Trudy Thomas spent her childhood in the bourbon distilleries of Kentucky. She spent her a good part of her twenties working under Wolfgang Puck in Chicago, and now she's spreading the mixology gospel in the Valley.
The Director of Beverage at the Camelback Inn, the co-founder and vice-chairman of the Arizona chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, the president of her own consulting business and the mixologist for Yellow[tail] wines, Thomas is, to say the least, an authority on wine and spirits.
"In Chicago, I was one of many mixologists," she says, "and out here I had the opportunity not just to influence Camelback Inn, but to really influence a whole culture of bartenders."
And, with six bars under her jurisdiction at Camelback Inn, 40 or 50 mentees and a growing chapter of the bartender's guild under her wing, it looks like that's just what she's doing.
Today, she offering up not one, but two, modern twists on classic cocktail recipes: the Clover Club and a Blood Orange Pisco Sour.
The Clover Club, Thomas tells us, was the turn of the century equivalent of a Cosmopolitan. Though it was invented by a group of men (the "clover club") who met regularly at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philidelphia, when it was printed in a newspaper for the first time, "it was referred to as a lady's drink," Thomas says.
The Pisco Sour, on the other hand, is "Peru's national cocktail," according to Thomas, though it was invented by an American bartender.
"Cocktails are an American invention," she tells us. It wasn't until Prohibition drove bartenders out of the country that cocktails even spread to the rest of the world, she says.
So drink up the history -- you can taste it in these cocktails.
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2 ounces Old Tom Gin
¾ ounce simple syrup
¾ ounces fresh lemon juice
4 each raspberries
½ ounce liq. past. egg whites
I each mint leaves sprig garnish
Build all ingredients in a mixing glass.
Add Ice and Shake Vigorously.
(*Remember Drinks with egg whites must be shaken longer)
Double strain into a coupette.
Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Blood Orange Pisco Sour:
2 ounces Don Cesar Pisco
½ ounce blood orange juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
3 drops Peychaud's bitters garnish
In a mixing glass add simple syrup, lemon juice, blood orange juice, egg whites and Pisco.
Add ice and shake vigorously.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Add Three to Four Drops of Peychaud's Bitters then swirl to pattern.