Captain Morgan Private Stock and Lorne Caborn
A couple of weeks ago I was given the absolutely awesome opportunity to sit down with the superbly genius, Lorne Caborn. Why? Because he’s a brilliant mixologist. Though, he doesn’t care to see himself that way. He sees himself as a bartender rather than a mixologist. He compares the two to chefs versus cooks. A cook being a bartender and a chef being a mixologist. Both are great but a chef would likely know more about flavor profiles and finesse. Personally, I think he’s a bit modest.
How did I score a meeting with Lorne? I was asked to sample two signature drinks using the crisp tasting Captain Morgan Private Stock. These signature drinks of course, concocted by Lorne. The occasion? Tall Ships 2012, one of Nova Scotia’s most exciting events! Though the ships have already left Halifax, they were currently visiting other ports in NS up until the 29th.
His favorite drink? A mojito. Since I lack the ability to make a decent one of these, I fully intend on making Lorne my best friend. So what is Lorne all about? He started in the biz as a young pup washing dishes at Café Chianti. He eventually worked his way up, learning tons about combining flavors and drink. Years later he picked up one of those bartending courses but found that it was too general and that every establishment was very unique in how they trained their staff. This made it very difficult to be trained for absolutely all of the places that serve drinks. Thus, his perfection of learning on the job. He still believes a course is valuable after you’ve already worked a bit as a bartender.
I met up with Lorne at the lower deck (during daylight, GASP) to get the low down on the drinks he created using Private Stock.
What was your first drink?
Well, my first drink, like so many others’s first drink, was not very glorious. It was 5 Star rye and Diet Pepsi. My dad used to drink it growing up so it’s all I really knew. That and James Ready beer. My first real ‘serious’ drink was The Manhatten and I had it a Da Maurizio’s in Halifax and my first real cocktail consumed (when I finally developed taste buds and stopped ordering what was on special) was a gin and tonic with lime.
When creating a new drink, what sort of inspirations do you draw from?
I try and incorporate as many fresh, local ingredients as I can as well as making it a reflection of the season. You also have to factor in where it is being served, when it is being served, the audience and what food, if any, that’s it’s being paired with. Your favourite cocktail may not have been indeed the best one you’ve tasted but it’s the one that brings back the best memories. That martini you had at a beautiful restaurant in Dartmouth on the first date with your partner or that amazing mojito on the roof top in Puerto Rico with all your friends. It’s the combination of all these things and how well a cocktail blends with the occasion that will make it memorable and it’s all about creating memories.
What type of food would be best to pair with the Morgan’s Maritimer?
I cheated on this one and asked my long time friend and Executive Chef Tom Connors for assistance on this one. He’s forgotten more about food than I’ll ever remember. We sat down and sampled a few cocktails just to make sure we had the right flavour pallet to work from. After much deliberation we decided being so fruity we though it could be paired with a nice baked brie in phyllo with mango and cilantro for an appetizer. Something more substantial as a main course pairing would be tuna, shark or swordfish steak with a nice mango salsa. It actually works quite well with dessert, a traditional trifle or cheesecake would go very well with it.
What puts the Maritime in the Morgan’s Maritimer?
Well it was created by a maritimer and also incorporates one of my favourite parts of summer here, fresh strawberries. I think it would make for a pretty perfect day to go strawberry picking, and then spend the evening around a bbq with some of the Captain’s Private Stock and great friends.
Now that you know a little more about Lorne, let’s get back to business. Private Stock itself is a wonderful product (sick bottle too) with vanilla undertones. It’s smooth, delicious and could totally be taken on the rocks. So what has Lorne put together for our Tall Ship signature drinks?
1.5 oz Captain Morgan Private Stock
Muddle strawberries in a rocks glass, add Captain Morgan Private Stock and top with ice. Fill ¾ with orange juice and finish with lemon lime soda (try 7UP or Sprite).
*Lorne recommended that if you want to spice it up a bit, to add some cracked pepper to the top of the drink.
Morgan Takes Manhattan
1 oz of Captain Morgan Private Stock
0.5 oz sweet vermouth
Garnish with a cherry
Mix all ingredients in a shaker, strain into a martini glass. Another twist on a classic cocktail.
After looking at these recipes what do you notice? Aside from the delicious factor, you can count the ingredients on your hand. I love this so much. I can recognize and read what the ingredients are and would likely already have them in the fridge. As Lorne agreed with me: “simple is better.”
Get out there and see some ships and then enjoy some signature drinks with Private Stock.