Julia Momose: “Director of Garnish Operations”

By Lisa Elbert | Megan Swann

By

Lisa Elbert
Megan Swann
Etrog-infused Round House Gin, St. Georges Dry Rye Gin, Pernod, and Cocchi Americano with Pâtes de Fruits
Etrog-infused Round House Gin, St. Georges Dry Rye Gin, Pernod, and Cocchi Americano with Pâtes de Fruits

Garnish is often the forgotten step-child of cocktail creationthrown into the glass à la minute with little regard. But for Julia Momose, formerly of the Aviary in Chicago, garnish is an integral part of the cocktail. “My process for selecting and composing a drink garnish starts with function. I don't consider garnish to be an afterthought,” she says. “If it's not contributing to the aroma and flavor of the cocktail, in addition to the aesthetic, it doesn't belong on the glass.”

Like a Geisha's fan without the ornamental paper, Momose impales pâtes de fruits on a fun five-pronged garnish vessel that accompanies her take on a Corpse Reviver: etrog-infused Round House barrel-aged gin, St. Georges dry rye gin, Pernod, lemon juice, and Cocchi Americano. Each pâtes de fruits highlights varying components of the cocktail, allowing the pectin-based confection to cultivate a new taste experience with a familiar classic—no matter which way you lick, sip, suck, or chew. “Play with the flavors. Take a sip of the cocktail,” says Momose. “Pull a pin from the base, let it sit on your tongue, feel the flavors, take another sip, go back and forth.”

Momose's penchant for garnishes predates her time at the Aviary, and as she'll take it with her as she leads the team at Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon's new Chicago outpost, Green River Tavern. “My goal is to create cocktails that look just as beautiful when you drink to the bottom of the glass, as they do when the drink is served.”

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