Cocktail: The China Clipper
This is a great union between trends-- classic cocktails and local ingredients, that additionally shows off the character of Oakheart in a unique way. Based on a 1940’s classic cocktail called “The Airmail” (so named because it’s the “quickest way to get from point A (sober) to point B (not sober)”), this cocktail is also an unusual use of a rum like Oakheart-- light, semi-dry, and champagne-heavy, showing off the product’s versatility. Additionally, this cocktail uses local ingredients-- peaches, honey, and Michigan wine--but in a non-standard way, maintaining the classic cocktail feel, while showing off the local products. The name “China Clipper” is a reference to the original Airmail Cocktail, as the China Clipper was one of the first planes successfully used for airmail, and it regularly made stops in and around the Caribbean, including Cuba, the birthplace of Bacardi. There’s more to this rum than just “Rum and Coke”, and a cocktail like this proves it!
Mixologist: Torrence R. O’Haire
Number of years in the business: 11
Funniest bartending story? I once bartended for a private wedding party, and the father of the bride was making an absolute fool of himself-- dancing with his shirt off, climbing on tables, etc.-- his wife came over to me, livid, demanding to know how many beers I’d served him and why I didn’t cut him off. I explained he was on his eighth beer, but he’d been asking for a specific microbrew the whole time, apparently not realizing that it was a non-alcoholic beer. He hadn’t actually had a single alcoholic drink all night, but *thought* he was drinking real beer. His wife thought this was hilarious, bound me to keep quiet, and spent the rest of the night daring her husband to do ridiculous things, seeing just how far he’d let his imaginary intoxication take him. Finally, he was informed of the “trick”, and hilariously became INSTANTLY sober, and was the most eloquent, polite guy for the rest of the night. It was great. The wife tipped me incredibly well.