Spiced Cider Brulee by John Gertsen of No. 9 Park on StarChefs.com

John Gertsen
No. 9 Park
9 Park Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 742 9991

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John Gertsen
NO. 9 PARK | Boston

For John Gertsen, an after-school job as a “dishwasher/busboy/prep cook/slave” at the age of fifteen exposed him to the addictive buzz of restaurant life. While at college, he served as a wine steward at an exclusive underground wine society where, for the first time, he was exposed to the pomp and circumstance that fine wines (and oenephiles) could demand. During a post-graduate year in Africa, John debated a future in the bio-tech field, but opted to follow his true passion. Returning to the States, he assumed roles at restaurants in Boston, settling at Salamander under Chef Stan Frankenthaler. During his five year stint as maitre d’, bartender, and front of house coordinator, John was able to explore his love for the industry. In 2002, he joined the staff at No. 9 Park, and working with bar manager Ryan McGrale, the two have created a bar program which has gained national recognition and a loyal local following. Both have derived endless inspiration from the gay ‘90s, that is, the 1890s – when bartenders were showmen and the classic cocktails were invented.


Spiced Cider Brulée
Bar Chef John Gertsen of No. 9 Park – Boston, MA
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 1 (5-ounce) Serving


    Spiced Cider:
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 20 cloves
  • 10 cinnamon sticks (2-3 inches)
  • 10 star anise pods
  • Zest of 4 navel oranges

    Cardamom Foam:
  • 30 green cardamom pods
  • 2 Tahitian vanilla pods
  • 1½ quarts water
  • 2 quarts Demerara sugar
  • 10 grams gelatin (sheets)

    Spiced Cider Brulée:
  • 2 ounces Appleton Estate 12-year rum
  • 1 ounce Spiced Cider
  • 1 ounce Cardamom Foam


For Spiced Cider:
Place all ingredients into a 6-quart pan. Put pan on stove over medium heat. When the cider begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Pour cider and spices into a clean, one gallon container and refrigerate overnight. The next day, strain through a double layer of cheesecloth into a clean, one gallon container. This cider will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator. Yields approximately one gallon cider.

For Cardamom Foam:
Place cardamom into a 6-quart pan. Crush pods with a wooden muddler or pestle. Add vanilla and water and put pan on stove over medium heat. While stirring, pour sugar into the pan. Continue stirring until sugar dissolves (do not bring temperature above 140° F. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Pour this solution into a clean, one gallon container and store in the refrigerator for three weeks. Strain the refrigerated solution through a double layer of cheesecloth into a clean, one gallon container.

Pour ¼ of this solution into a 2-quart pan. Reserve remaining ¾ of solution in the refrigerator. Place pan on stove over medium heat.

Stir solution in pan and bring temperature to 135° F. Remove pan from heat. Place gelatin sheets in a clean 1-quart container and cover with cold water. Allow gelatin to soften in cold water for 5 minutes. Put softened gelatin sheets into the warmed solution and stir until dissolved. Pour gelatin-enriched solution into the remaining ¾ of chilled solution. Strain this through a double layer of cheese cloth into a clean, one gallon container. Yields approximately 2½ quarts of foam.

To Assemble and Serve Cocktail:
Pour rum and cider into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Pour 1 pint of chilled Cardamom Foam into a 500-milliliter whipped cream canister (ISI Cream Profi). Place the canister head onto the bottle and screw on tightly. Insert Nitrous Oxide charger into charger holder. Screw charger holder into the canister head. Shake vigorously 3 to 4 times. Turn canister upside down and press the lever gently to dispense foam onto the cocktail.



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   Published: March 2006