
Name of bar:
Describe your bar in a few words:
The view, the right drink, and great service.
What’s your signature drink:
The Blushing Burlesque, I made this cocktail when I met Matt for the first time, I was playing with hibiscus at the time amd went with the burlesque bitters to compliment the blackberry in the gin, and the rest of the ingredients just went to France with the vermouth and the lemon to play off the acidity and floral notes of the bitters.
Best thing you’ve ever overheard at the bar:
You end up hearing a lot of crazy stuff working in a restaurant in general, but the best would be on valentine’s day when I heard a man ask hid girlfriend, Since we have giraffes and rhinos in zoos here, do you think they have dogs and cats in Africa?
What do you think will be the next big trend in drinks?
Cocktails on tap. You can make a drink with 6 to 8 ingredients and have it served to a guest chilled and perfectly diluted in 15 Seconds.
If you had to have one drink before you died, what would it be?
One final drink? Would definitely be Dalmore 18 neat.
- 1.5 oz Brockmans gin
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz hibiscus syrup
- 5 blackberries
- 7 drops bittermans burlesque bitters
- Add bitters and blackberries to mixing glass and muddle
- Add remaining ingredients
- Shake for 15 to 20 seconds
- Double strain into chilled coupe glass
- Garnish with flamed lemon peel
Fancy trying Ray’s creation? Head over to the bar at www.battellojc.com and ask Ray to work his magic!