January 2015 Mixologist

by on Dec 30, 2014
James Hein started as a wine expert and is now making his way into the scene of Downtown Fargo with his role as bar manager and skilled mixologist at The Toasted Frog, the area’s newest restaurant and lounge.

Hein’s experience in the world of wine and spirits stems from his thirteen years of work as the wine director of Sanders 1907, an upscale restaurant in Grand Forks. Although his background is more on the wine side, his strong personal interest and knowledge of bartending is clearly demonstrated in his impressive cocktail creations. Hein’s love of mixology and his experience in hospitality eventually led him to be paired with The Toasted Frog’s general manager Sarah Erikson, and they both have ventured to Fargo to run the restaurant’s new location as a package deal. Hein’s original variation on a classic cocktail comes straight from his passion for mixing drinks. The creation is varied as a “Rob Roy” cocktail, which is also known as a Scotch Manhattan. Hein came up with the name “Smoke & Mirrors” for the drink because it combines two spirits that “mirror” each other to create an aromatic and flavorful, yet “smoky” taste.

“This is a drink that will be featured only at the Fargo location,” explained Hein. “It’s a complex and smoky cocktail that is perfect for the winter months.”

The combination of the Scotch, Vermouth, aromatic bitters and the lemon twist is a unique mix that may seem unlikely, but is actually a perfect blend of flavor that anyone can enjoy.

With The Toasted Frog being highly-credited and well-known for their martinis and cocktails, this drink is a prime example of the great things the establishment has to offer. And one can only anticipate the remarkable drink formulas that Hein will be cooking up for Fargo in the future.

``Smoke and Mirrors``

toasted frog drink

  • 1 oz. Famous Grouse Scotch
  • 1 oz. Black Grouse Scotch
  • 1/3 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth
  • 1/3 oz. Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
  • Dash of Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Dash of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Preparation: Stir in a tall glass with ice and pour over ice in an old-fashioned rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.