Cocktail: Sea Buckthorn Sour | Bartender Brandon Francis

A tequila sour made with sea buckthorn. A very tart bright orange berry that grows in coastal regions in Asia, Europe, and Newfoundland. Sea Buckthorn berries themselves are rare bright orange berries that have an extremely tart flavour. They are found to grow in China, Mongolia, Russia, Northern Europe, and Newfoundland. Even though I have lived in Newfoundland most of my life I didn’t discover these little gems until about a year ago. Currently I am all out of the juice and not sure when I’ll be getting another shipment but I look forward to whenever I can get my hands on these. I won a competition put on by Campari group a while back with this cocktail and it was a popular menu item of mine for about a 6 month span. Only to be removed because of the lack of product.

Cocktail: Sea Buckthorn Sour

2 oz Espolon Tequila Blanco
1 oz egg white
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz Sea Buckthorn juice.

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and dry shake (that means shake with no ice) about 10 seconds. I shake the cocktail using a reverse dry shake. Meaning, I shake with ice first. Then strain the drink, add the egg white and shake a second time dry. I find this creates a thicker head on the cocktail because the egg never contacts the ice and becomes diluted.  Double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. 

Brandon Francis
Brandon Francis has been bartending in St. John's, Newfoundland for just over 4 years now. He started on a little upstairs bar tucked away in a busy Irish pub. It was a slow bar but gave him the opportunity to play and experiment with cocktails. After nearly two years he was given the opportunity to bartend and manage at a little Speakeasy with a great whisk(e)y collection. Here he was able to learn the classic cocktails and gain a respect and love for the base spirits. After about a year in that dark basement he move across the street to The Merchant Tavern where he currently resides. The Merchant was only a week old when Brandon joined the team. It's the sister restaurant of Raymond's Restaurant in St. John's has been voted best restaurant in the country. It's the place where Brandon has been able to use his past knowledge of spirits to come up with his own unique cocktails. Since working there he was won multiple cocktail competitions. The most recent sending him to Kentucky to tour some great distilleries. He has even picked up his first brand ambassador job along the way with a locally made tonic company, Third Place Tonic, that's starting to make it's way Canada-wide. You can find him at the bar most nights to grab a cocktail and talk whisk(e)y with him. Or join him Monday nights in his axe throwing league.
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