Brett Collins, Mixologist at Hullabaloo, Creates "Kitchen Cocktails"

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Hullabaloo mixologist Brett Collins uses topnotch ingredients to make his own "skinny" cocktails.
If you're in the mood for a well-handcrafted cocktail this evening, head to Hullabaloo in West Palm Beach. Unlike most bars, here you won't find a single bottle of simple syrup -- and we think that says something. At this new Italian-themed gastropub, it's all about doing things from scratch -- and that includes the bar's "kitchen cocktail" menu lineup.

These days, everyone has latched onto the handcrafted cocktail bandwagon, but the ingredients used will be what sets one fancy menu apart from another. Rather than default to the standard ingredients found behind most bars -- the same used for making well drinks at two-for-one happy hours -- Hullabaloo mixologist Brett Collins has assembled an arsenal of high-end spirits and liqueurs to make flavorful, intense drinks with no artificial ingredients.

"All mixologists are being creative, coming up with their own infusions and creating some pretty amazing stuff lately," said Collins. "But there's one thing most of them still have in common. They're sill using simple syrup."

See also:
- First Look: Hullabaloo Opens on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach

Instead, Collins relies on herbal liqueurs and high-quality, small-batch spirits for the bar's 11 cocktails, each named for a late, legendary musician. However, unlike the musicians they represent, these drinks are alive with flavor. And reasonably priced at $12 despite the use of top-shelf liquors and fresh ingredients.

To best describe Collins' style, take a look at one of his favorite products: hum. A handcrafted botanical spirit made by well-known Chicago mixologist Adam Segar, who is the consulting mixologist for Boca Raton's iPic restaurant, Tanzy, it's a powerful drink that can stand on its own but is also versatile enough to blend with any other base liquor, including wines, champagne, and even beer. Infused with hibiscus, ginger, cardamom, and kaffir lime, its flavors represent the idea behind Collins' "kitchen cocktails," a term he coined to describe his liquid recipes that use ingredients straight from the kitchen.

"Adam Seger has been a major influence on how I do things, and his work is the inspiration behind my cocktails, where drinks are created using fresh ingredients and without the use of sugar or simple syrup," Collins told Clean Plate Charlie. "It's a more natual way of doing things, and that's how a drink in the 21st Century should be made."

Collins began his bartending career in the late '90s, working the South Florida restaurant scene while putting himself through college. His true passion, however, stayed behind the bar -- not tending it but mixing different flavors to create liquid masterpieces. Today, Collins considers himself a chef of sorts, embracing the trend toward fresh-made, all-natural ingredients in liquid form. His ethos: nothing artificial.

Location Info

Hullabaloo Italian Gastropub

517 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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