Londoner Richard Woods – Global Head of Cocktail and Spirit Development for Samba Brand Management’s restaurants – is not your every day mixologist. The dapper, charming type, Woods reigns over Samba’s beverage program like a true revolutionary. Revamping their cocktails (which have now become worldwide favorites) Woods has had a hand in all their projects from Miami’s Sugarcane, to London’s Duck & Waffle all the way to SushiSamba in Miami, New York, Las Vegas, London and Chicago. Woods visited New York last month and we couldn’t help but make him give us a private tasting. You now have your roadmap for your next cocktail party: Don’t thank us, thank Richard.
Hendrick’s gin, lemon juice, sugar and elderflower – shaken hard with home-made wasabi sorbet. Served long over ice and charged with soda.
Garnish: Large mint sprig
Ingredients: 1½ oz Hendrick’s
½ oz Lime juice
½ oz Sugar syrup
¼ oz St. Germain
2 scoops Wasabi sorbet
Method: Shake all with ice and strain into glass. Fill with ice and top with soda.
2 ½ Cups Celery. Washed, trimmed and chopped
1 Cup Granny Smith Apples. Chopped
½ Cup Water
One recipe (below) of Sorbet syrup (simple syrup frozen to 30⁰)
1 ½ tsp Stab or Cremodan stabilizer
1 1/3 Tbsp Wasabi
– Blend all in blender until smooth – approx. 3mins. Pour into Paco-Jet container and freeze.
– Remove once frozen and pass through Paco-Jet
Add two scoops to gin, Lemon juice, Sugar syrup and St. Germaine. Shake hard with cube ice and strain into highball with cube ice. Top with soda.
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 ¾ ounce Trimoline
Heat water. Add all other ingredients and stir until completely dissolved.
A creative take on the Brazilian classic. Fragrant Kaffir lime leaves infused in Loblon cachaça, churned with line & sugar. Served short, over crushed ice. Fragrant and powerful.
Glass: Rocks Glass
Garnish: Limes & Kaffir leaves
Ingredients: 1.5oz cachaça (infused)
1oz lime juice (1 lime squeezed)
1oz of sugar syrup. (1:1 ratio)
Method: Pour all into glass with half crushed ice. Churn ingredients. Top with more crushed ice then garnish and serve immediately.
Pre-mix equal parts of sugar and hot water to make the syrup. Allow to chill.
If Kaffir leaves are unavailable, try using basil, sage or tarragon for an alternative. Infuse for up to 24hrs, tasting periodically for flavor.
Bombay Dry gin and house-made yuzu cordial. Shaken and served straight-up.
Garnish: Large lime zest and rim of glass
Ingredients: 2 oz Gin (possibly Bombay East)
½ oz Yuzu cordial
Method: Shake ingredients with ice and shake hard. Double strain and using a large lime zest, zest the top of the drink as well as the stem and rim of the glass, before placing the zest in the drink.
Ingredients: 1 qt Sugar syrup
6 Large limes, zested
6.7 oz Yuzu juice (unsalted)
Method: Bring syrup to the boil. Add squeezed lime zests over boiling water, stir to infuse and leave for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add yuzu juice and stir. Allow to cool, filter, bottle, seal and refrigerate.
*Richard Woods, photographed at SushiSamba New York City, by Danielle Kosann