Drinks and appetizers by the Cocktail Architect

Yusef Austin and Nandini Natasha Austin are a Brooklyn-based husband-and-wife team. They consult for restaurant brands, hotels, and bars to elevate their beverage program. They also provide cocktails for all types of private, social and corporate events, where they pair cocktail with small bites.



By the Seaside

4 oz. triple IPA

4 oz. fresh bloody mix

Old Bay poached jumbo prawn


Place salt on a plate, dip the glass into the salt in a circular motion to create a rim.

Marinate the prawn in Old Bay seasoning for 20 minutes or longer if you can. Then pan fry for 3-5 minutes until they are cooked and allow to cool. Using an ice scooper carefully fill your glass with crushed ice. Build the drink in the glass, adding the remaining ingredients stir with a bar spoon, so it mixes up. Finally add the prawn for garnish

An English Rose

8 oz. IPA gluten-free beer

1 oz. ginger syrup

3/4 oz. fresh lemon

Top with ginger beer

Candied ginger piece on a pic

Pour the beer into the glass, then top with the other ingredients and stir with a bar spoon. No ice needed.

Burlesque Eyes

4 oz. pilsner beer

3 oz. pineapple purée

6 drops burlesque bitters

Grilled pineapple garnish

Build the drink in the glass by adding crushed ice then all ingredients and stir with a bar spoon



Thyme Mozzarella Balls

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped

Salt and ground pepper

1 pound bite-size fresh mozzarella balls

2 cups vegetable oil

Place flour in a bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs. In a third bowl, combine panko with thyme. Season each with salt and pepper. Take each ball and coat in flour then coat in egg.

Finally roll in breadcrumbs to cover adequately.

Then heat oil in a deep pan or fryer and add the balls 4/5 at a time for 2 minutes until they golden brown. Drain with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen roll. Finally, season with salt. Tip: Keep them warm in preheated oven until you have finished frying all the balls.

Devilled Eggs

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons tomato sauce

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: paprika

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook eggs for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool by soaking in a bowl of iced water.

Peel under cold running water.

Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and remove yolks.

Mash yolks with mayonnaise. Add tomato sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper; mix well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish, with paprika or Harissa.

Vegetable Samosa

These are a bit fiddly - but making your own samosas is one of the most satisfying things you can do. Cook them in bulk and freeze them.

1 shallot, chopped

2 pods crushed

¼ ginger, grated

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsps curry powder

3 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes

3 oz. frozen peas

1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

20 samosa wrappers or 1 packet of filo pastry

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 curry leaves (optional)

Small Thai green chili finely chopped

1 tbsp vegetable oil and some extra for deep-frying

Heat the oil in a pan, and fry the chopped shallots until they are just clear.

Add the ginger and garlic, cumin, curry powder the curry leaves. Cook for about 2 minutes, add the potatoes and cover so they steam cook.

Reduce the heat and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then if the mixture is a little dry, just add a little water.

Once the potato is cooked, add the peas so they absorb the spices and cook for 5 minutes more.

Add the coriander and chili then season to taste.

Filling the samosas: Use 2 sheets of filo pastry as an alternative, but you can find samosa wrappers in most Indian supermarkets.

Take the wrapper and place a of the mixture at the top left corner of the rectangle. If using filo pastry, cut into strips 4-inch wide.

Fold the top right corner over the mixture to make a triangle. Fold this triangle over and keep going until you have a samosa.

To make sure the mixture doesn't come out, dab the corners with some water which is make it stick. Complete the rest.

Deep-frying in a large, heavy-based pan or deep fat fryer. Make sure the oil is hot. If samosas float to the top, then the oil is hot enough. (Try one first.)

Alternatively, use a deep-fat fryer.

Deep-fry the samosas in small batches until they are golden brown for about 5 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.