Introducing our June RIEDEL Mixologist of the Month, Jeff Rogers!
Tell us about your bar program! What makes it unique?
P.S. Steak is the seventh property within Jester Concepts. All of our properties are located within Minneapolis and St. Paul. This property is very special to us, because of the historic factor of the property itself. We are located just south of downtown Minneapolis. 510 Groveland is an historic building made up of private residences and restaurant space. The space has housed multiple iconic restaurant concepts over the years, including the famed La Belle Vie, known for growing the chef driven menu and for progressive cocktails. With the fame of La Belle Vie, the space has gotten a reputation as one of the best restaurant properties in the Twin Cities. Our Culinary Director, Michael DeCamp, was a staple of La Belle Vie while it was open and his return here has meant so much to him. We occupy the main floor with two spaces, the lounge and the dining room, which both have their own bar and are two distinct visual experiences.
The lounge is open and spacious with a view of the entrance of the amazing building. Where guests can meet up without a reservation and enjoy lighter and sharable bites, or our dining menu if they choose. We have an expansive wine list, multiple cocktail options, and a few select beers. The lounge boasts a large fireplace surrounded by couch, table, or bar seating.
The dining room is dark and intimate, designed for the steakhouse experience. You can sit at a two top table with a date, a large velvety booth with a group, or choose a seat at our newly added bar. There is something for everyone. Chef DeCamp wanted to pay tribute to the traditional steak house, but still have the fluidity to change based on seasonal ingredients. Dry aged meats are in the spotlight lifted up by seasonal vegetable sides. We have multiple steak cuts and an ever changing list of other chef driven dishes, from duck to rabbit.
This gave us a great opportunity to play with flavors in cocktails. We have clean & crisp, sour, savory and spirit forward options. We want to stay simple and classic in the steak house while adding to the dining experience by accenting the flavors Chef DeCamp developed. The lounge offers a more robust offering, allowing us to be more playful with interesting flavors and spirits in the cocktails. Our current lounge menu theme is 80's movies, with every cocktail named after an 80's movie quote. The quote had to fit what was in the cocktail though, not just for the sake of it. We have a Manhattan called, "Here That NY, The Frog is Staying", featured from 'Muppets Take Manhattan'. We have a tequila old fashioned called, "The Ten Pesos Version" from 'Three Amigos'. Our goal is to give an elevated experience without taking ourselves too seriously. Sometimes cocktail places become more about the cocktail than the guests, we want it to be about them. We want our guests to have fun.
What is the signature drink on your cocktail list?
Our menu is organized currently by glassware, old fashioned, nick and nora, highball, sour, and our Respects page. Within each category we have 4 options. The P.S. old fashioned is definitely leading in popularity right now, as are most old fashioneds in most places. Beyond that, our freezer martini called the Obi Pip Kinobi is a crowd pleaser. Served in a chilled nick and nora, it is a blend of Ki No Bi Japanese gin, Tanqueray 10 gin, Noilly Prat dry vermouth, orange and lemon bitters. Prepped before hand and placed in a freezer to get it to the coldest temp we can without freezing.
What is an under-the-radar drink on your list that you wouldn't want us to miss?
"Not That Olson Twin" - It is a riff on a Ti Punch. Rhum Clement Canne Bleu blended with a molasses based Chairman's Reserve rum, demerara syrup, lime coin with flesh, and "Grandpa Bread" tincture.
A traditional Ti Punch is such a wonderful cocktail. I have drank many with friends all over the map and each one of those friends makes them slightly different. "Not That Olson Twin" has the flavors of a daiquiri, but is very spirit forward where the rhum agricole gets to shine. This is swizzled to get aeration into the cocktail and sipped without ice. I had to think about selling them over the bar though as those that aren't cocktail enthusiasts often found it to be an aggressive cocktail. I wanted to find a way to make it a little more approachable to the masses.
This cocktail is an homage to one of my favorite bartenders in the Twin Cities, Jon Olson. We share the love of a Ti Punch. I started with that as the base, added a bit of molasses based rum into the blend for richness, added a small piece of cracked ice to the swizzle process for a small amount of dilution and serve it over 1 cube. Then we add "Grandpa Bread" tincture on top. This was developed from memories of Sunday dinner with my family. It is a toasted caraway and rye bread tincture, with all the aromas of the loaf of bread that sat next to my grandfather for every Sunday meal. Being in Minnesota, we have a large Scandinavian population, and with that comes our love for aquavit. Jon and I share this love, so I wanted to incorporate that profile without being intrusive. When I added aquavit to the mix originally, I lost the subtle nuances of the rhum agricole. Unacceptable! That is when the tincture idea came. I can get the aromas without masking any of the original cocktail flavors and aromas. You get all of these flavors served up in a Riedel Neat glass.
Bartender's Choice. What are you ordering when you have a night off?
This is a question that comes up often. After prepping, batching, making cocktails, and talking cocktails during work, there is nothing I love more than a beer and a spirit neat. The spirit changes depending on where I am.
If I had to choose a cocktail, it would be a daiquiri. There is something magical about rum, sugar, and lime.
In your opinion, how do Riedel glasses enhance the wine drinking experience? Which is your favorite glass/product?
The Riedel glasses allow our guests to experience their wine or cocktails in a true form. When a wine maker, distiller, blender, or bartender make liquid concoctions they want the person imbibing to experience the tipple to it's fullest. Riedel helps make that happen with the small details that are thought about in the design of a specific glass.
I love the nick & nora glass for spirit forward, stirred cocktails. The shape, the weight, the stem, and the base are all really well thought out for a martini or manhattan. It keeps the cocktail nice and cold. It places the cocktail onto the middle of the tongue with the slight curved in edges. All around just a great glass.
What's the latest cocktail trend that you're excited about?
Trends are a weird concept to me. Every year articles and interviews are put out saying this is what is going to be the trend for the upcoming year. Ask rum and brandy how that has turned out. Seems like the year of rum or brandy has supposed to have been every year for the last 10 years. I look at it as, what is the person being interviewed really into or what is their area of the world really into. My favorite trends are the ones that individual bartenders or bars are into. If they are really into something, I know they have put their heart and soul into the experimentation and development.