Hakkasan's Camille Austin Makes Cocktails That Are Beautiful to Behold...And Drink
|All photos by Laine Doss|
|Camille Austin making a "Long Dragon"|
Raven-haired Camille Austin is the head mixologist at Hakkasan and she's part of a Miami movement to elevate the cocktail. In a city where "Goose and Bull" is the drink of choice, she has her work cut out for her. But Austin, 25, is out to steal the hearts and taste buds of Miamians, one elaborate cocktail at a time.
Austin originally set out to study performing arts and started bartending as a way to earn some money. Realizing the bar was like a stage and that bartending is an art, she started asking the chef about flavor profiles and combinations and went to Mexico to learn about tequila.
Soon, the talented Austin was creating signature cocktails ($14) for Hakkasan's menu, including hot tea drinks that incorporate the drama of a traditional Asian tea service. Austin shared a few cocktails with us, leaving us wanting to try every single libation on the menu.
|The Long Dragon|
This tall drink is made with sake, Noilly Prat vermouth, lemon juice and ginger ale. Garnished with cucumber and lemon rind, it's a zesty combination of Asian and English flavors. A perfect refresher after a long day at the beach, it was light, fizzy and fresh with just a hint of sweetness.
|Mixologist Camille Austin makes a Red Hot Passion.|
Made with Stoli white pomegranate, fresh green apple, agave nectar, fresh lemon juice and pomegranate juice, this martini is completely labor-intensive. First the green apple is muddled, then the ingredients are mixed and chilled, before being strained into your glass and garnished with a perfect slice of starfruit and fresh grated cinnamon. What does Austin do when a large group enters the bar and all order these cocktails at once? "just breathe." Very zen!
|Red Hot Passion. The finished product.|
|The Warm Tea Punch is garnished with apple, cinnamon, and lemongrass.|