TJ
Vong

Mizu Izakaya

THE CONTESTANT

TJ Vong

Hometown:
Houston, Texas

What is the name of your cocktail?
Forgotten World

What’s the inspiration behind this garnish?
Dagobah from Star Wars. I wanted to create a cocktail that incorporated smoke in a different manner. Something that would linger much like the fog in Dagobah. I wanted vegetation submerged like the roots of the trees swimming through the swamp. I also wanted something interactive.

What’s the inspiration behind this cocktail? 
The cocktail is based off of a cocktail that always pairs well with smoke, a Penicillin. The physical smoke replaces the Isley scotch. The barrel aged chai spiced bourbon has a variety of layers and complexity to add dryness and flavor. The carrot juice adds color, texture, and complements the ginger and chrysanthemum flavors. Lemon juice for brightness and acidity. Finally, chrysanthemum tea with a little bit of honey.

What cocktail trends do you see occurring in Denver?
Denver is slowly breaking out of its shell. There is still a handful of places that focus on classics because that’s what consumers identify with and that’s what sells. But there are a handful of bars breaking into the more interactive style of cocktails, which people love. And there is also a group of bars leaning more toward the minimalistic style of cocktail; ones that requires less ingredients and time. I think with the introduction of Death & Co in Denver, the community will be expanding more into one of these realms.

Forgotten World

Recipe:
In a shaker with ice, combine:

• 1-1/2 ounces Barrel Aged Chai Spiced Bulleit Bourbon
• 3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
• 3/4 ounce Carrot Juice
• 3/4 ounce Ginger Agave Syrup

Shake for approximately five seconds, then strain into a spherical glass. Float 1-1/2 ounces honey chrysanthemum tea. Garnish with a chrysanthemum flower and edible smoke bubble.

THE GARNISH