StarChefs Sylk Cream Liqueur Mixologist
Astral Plane | Philadelphia, PA
Joel Finsel was practically raised in a bar. Growing up, his parents
owned and ran a pub in the Poconos, where he was often found spending
much of his afterschool time playing video games. The bar’s
energetic vibe left a strong impression on Finsel, and today the
bar scene at Astral Plane fuels Finsel with creative energy. Finsel
conceptualizes and creates all the drinks that compliment Astral
Plane’s theatrical and intimate setting. With signature cocktails
like the Mango Lassie, Pear Tartita, and Raspberry Walnut Truffletini,
Finsel’s drink menu makes waiting for a table a delight.
Chef Joel Finsel of Astral Plane – Philadelphia, PA
Adapted by StarChefs
- 1 level scoop of ice
- 1 ½ ounces vanilla-flavored vodka
- 1 ½ ounces amaretto liqueur
- 2 ½ ounces mango juice
- Mango slice
- Maraschino cherry
Chill martini glass and set aside. Combine ice, vodka, amaretto
liqueur and mango juice in a mixing glass. Shake vigorously and
strain into martini glass. Garnish with a slice of mango and a maraschino
PL: Since you mostly work
nights, what do you do during the day?
JF: I am also a writer. I’ve
already published a biography of 20th century artist Franz Klein
and I am currently working on my second book.
PL: What are some current
trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market? How have trends
JF: There are many different
kinds of vodkas these days. Martini’s aren’t just made
with gin anymore. I think clichés are breaking down and people
are beginning to try new drinks. With all the new products on the
market, there are many opportunities to be creative with drinks.
PL: What goes into creating
a new cocktail?
JF: When a customer is undecided,
I get a chance to experiment with their tastes and then play around
with different drinks according to their tastes. Astral Plane is
pretty liberal, so I can taste different drinks and see how they
work. I also let customers guide my drinks by getting their opinion
on drinks I am working on.
PL: What inspires you when
creating a new drink?
JF: My environment and place
of work helps my creativity. I like working in an open and fun environment.
This inspires me. Astral Plane is very colorful and bold, so it
helps me stay in a creative mindset. I also work with many artistic
people who motivate me as well.
PL: What is your favorite
cocktail to drink? To make?
JF: I usually like bourbons
and beer. All drinks are fun to make.
PL: Where do you see yourself
in five years?
JF: I’d like to be traveling
around the world writing novels or possibly teaching. I’d
also like to own a wine bar and café someday.