Bartenders have been using dashes and splashes since before Prohibition to add and blend the subtlety of flavors, and the “rinse” technique has long been an integral part of cocktails like the Sazerac and Corpse Reviver. It’s also become common to “season” a wine glass with a splash of wine, which is then discarded, before pouring the full glass. But according to Tasting Table, the splash-swirl-discard cycle has been taken to a more complex level in cocktails.
Everything from duck fat (at Merchant in Madison, WI) to sherry (at Napa Valley’s PRESS) are being tipped into cocktail glasses prior to the cocktail itself to impart flavor without overwhelming a drink. On the wine side, Jordan Salcito, the beverage director for the Momofuku group is rinsing Moscato glasses with sake to tone down the sugary bite, as well as Lambic beer glasses with raspberry eau-de-vie to highlight the Belgian beer’s fruity notes. Rinsing and repeating has never been more exciting. [Tasting Table]