There’s a high-tech super-infuser hiding in your kitchen right now. It’s probably shoved into a corner or hiding behind the flour. You’ve maybe used it a few times, never recognizing its full potential. Well it’s high time the French press left the breakfast table and took its rightful place on the bar.
Bartenders across the country are using French presses to infuse cocktails before serving them tableside, where guests can pour for themselves. “Everyone loves the do-it-yourself thing,” says Sean Potter, head of “Eat and Drink” at Stoke in Charlotte, NC. Giving guests the prepped French press, filled with a cocktail base and aromatics like fruits and herbs, gives them the chance to customize their drinking experience. “You are your own chef for your cocktail,” he says. Stoke features an entire section of “Pressed” cocktails, including the Southern Swag (rum, tea, raspberry, lemon and rhubarb) and The Evolution (scotch, tea, mint, lemon and orange). Dani Davis of Crafted in St. Louis, believes that the French press’s appeal lies within its versatility. “You can press it down right away and have the cocktail immediately, or you can let it steep longer to create a drink that’s really different,” she says. “It makes many cocktails in one.”