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Cocktail for a Cause

Cocktails never tasted so good! Today on Indy Style, Manager of Plat 99, William Morhing, makes us his very own cocktail creation called “The Cat in the Hat.” As part of this year’s “Cocktail for a Cause,” for every one sold for the next six months, Plat 99 will donate $1 to Riley Children’s Foundation for pediatric cancer research.

William, along with Chef Eli Laidlaw, give us a taste of Plat 99, along with serving us up a new dish from their summer menu!

-The “Cat in the Hat” cocktail is a refreshing combination of basil-infused caña brava & plantation 3-star rums, hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, crème de cassis and lemon bitters.

-Plat 99 offers globally-inspired, local cuisine to be feature of chic Mixology Lounge at the Alexander Hotel

-Eli Laidlaw’s carefully curated menu of shareable small plates melding global inspiration while showcasing local ingredients from Indiana farmers and artisans

-Handcrafted in an open kitchen, the summer menu includes a fresh and colorful Tzatziki Panzanella Salad of yellow and red heirloom tomatoes, bread croutons, and basil; a Cuban Sandwich with smoked sweet potato aioli on house-made bread and a Roasted Poblano and Farmers Cheese Dumplings with sweet corn nage as well as mainstays such as artisanal charcuterie and regional cheese boards.

-Plat 99’s elevated patio with citywide views is an ideal location to enjoy a summer share plate and creative cocktail for a cause

The Cat in the Hat

2oz Basil-infused White Rum

.75oz Hibiscus Syrup

.75oz Fresh Lemon Juice

.50oz Cassis Liqueur

2 dashes Plat 99 Lemon Bitters

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker tin, add ice, and shake for a minimum of 10 seconds. Double strain cocktail into a snifter glass filled with ice and garnish with a basil leaf.Hibiscus Syrup

In a pot with two cups of water, add 2 tbsp. cardamom pods, half inch of fresh sliced ginger and one cup of dried hibiscus flowers. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and let spices steep for 10 minutes. Turn heat back on and pour in two cups of sugar, and stir slowly com completely dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, strain only the syrup into a container to cool before labeling and dating the syrup. Keep the syrup refrigerated when not in use.Burrata-

1# mozzarella cheese curd

Shredded mozzarella (scraps from making the cheese)


Very warm water

8 oz ricotta

1 oz whole grain mustard

2 oz cream

5 leaves basil, chopped

2T dark cherry balsamic

1 orange, peeled and sliced

6 slices baguette, toasted


4 slices really good tomato

Smoked sea salt

2T coriander seeds

1 cup honey

½ cup water

For the filling-

Mix together the ricotta, mustard, cream, basil and shredded mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and pepper, the filling should be loose but not runny, it needs to hold shape but be loose enough to slightly ooze out of the cheese.Coriander honey-

Toast the coriander seeds lightly, add the honey and water, keep on low heat and let it reduce by just over a quarter of the way. This will flavor the honey with coriander and also keep the honey runny at room temperature.For the cheese-

Have the water very warm and seasoned well. The cheese curd is a blank slate, so the flavor of the water is the flavor of your cheese. It should be salty like the ocean. Put the cut up cheese curd in the water, let sit for a few minutes. Glove up! wear a triple layer of gloves so the water doesn’t burn your hands. It shouldn’t be boiling, but hot enough to melt the curds down. Grab the melted mass of cheese curds from the water and begin to stretch it like taffy, pulling and stretching and twisting onto itself until it is very smooth and still pliable. Over working the cheese can make it tough so stretch it just until it becomes uniform and smooth.

At this point you can cut a few chunks off, chill them and grate them for your filling! The next step is to form the cheese, rip off a piece about 2 oz, put it between your palms and press while making a twisting motion, this will flatten the cheese into a pizza shape. Repeat the motion until uniform thin but not see through. Place the flattened cheese over a small bowl or dome mold, add a small scoop of the filling and then pull up the sides around the filling. If the cheese is cooling down at any point just hold it in the warm water for a few seconds and it will come back to a pliable state. Now that you have a filled ball, keep stretching the sides up slightly around the filling so you have some slack or a “Tail”. At the very top of the ball where the filling ends and the tail starts, pinch tightly. It helps to pinch it in the water because it will help melt together and seal in the filling. At this point I will keep pinching tightly and start spinning the cheese to get rid of the excess, or you could cut it off with scissors or a knife. Once your ball is formed into a balloon shape, drop it in ice water to cool and firm up. Repeat process with the rest of the cheese.To plate-

On a rectangle plate, make a line diagonal with the balsamic; place one Burrata on each side of the line. Next to the Burrata place a few orange and tomato slices, alternating. Now the baguette, and the arugula and watercress in the center. Take a spoonful of the coriander honey and drizzle it around the plate and on top of the cheese. Finish the cheese with the smoked salt.

Plat 99, located at The Alexander Hotel

333 S. Delaware Street, Indianapolis

Open seven days a week

Sunday – Monday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Tuesday – Thursday from 3 p.m. to Midnight; Friday – Saturday from 3 p.m. to 1