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A Creepy Cocktail
By Kara Pound
Photo by Dennis Ho
A Venezuelan native, Romero moved to St. Augustine a little over two years ago to help set up the bar program at Odd Birds Bar on Charlotte Street. He’s also a bit of an Internet celebrity — making a name for himself as “The Garnish Guy” with more than 16,000 followers on Instagram (@the_garnishguy). Romero has created original cocktails for a slew of distilleries and spirit brands including St. Augustine Distillery, Malfy Gin, Rabbit Hole Distilling and Cold River Gin. When Old City Life was gearing up to shoot a Halloween-inspired cocktail, it only made sense to ask The Garnish Guy. Romero showed up to the shoot with a bagful of trinkets and knickknacks including a skull, white candles and antique books. Always a pleasure to work with, check out his original cocktail, “Trapped Spirits,” which utilizes activated charcoal to obtain a muddy black color. Cheers (or should we say “Chills!!”
- 1.5 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
- 0.75 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- 0.5 oz. Suze Herbal Liqueur
- 0.25 oz. Amaro Montenegro
- 0.75 oz. lemon juice
- Bar spoonful of activated charcoal
Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel and black cherry.
HAUNTINGLY DELICIOUS CARDAMOM PEAR GATEAUX
Photos and Recipe by Jessica Bright
- 1/4 CUP BUTTER, SOFTENED
- 1/2 CUP PACKED BROWN SUGAR
- 4-5 MEDIUM PEARS
- 1/4 CUP WALNUT PIECES
- 1/2 CUP BUTTER, SOFTENED
- 3/4 CUP SUGAR IN THE RAW
- 1 EGG
- 1 TEASPOON VANILLA PASTE (OR VANILLA EXTRACT)
- 1-1/4 CUPS WHITE- WHEAT WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR (OR ALL-PURPOSE)
- 1/2 TSP GROUND CARDAMOM
- 1-1/4 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
- 1/4 TEASPOON SALT
- 1/2 CUP WHOLE MILK
Preheat oven to 350°. Place 1/4 cup of butter in a 10” round cake pan, place pan in the oven and allow the butter to melt completely. Remove the pan from oven before the butter starts to brown.
Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the melted butter. Cut each pear into 8 wedges, remove the core, and arrange in concentric circles on top of the brown sugar, spacing the walnut pieces evenly among the pears.
Cream together the remaining 1/2 cup of butter with 3/4 cup of sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla paste, and beat briefly to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, then mix to combine. Add the milk, mix again, then add the remaining flour mixture. Beat well and pour over the prepared pears in the pan, smoothing the surface. Bake at 350°F until cake is cooked through (about 45 minutes). Test center with a toothpick to confirm that it is fully cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, invert on a serving platter and serve warm. Yield 12 servings (but you are going to want more than one piece, so make that 6!).