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    Categories: Eat & Drink

Cocktail Contest: Making new discoveries at Pallet

One of the cool things about making the rounds, sipping the entries at this year’s Farm to Glass Cocktail Contest is the collateral advantages: We stopped in at Pallet to try the “Street Corn named Desire”, since bar manager Bijan Ghiai’s creations are alway stellar. Sure enough, we loved the cocktail—a highly original concoction made of blended sweet corn, ancho liqueur, dry curacao, lemon and honey. The blended corn is strained out, leaving the drink with a light and foamy consistency, reminiscent of the texture eggwhite gives a gin fizz. It’s served in a martini glass washed with mezcal with one outer side dipped in powdered ancho chile and garnished with a toothpick skewer of ancho-dusted corn kernels. 

The inspiration for the cocktail can be ordered from the appetizer menu: Sous Chef Jerry Pacheco makes Elotes (translates to fresh corn) from Utah sweet corn kernels mixed with creme fraiche, cotija cheese and truffle aioli and tops it with ancho chili powder and red vein sorel from Frog Bench Farms.

 But then we saw another cocktail going out and immediately ordered one of those: For the “Life of Poblano,” Bijan scrapes the seeds and stems from a fresh poblano pepper and balances it in a glass of ice water. Then he mixes Wahaka Espadin Joven Mezcal with lime, orgeat, Ancho Reyes (a liqueur flavored with ancho chile) and some other things and fills the pepper with it. You drink directly from the pepper, getting a green, vegetal aroma with every sip that offsets the smoky liquor. 
Genius.  Get out there and start sipping—who knows what you’ll find? Here’s a list of Cocktail Contest participants. And don’t forget to buy tickets for the grand finale party.
Mary Brown Malouf :Mary Brown Malouf is the Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.