[Note: Lumos will participate in the upcoming World Baijiu Day.]
When Lumos opens in New York this month as a bar with a baijiu focus, patrons will have a wide range of options, says mixologist Orson Salicetti. Along with 60 different kinds of baijiu, available individually or in flights, there will be ten house infusions, six baijius aged at least 12 weeks in cured oak barrels and, of course, cocktails.
Salicetti says the idea for Lumos came from Qifan Li, his partner, who grew up in the United States but wants to preserve some of the traditions of her ancestors.
In terms of cocktails, he says he has been studying and drinking baijiu for nearly a year. He recently created a Pyrus Martini for a recent Chinese New Year event.
“Pyrus refers to a white pear tree species native to China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea,” he says. “This pear has a delicate, floral and seductive fragrance. It’s one of my favorite fruits to enjoy in the transition of winter to spring.”
The cocktail includes baijiu, gin, pear, maraschino liqueur, a spicy house elixir that has baijiu, allspice, clove and cinnamon, and agave, sage and lime.
Salicetti will also have two baijiu cocktails in the upcoming LUCKYRICE New York Feast: Sesame Colada and Luminous (see recipes on this page).
Finally, here’s more on baijiu and the cocktail philosophy at Lumos:
“While baijiu’s reputation has been slandered by some, referring to it as ‘firewater’ or ‘white lightening’ due to its high alcohol content, it’s important to realize that what makes baijiu unique is its exceedingly robust aromatic quality…. The fragrance is so distinctive, in fact, that the spirit is actually classified by its scent… Catching a note of savory soy sauce or Chinese medicine is not what one expects from their cocktail, but when balanced properly, the flavors and aromas can all work together in harmony.”