How to Make Bitters Designs on Cocktail Foam with The Parlor's Michael Allmandinger
When it comes to drinking cocktails, Michael Allmandinger says "the bitter, the better." While his cocktails have a strong herbal element by using infused syrups and bitters as well as liqueurs like Génépi, as he does in his trademark, competition-winning Parlor Star cocktail, calling his creations bitter wouldn't do justice to the balance he achieves in drinks. But the real showstopper of Allmandinger's drink is the thick, heady foam adorned with bitters designs, which he showed us just how he executes.
Heather Hoch Michael Allmandinger shakes up his Parlor Star cocktail.
Michael Allmandinger hasn't been in the bartending game as long as some, but he's already getting buzz for his creative drink menu at The Parlor, which he took over after Joshua James left to go to Clever Koi. Competing against his mentor at the Devour Bartending Competition and ultimately winning came as a surprise to him.
"I was shocked," he says. "I definitely have a passion for it but I'm new and there was so much talent that day."
Since then, he's been creating another new cocktail menu for The Parlor, which will include six new recipes and should be ready in a couple of weeks. One of the cocktails he has planned includes carrot juice, saffron bitters, and cardamom. He has also mixed up some cocktails inspired by Chicago's Aviary for a Woodford whiskey dinner, which included tobacco bitters, a duck fat rinse, and rosemary infusions.
Heather Hoch We'll show you how to get your own designs on your cocktails.
Armed with an arsenal of handmade and boutique bitters, which he says he crafts to mimic beer flavors, Allmandinger can experiment with flavor in his cocktail, making flavors he can't buy. He says that owner Aric Mei encourages both him and the rest of the bar staff to invent unique drinks, even if the first round doesn't always pan out right, and that's what he loves about working there.
While at the bar, Allmandinger served up a few Parlor Stars and a woman came up to ask what the drink was, commenting that they were absolutely beautiful. With a little egg white, your favorite drink recipe, some vigorous shaking, and bitters, you can create your own designs to wow friends.