MONTEREY BAY, Calif.– Doc Pepe’s Lab, a spirit-driven, ready-to-drink cocktail lab in Monterey Bay, unveils two additional cocktails to its existing barrel-finished product line. The Negroni and Boulevardier join the company’s four flagship cocktails, the Manhattan and Old Fashioned, and Cuvée Reserve styles of each aforementioned.
Christian Pepe is redefining the ready-to-drink industry by handcrafting classic cocktail recipes and aging them to perfection in distinct oak barrels, each specific to the drink. The result is a unique drink at cask strength — straight out of the bottle.
“Through our aging process, we infuse a level of complexity, dimension and flavor into traditional cocktails,” said Christian Pepe, Doc Pepe’s Lab Founder & Chief Cocktail Architect. “Liqueurs and spirits are made in-house from scratch, giving us complete control of the flavor profile from start to finish.”
Doc Pepe’s Lab Negroni — Cocktail contains London Dry Gin, Italian-style sweet vermouth and bitter orange liqueur
Doc Pepe’s Lab Negroni is made with individually handcrafted spirits, designed to blend into the perfect bitter cocktail that those who love the drink have come to expect. To create the drink, Christian begins his process by distilling a proprietary London Dry Gin, made from a maceration of 14 distinct botanicals in American-made neutral grain spirits. A very slow single-pass distillation is performed using a Baine-Marie still — a heated water bath that protects solid ingredients from burning — to preserve their delicate aroma and character.
Each of the three ingredients are prepared separately, then combined according to the classic Negroni recipe. The entire mixture spends three to six months in Kentucky bourbon barrels, which add lovely caramel and vanilla notes to the cocktail.
The cocktail is best enjoyed before dinner as it stimulates one’s appetite and can aid digestion. Having a salty snack, like nuts or crackers, can calm and balance the bitter notes of the drink while making it taste a little sweeter.
Doc Pepe’s Lab Boulevardier — Cocktail contains Kentucky Rye Whiskey, Italian-style bitter liqueur, and sweet red vermouth
The classic cocktail is bittersweet, spirit-driven and can be described as a “Whiskey Negroni.” Doc Pepe’s Lab Boulevardier includes a proprietary Italian-style bitter liqueur, which uses an adaptation of the original “Bitter of Turin” recipe — not to be confused with Amaro. The cocktail uses 10 unique botanicals, including the fabled Cascarilla Bark, which only grows on a few small islands in the Bahamas and is particularly difficult to produce.
Pepe emulated the style of an early 1900’s Vermouth di Torino recipe, the most famous of all Italian vermouths. Using a Muscat wine from California and only historically correct botanicals, an authentic Vermouth came to fruition. There are 18 unique botanicals in the vermouth, including Wormwood which is a vital component.
The bitter liqueur and vermouth are prepared separately, with each liqueur taking over a month to produce. The Rye whiskey is diluted to 90 proof, and then all three ingredients are blended in the same tank before being transferred to Kentucky bourbon barrels to age for three to six months.
The Boulevardier can be enjoyed after dinner due to its rich, strong flavor profile. The featured botanicals help aid with digestion.
All Doc Pepe’s Lab cocktails can be served on the rocks or “up,” meaning stirred with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass — never shaken. This process creates a velvety texture while also controlling the dilution of the cocktail. The products are line-priced with the Old Fashioned and Manhattan, ranging from $36 to $42 a bottle.
For more information or to purchase Doc Pepe’s Lab barrel-finished cocktails, please visit DocPepesLab.com.
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