Bar Review: Teleféric Barcelona Restaurant, Walnut Creek, California

Teleféric Barcelona
Teleféric has three bars/restaurants in Spain. The one we visited in Walnut Creek, California is their first venture in the United States, having opened in January 2017. Their menu is filled with dishes from Barcelona, created by chefs from Spain. The pricing is a bit high, but worth it for a special luxury meal such as an anniversary or birthday dinner. What first drew our attention to this restaurant is a peek at their signature sangrias. They graciously gave us a recipe to share with you.

Everything done at Teleféric Barcelona is done with flair, from the friendly and talkative staff to elaborate garnishes on food and drink abound. First we were offered appetizers from a cart. In Spain they are called pinchos, meaning ‘little bites.’ The best of these was a chorizo bite. It was sweet and paired with a nice crema-like cheese and a pepper which we expected to be hot but was pleasant instead.

Pisco cart

To go with our pinchos, drinks were in order. First up was a cocktail called a Cortez, Teleféric’s version of a Manhattan. It was surprising to find mezcal in it because we typically think of that with more Mexican dishes. The signature smokiness was there but not overwhelming. Other ingredients included Carpano Antica, maraschino liqueur, and flaming sweet orange. Very nice.

We also had a cocktail served alongside dessert called In Spanish Fashion. Its ingredients include Bulleit Rye whiskey, brandy, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, bitters, lemon, and hand cut ice. This was a pleasant combination of ingredients and a great end to a wonderful evening.

But sangria is really the main event here: Our host explained how every region of Spain has their own signature style of sangria. We decided to try Teleféric’s three sangrias with our meal. They were kind enough to bring us small tastes so we could try them all.

First was the white sangria called Sangria Ibiza. Its light bubbly and mild dry taste came from Verdejo Wine and Pisco from Peru. The slight sweetness is from the addition of elderflower liqueur, Licor 43, peaches, and pineapples.

Next up: A pink sangria called Barceloneta. Among its ingredients are prickly pear juice, lemonade, and a jumble of fresh fruits such as orange, blueberry, and raspberry. It came garnished with a small sprig of rosemary. Its taste was reminiscent of a Grenache wine.

The third, and our favorite, sangria was the Sangria Teleféric. Right off the mint from the garnish tickles the nose. This sangria was also garnished with a cinnamon stick, blueberries, and raspberries. The cinnamon gave the drink a nice spiciness to it.

We wanted to make it ourselves — here’s the recipe:Signature Sangrias

Sangria Teleféric
Spanish red wine
orange juice
apple juice
4 oranges (chunks)
4 ripe pears (chunks)
4 big cinnamon sticks
Brandy de Jerez “Solera”
Nolet’s gin

There aren’t measurements because you can make these in large or small batches and mix everything to taste. Mix all these ingredients , except the red wine. Then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. The purpose is to obtain a balanced and unique flavor so neither the gin nor brandy will be overpowering. Throughout these 24 hours the pears and oranges release their flavors enhancing the fruity, but not too sweet flavors. Once the mix is ready, combine it with red wine. Let it rest for another 24 hours so the wine can absorb the sweetness and flavor of the fruits. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, berries, and fresh mint sprig.

telefericbarcelona.com

Recipes: A Taste of New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2017

Can’t make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this week? Break up the end of winter blues with a good ol’ celebration featuring these seven cocktails. Don’t forget the bead strings, jazz music, and a big pot of jambalaya (Emeril’s recipe is after the drinks).

Smoke Stack SazeracSmoke Stack Sazerac
1 ½ parts Monkey Shoulder whiskey
1/5 part sugar syrup
dash Peychaud’s Bitters
dash absinthe
top with Peach Smoke

Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Add cold dry ice and stir. Once dilution is reached, strain into a glass. Top with Smoke and garnish with peach smoke.

Hudson Storm King
2 parts Hudson Baby Bourbon
1/2 part St. Agrestis amaro
5-6 parts Succession sparkling hard apple cider
2 dashes Fee Bros. barrel-aged aromatic bitters
nutmeg

Build over ample ice in rocks glass: first bitters, amaro, and Baby Bourbon, then top with apple cider. Finally, grate fresh nutmeg on top.

Lavender 75Reyka’s Lavender 75
1 ½ parts Reyka Vodka
1 part fresh lemon juice
¾ part lavender syrup (1/2 cup water; ½ cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. lavender; if you don’t have fresh then use the dried lavender from the spice aisle of the grocery store. Put in a small pan and boil for at least five minutes or until mixture becomes syrupy in texture. Strain out the lavender before using the syrup.)
dry champagne

Combine all ingredients in a shaker except the champagne. Shake and strain into a glass; then top with champagne. Note: you can add a dash of lavender bitters if you like for an additional lavender flavor.

Hop ‘til it Hurts
by Billy Armijo at Cafe Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar
1 bottle IPA beer
1 1/4 oz. Alto del Carmen Pisco
¾ oz. grapefruit juice
1 dash rhubarb bitters
1 dash simple syrup

Put all ingredients except for the beer into a shaker. Shake all ingredients on ice for 7 seconds, strain into a chilled coupe glass. Top with the IPA. Garnish with expressed grapefruit twist.

Epiphany Milk PunchEpiphany Milk Punch
by Laura Belluci at SoBou
1 1/2 oz. King Cake Infused brandy
½ oz. Frangelico
½ oz. cardamom syrup
3 oz. milk
2 dash angostura bitters
candy sprinkles or colored sugar for garnish

Shake without ice and strain into a coup glass. Add sprinkles on top before serving.

Sailor Jerry’s Ginger Daiquiri
1 ½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
¾ part homemade ginger syrup (1/2 cup water; ½ cup sugar, fresh ginger slices. Put in a small pan and boil for at least five minutes or until mixture becomes syrupy in texture. Remove ginger slices before using.)
½ part fresh lime juice

Add all ingredients to empty mixing glass then fill with ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with candied ginger.

Spicy PalomaCitrus Aisle Party
by Apartment Bartender
2 oz. tequila
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. cinnamon syrup
pinch of salt
Q Grapefruit soda

Shake all ingredients and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with a lime and grapefruit wheel.

What to pair with any of the above? Why, this of course:

Cajun Jambalaya
by Emeril Lagasse
24 medium peeled, deveined and chopped shrimp, about 1/2 pound
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
1 Tbsp. Emeril’s Original Essence
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. hot sauce
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound Andouille sausage, sliced
chopped green onion for garnish

Combine the shrimp, chicken and Essence in a bowl and toss to coat evenly. Set aside. Heat the oil over in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers and celery, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in the rice and slowly add the broth. Bring the rice to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and chicken mixture, and the sausage. Cover and cook for 10 minutes longer. Turn off the heat and allow the jambalaya to continue to steam 10 minutes longer before serving. Stir in the green onion.

Note: if you want to add to the party, we recommend adding a ½ cup of bourbon with the Worcestershire.

Emeril’s Original Essence
2 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. coarse salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; stir until well combined. Transfer mixture to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place.

Recipes to Celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day 2017

Milagro Hot Chocolate

National Hot Chocolate Day is celebrated on Tuesday, January 31st. He’s a look at four recipes for your enjoyment — all of which we put to the test ourselves!

Milagro Hot Chocolate
Created by National Brand Ambassador Jaime Salas
1.5 Parts Milagro Anejo
Abuelita chocolate tablets or your favorite hot chocolate powder
3 parts heavy cream
1 pinch grated chili chocolate bar

Build in a clear mug or other drink vessel suitable for hot beverages. Top with whipped cream and chili chocolate shavings. If you don’t want o use the hot chocolate powder, then melt the chili chocolate bar instead…just save one square to shave for the garnish.

Red Wine Hot ChocolateRed Wine Hot Chocolate
2/3 cup semisweet dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup red blend wine
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 pinch of salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Combine the chocolate chips, wine, milk, heavy cream, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until chocolate chips are melted. Don’t rush it or it can burn. Remove from heat, then stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour into mugs and serve. This makes four mugs.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate has been an internet craze all winter, with numerous recipes online. We picked through the best of the ingredients to create a silky treat.

Coconut Cardamom Bourbon Hot Chocolate
Courtesy Autumn Giles
2 cups coconut milk (the kind from the carton, not the can)
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chocolate chips
4 Tbsp. bourbon

In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and cardamom over medium heat, stirring frequently.
When it starts to bubble, remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips, and let sit for about 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, add the bourbon and use a immersion blender to blend the mixture until frothy, about 30 seconds. Pour into two small mugs and top with coconut whipped cream (see below) and garnish with additional cardamom.

To Make Coconut Whipped Cream
1—14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (it’s recommended not to use the lite kind). You may be able to find canned coconut cream in the international section of some grocery stores.
2 Tbsp. white sugar, or to taste
1 tsp. real vanilla extract

Refrigerate can of coconut milk for 8 hours or overnight. Place metal mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator or freezer 1 hour before making whipped cream. Open can of coconut milk, taking care not to shake it. Scoop coconut cream solids into cold mixing bowl. Reserve remaining liquid for another use. Beat coconut cream using electric mixer with chilled beaters on medium speed; turn to high speed. Beat until stiff peaks form, 7 to 8 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla extract to coconut cream; beat 1 minute more. Taste and add more sugar if desired.

Orange Hot ChocolateOrange Hot Chocolate for Four
From SeriousEats.com
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
3 cups whole milk
4 oz. milk chocolate chips
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
3 oz. Grand Marnier or Cointreau
4 oz. pisco or rum
four 2-inch segments orange peel
whipped cream
candied orange peel

In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate. Heat over medium heat until, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenize mixture. Add Grand Marnier and pisco or rum. Divide into four serving cups. Rub rim of each cup with orange zest and then drop them into the mug. They will release the orange oils with each sip. Top with whipped cream and candied orange peel, and serve.