Craftsman Bar Introduces First House-Made Foam Program in Austin
By Zachary Martin (Guest Contributor)
When Brandon Testa opened Craftsman back in May, he wanted to create a bar that combined his years of experience in Austin’s service industry with the ability to innovate with his team to meet the ever-changing tastes of Austin’s flourishing nightlife scene. With a keen focus on tasteful cocktails and truly fresh ingredients, he and his team found a concept no one in Austin had thought of– homemade foam cocktails.
While plenty of cocktails have a foam concept to them- think of a Pisco sour- very few have actually incorporated liquor into the foam itself. What sets Craftsman’s foam cocktail program apart is that they’ve developed alcohol-based foams that are combined with a cocktail to meld two cocktails into one. When the foams are added to the pre-existing cocktail, an infusion takes place that changes the color, taste and all-around experience for their guests.
“So far we’ve crafted two cocktails for our foam program,” said Testa. “Our East Side Sour utilizes a Velvet Falernum-based foam, which is a Barbadian sweet and spiced liqueur that ends up tasting a bit like key lime pie, while our Poolside incorporates an Elderflower liqueur-based foam, which brings a somewhat tropical yet floral taste to the drink.”
While creating your own alcoholic foam may sound quite difficult, Craftsman’s general manager, Shawn Hines, explained that it’s actually a pretty simple and fun process.
“When we first started producing the foams, I was shocked to see how we could easily innovate our menu using quality ingredients we already had around the bar,” said Hines. “The key was figuring out how to use our resources in a way that our customers and the city had never seen before.”
While the program is in its early stages, Craftsman’s two foam-cocktails have become huge hits for the bar located at 2000 East Caesar Chavez in the burgeoning East Side neighborhood. Their Poolside includes the aforementioned Elderflower liqueur infused with Tito’s Vodka, cold-pressed watermelon juice, lime juice and a mint sprig for garnish. Meanwhile, the East Side Sour contains the Velvet Falernum-foam combined with Cazadores Anejo Tequila, lime juice, and homemade, cold-pressed mango purée garnished with three drops of Bittermens Tiki Bitters.
Both drinks, like all of Craftsman’s cocktails, are available for $9. By producing their foams in-house with a similar process the bar uses to make their renowned homemade ginger beer, Craftsman has opened the door to introducing seasonal foam cocktails that employ locally sourced ingredients. With the positive reaction the bar has received from their flagship foam program, Testa plans to expand their possibilities.
“Next month we’ll be launching a new fall cocktail menu, and we definitely will be adding more foam cocktails,” said Testa. “We’ve had such great feedback on our foam program, it’s almost become a competition between the staff to see who can come up with the tastiest concoction.”
Craftsman is open seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and Noon to 2 a.m. on Sunday. Learn more about Craftsman by visiting http://craftsmanbar.com