The Art of The Cocktail

The Art of The Cocktail

Apr 09, 2019Carlton Chamblin

The works of an artist, whether as a sculptor, painter, photographer or performer are at their deepest meaning, expressions of their true selves. This expression is not limited to a 2-dimensional stretched canvas laden with acrylics or oils, chiseled wood or clay. Artistic expression is when we take our passion to create and share that creativity in our medium of choice. 

When I majored in Art History at Birmingham-Southern College at no time would I have imagined that one day I would be creating mixed drinks that many consider art. Twenty-five years ago I see myself laughing at the idea of curating cocktails in an award winning restaurant like Fortify Kitchen & Bar, as opposed to curating masterpieces at an actual museum. Lending this artisanal touch to mixology is a product of my education and it guides my senses to ask questions about taste and overall experience. This process pulls our guests at Fortify Kitchen & Bar into the creative process. 

April 2, 2019 marks the fifth year anniversary of Fortify Kitchen & Bar. I am proud to have been a part of the last three years with Jack Nolan and Jamie Allred. They have combined their visions and passions to create an enjoyable environment that provides great food and cocktails, it has also brought impeccable service to new heights in this quaint town of Clayton. Their use of farm fresh ingredients and commitment to supporting local farmers has helped make this area truly the farm-to-table capital of Georgia. In many ways they are artists as well, sharing their creative gifts. 

My recipe this month can be enjoyed on Sundays for brunch at Fortify Kitchen & Bar. Mimosa jello shots have been upgraded from a mere party favorite to a classy brunch treat using champagne, fresh squeezed orange juice and other key ingredients shown. So be sure to join me at the bar on Sundays for "Brunch Cocktails with Carlton" and wish Jack, Jamie and the entire team at Fortify a "Happy Anniversary!" 



*This article was originally posted and published in the Mountain Laurel Magazine for the month of April. If you'd like to try April's recipe, Carlton will create it upon request if you missed it! Also use this recipe to make it at home: 



- 2 cups of champagne
- 1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (no pulp) 
- 1 tbsp Farm2Cocktail Vanilla Pear Shrub
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 envelopes of knox gelatin
- crushed clove hard candies (optional garnish)


-Line an 8x8 pan with plastic wrap and set aside. You can also use individual champagne flutes like pictured above. 
-In a small saucepan combine orange juice, 1/2 cup champagne, shrub and sugar. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let sit for 2-3 minutes to let gelatin soak.
-Over low heat, stir occasionally until gelatin has dissolved. 3-4 minutes, do not let boil!
-Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of champagne. Don't worry about the foam, it will dissipate. 
-Pour into prepared pan or flutes and place in fridge to set for 4 hours. 
-For pan use, life out of pan and cut into cubes. 
-Top with optional garnish and serve! 


To see this article live and the entire April issue of the Mountain Laurel Magazine click here:

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