Meister-approved cocktails to try for yourself
Welcome to Shift Drink, showcasing and celebrating Bartending talent across the country. Shift Drink will bring it with unique and inspiring cocktails created by local bartenders & mixologists, highlighting their cities. We visit Steel City Pittsburgh, PA, with the Incredible Francesca Montenegro this month! Let's go!
Cocktail Name: Saturdays in the Strip
- 1 1/4 part Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee
- 1 part Tepache*
- 3/4 part Avocado Pit Orgeat
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: Pineapple Fronds
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over a large cube. Garnish with 3 or 4 pineapple fronds.
Scroll Down For Some Tips & Tricks & Get to Know Francesca.
Saturdays In The Strip
Photo by Nate Laird @jagerlifeatx
Hey Francesca, what inspired you to create this amazing cocktail?
Much like Pittsburgh's desire to continue transforming old things into new and beautiful ones, I've had a long-standing desire to salvage unused items and turn them into something useful. I paired The Strip's constant transformation and access to so many great ingredients as inspiration for my drink. By acquiring all of my ingredients there and rescuing a few avocado pits and pineapple peels, I was able to craft a unique and tasty "Strip Worthy" cocktail with the help of Jägermeister Cold Brew (which you can also find in the brand new wine and spirits store there).
Why did you choose this drink?
I chose this drink because I wanted to showcase that unexpected flavors and ingredients could come together and create something unique and delicious. While reminiscing about my springtime Saturday trips to The Strip District with the aroma of coffee beans roasting, Mexican vendors selling everything from piloncillo to avocados, and perusing the produce stands for fresh fruit, I wanted to recreate this experience into a cocktail.
What do you love most about Pittsburgh?
Hands down, the thing I love most about Pittsburgh is the PEOPLE! Pittsburghers are proud of their city, and you can feel it. People here genuinely love their neighbors, and you can feel that too. They are super friendly and always happy to strike up conversations with strangers and visitors alike. Their energy and spirit are contagious!!
What does hospitality mean to you?
My love of hospitality stems from my Dad. Growing up, my parents, especially my Dad, taught me that serving others was the greatest gift and the best way to inspire joy and community. From giving away countless vegetables from his acres of gardens to volunteering at hospitals and numerous nonprofits, I witnessed this joy firsthand. As a bartender, I feel privileged to cultivate an environment of joy and community for my patrons. Fostering these relationships has enhanced my life more than I could have ever imagined.
Grab your tools and let's make it together!
Video by Nate Laird @Jagerlifeatx
Get To Know Francesca
Francesca's adventures in bartending began after a 10-year corporate marketing career when a friend asked her to "help out" behind the bar at his pizza shop. The few regular patrons coming in each night in those early days were why she fell in love with bartending. Francesca quickly transformed that bar into a diverse, high-volume, after-work destination. It was a fast-paced festival full of highballs, shots, and beers. Not until a few years later, when a friend invited her to a local USBG event, did she venture into the world of craft cocktails. Francesca was entranced and fortunate to have had the support of many industry professionals when she decided to pursue a craft-cocktail role in bartending. Twelve years later, she is proud to claim this industry as her own, in the city she loves, and with peers who make her career so damn special.
Francesca's Tips & Tricks
* You can use any sugar of your choice for both the tepache and avocado pit orgeat.
- One whole pineapple
- 1 cup of piloncillo (pure Mexican cane sugar) cut into pieces
- 2 quarts of filtered water
Method: Rinse the pineapple and cut the peel. Place the pineapple peels, piloncillo, and 2 quarts of water into a large glass pitcher. Loosely cover the glass container with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 24 hours. Using a wooden spoon, remove the white foam that may have formed and loosely cover again for another 24-36 hours. Strain the liquid from your pitcher into another jar, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator.
Avocado Pit Orgeat:
- 3 avocado pits
- 1 1/2 cup piloncillo
- 1 cup filtered water
Method: Clean avocado pits and leave to thoroughly dry out overnight. Blend pits in a blender (I used a Vitamix) into consistently sized shreds. Roast the pits over medium-high heat for a few minutes (they'll turn bright orange) by constantly moving them around in the pan. In a bowl, add the toasted pits to the piloncillo and water and stir. Allow to infuse overnight. Return the mix to the blender for one quick blitz and then strain through a superbag into a jar, cover, and store in the refrigerator.