The Windsor Court Hotel has appointed Ryan Asay to head mixologist. In this new role, Asay will oversee all of the hotel’s bars including Cocktail Bar and Polo Club Lounge, and work closely with Chef Kristin Butterworth to incorporate fresh, local produce and seasonal ingredients in his creative cocktails.
Asay aims to craft cocktails using only alcoholic beverages to balance out flavor and acidity. For instance, he prefers to mix liquors with cordials and amaros versus sugary syrup. Asay also fancies incorporating rich porters and spicy, bright drinking vinegars called shrubs, like one of his current libations made with ‘cognac, blended with fresh lemon juice, a rich porter and apple-pear shrub.’ His signature cocktail, “The Blue,” includes a ‘cognac dessert wine, an aperol, natural lime juice, and plum Eau de Vie.’
While the hotel’s lobby bar, Cocktail Bar is already taking a modern, culinary approach to its cocktails by creating original craft drinks, Asay’s affinity for and knowledge of microbrews will also make an appearance on the menu as well as some innovative approaches to New Orleans classics, such as cask-aging sazerac in an oak barrel for a more complex spirit – a process believed to be pioneered in Asay’s hometown of Portland, Ore.
“We’re excited for all the innovative techniques Ryan brings to the Windsor Court Hotel,” said General Manager David Teich. “With beer cocktails on the rise, Ryan is sure to stay ahead of the curve with his West Coast-inspired craft cocktails and introduce New Orleanians to an approach they may not see often, and hopefully, keep regulars returning to Windsor Court as their favorite spot for creative libations.”
Cocktail Bar’s beer and wine program will not disappoint. The menu features the best craft Belgian beers, available as single bottles and bombers, and emerging wine producers and regions, such as sparkling wine from Hungary and Lebanese red wines, among others. Additionally, The Polo Club Lounge offers live and local jazz three nights a week and boasts one of the largest Cognac collections in New Orleans. A favorite among visiting celebrities, Polo Club Lounge offers a perfect atmosphere for everything from a pre-dinner cocktail to a nightcap.
Asay has several years of bartending experience including working in Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok and Ping Restaurants in Portland, where he was able to experiment with Asian ingredients. He moved to New Orleans three years ago, and tended at New Orleans’ Borgne Restaurant before joining the Windsor Court Hotel team as a bartender in early 2012.
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About Windsor Court Hotel
Located in the heart of the Central Business District steps from the French Quarter, the 23-story Windsor Court has long been the choice for discerning travelers to New Orleans. The award-winning luxury hotel features 316 oversized guestrooms and suites, the acclaimed Grill Room Restaurant, the storied Polo Club Lounge, the celebrated Le Salon for afternoon tea and an extensive art collection with mostly works of British origin, among other amenities and services. In January 2012 the Windsor Court completed a $22 million restoration to all its guestrooms, suites, and public spaces, including the Club Level Lounge, the pool, addition of the lobby Cocktail Bar and the forthcoming Spa at Windsor Court set to open in spring 2012. The hotel was purchased in October 2009 by a new ownership team led by The Berger Company of New Orleans and the Dallas-based Crow Family Holdings. Windsor Court is a member of Preferred Hotels® and Resorts. For more information, please visit www.windsorcourthotel.com <http://www.windsorcourthotel.com> .