Stewards of Spirits: Falco Float
I wanted to give you one more sneak peak at, Stewards of Spirits: A Collection of Sacramento Cocktails and the People Who Make Them. It's my fantastic e-cookbook that brings together 26 of Sacramento's best bartenders and drinks together into one epic cocktail book.
One of those bartenders was Zeph Horn of Hawks Provisions and Public House. By and far one of the fantastic bars in the city, Horn tinkers and creates fantastic drinks. Often whimsical takes on classics, though sometimes mad creations only one who likely spent his childhood making mud pies and appealing anyone to actually indulge in them his drinks are always thought-provoking and solidly tasty.
The Falco Float is no exception. A root beer float for adults. Chocolaty with stout, head of cream you could ski on and the flavor – always changing due to the slowly melting root beer ice – keeps one engaged as salt and sweet mingle on the tongue.
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Falco Float, by Zeph Horn
An Irish-Italian son of relief workers, Zeph Horn spent much of his childhood traveling the world being homeschooled in regions torn apart by war, disease, and natural disaster. Classes were held in places like Mexico, China, India, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
“I’ve been bartending a long time,” laughs Horn. “Twenty years, three continents, and three states.”
It started when he was working on a graphics design degree at a college in Sydney, Australia. One night, while working at a restaurant, he was suddenly tossed behind the bar in the middle of a Friday night rush once the owners realized that customers would swoon for his exotic American accent.
Horn learned quickly, and the owners eventually brought him out to Patong Beach in Phuket, bartending at raves fueled by drugs, booze, and bright lights that would go well after the sun came up. He would work twelve-hour shifts, sometimes seven days in a row, then take the sometimes $10,000 in wages and tips and spend a few weeks backpacking through Thailand before returning for another run behind the bar. Eventually, he would head to Singapore, to schlep in dive bars and develop beverage programs in fine dining restaurants.
“The travel and experience turned bartending into my passion,” touts Horn. He eventually followed his fiancée to Sacramento—her residence of twenty-five years—and laid down roots in the form of a marriage and two kids. He soon became a key player in the bar program at Hawks Restaurant and the recently opened Hawks Provisions & Public House, where he currently develops cocktails that call back to his years growing up a citizen of the world.
His cocktails—both in their complexion and artful simplicity—have made Horn one of the most respected men in Sac’s cocktail community.
What You'll Need:
- Maldon salt
- 1 large root beer ice cube (recipe follows)
- 1 ½ ounces James E. Pepper 1776 Rye (or other rye)
- ½ ounce sambuca
- Jack Rabbit Oatmeal Stout (or other stout)
- Sweet bar cream (recipe follows)
What You'll Do:
Place some Maldon salt in a small saucer. Moisten the rim of a rocks glass and dip into the salt.
Place the root beer ice cube into the glass. Pour over the rye and sambuca. Top off with a pour of stout, leaving a little under ½ inch of space at the top.
Carefully pour the sweet bar cream over the top and fill to the rim. Serve immediately.
Root Beer Ice Cubes
A novel addition to a cocktail. It’s best if you use silicone ice cube molds for making large cubes. However, using a regular ice cube tray and using a three or four smaller cubes in the drink will do just as well. To make, simply pour a favorite root beer carefully into an ice cube mold or tray. Allow the carbonation to settle a bit before filling to the top. Freeze and use when solid.
Sweet Bar Cream
Popular in bars throughout western Europe, but famously used to top off an Irish Coffee. It’s a barely-even-whipped cream that offers body and sweetness to a drink.
What You'll Need:
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
What You'll Do:
Place ingredients into a cocktail shaker (you won’t need any ice) and shake for about 15 to 20 seconds. You want a thick liquid, but not whipped cream. Will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator.