Monday, January 20, 2020

New Blood

This is a cocktail I made for the Make It Exotico Competition. It's a lovely balance of sweet, bitter, and sour. It's fairly low alcohol by volume compared to a lot of my other cocktails. Nothing too complicated or fancy. All the ingredients are readily available at any liquor or grocery store. cheers. 

1 1/2 oz. Exotico Blanco
1/2 oz. Cynar
1/2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
1/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
3/4 oz. Blood Orange Soda

Add all the ingredients aside from the soda to a mixing tin with ice. Shake until well chilled. Double strain into a large rocks or collins glass with ice. Top with the blood orange soda. Garnish with a quarter slice of grapefruit.

Upon recent reflection, I'm starting to see why this kind of cocktail doesn't garner much attention. It's not incorporating some exotic juice or homemade syrup or liqueur. That said it's actually pretty tasty and very easy for a home bartender to whip up at home or even batch into a punch.

"They drew first blood!"
- Frank Reynolds

Friday, January 17, 2020

Cockney Stairs

This was my entry for Bombay Sapphire's Most Imaginative Bartender competition a few years ago. I just never got around to posting it. It really is just a touch of English time in a cocktail. Not the most imaginative thing I've ever done but it is a pretty tasty drink. It's definitely better as a batched drink. 

1/8th Honeycrisp Apple
1/8th Red Delicious Apple
1/8th Bartlett Pear
1/8th Starkrimson Pear
15 Black Peppercorns
5 Cardamom Pods
4 Allspice Berries
1 Star Anise Pod
1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire
1/2 oz. Raw Honey
4 1/2 oz. Hot Water
1 1/2 oz. Whole Milk

Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the peppercorn, cardamom, allspice, and anise. Dice the apples and pears. Bring water to a boil. Add 4 1/2 oz. of the water and all the other ingredients aside from the milk and gin to a french press coffee maker. Stir lightly and apply the cap. Froth the milk using a steamer or motorized frother. Add the gin to an Irish coffee glass. Once the cocktail has steeped for approximately 2 minutes strain the cocktail into the glass. Top with the frothy milk.

The inspiration for this drink was a trend I've seen in coffee shops repurposing their tools. I've seen coffee shops use a milk steamer to make hot chocolate and even small servings of mulled wine. The heat helps the infusion process and aromatics. A go-to nightcap of a friend is boiling water, with a lemon peel, and just a touch of gin. I decided to take the flavors just a little further with some juicy, sweet, and floral apples and pears along with some spices. Adding some warm milk turns this drink adds a touch of British heritage, softening out any intense edges that may have over intensified in the infusion process, as if you were having a nice midday tea. 

The name come from cockney rhyming slang where one would use phrases like "Apples and Pears" to replace works like "Stairs". There is some peculiarity in that the phrase "Apples and pears" became so widely known to people who didn't understand cockney slang it's actually fallen out of fashion. 

Excerpt from Austin Powers Goldmember:
Nigel: Don't you remember the crimbo din-din we had with the grotty Scots bint?
Austin: Oh, the one that was all sixes and sevens!
Nigel: Yeah, yeah, she was the trouble and strife of the Morris dancer what lived up the apples and pears!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Garden of the Butterflies

This was the first cocktail I got on the menu at my old job at Royal Boucherie in Old City, Philadelphia. It was a staple on the summer cocktail menu and stayed there for a bit over 3 months. It was a lovely refreshing floral take on a margarita. 

1.5 Tequila
0.5 Lemon Sage Shrub
0.5 Fresh Lime Juice
0.5 St Germain
Butterfly Pea Tea


Add the tequila, shrub, juice, and liqueur to a shaker tin. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Top with butterfly pea tea.

To make Butterfly Pea Tea:
Add 24 flowers to a quart container. Fill the container with boiling water. Let that sit for 3 minutes. Strain out the flowers and press them to extract all the tea.

To make Lemon Sage Shrub:
Slice a series of lemons into a fish tray with the skin on. Cover the lemons with white sugar in equal weight to the weight of the lemons in layers making sure to fully coat the lemons on all sides. Toss in one sprig of sage for every 2 lemons. Let that sit overnight to extract the oil from the lemon skin. Add champagne vinegar to the mixture in equal weight to the lemons and sugar. muddle the lemons slightly to extract the juice. Add the mixture to a pan on low heat. muddle and mix until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is uniform. Run through a chinois and mash the solids to extract all the liquid possible. Store in an airtight refrigerated space.

The inspiration for this really came out of nowhere. My fiance lovely very citrusy cocktails. I wanted a citrusy floral cocktail. I played with gin at first but tequila or sotol really made the drink pop a bit more and stand out from some other generic floral gin cocktails. The pea tea adds a bit of tannin but the real selling point is the color. We had some St. Germain branded glassware which made this cocktail look just like a flower and its stem. It happened a lot where I would make one of these and it would catch the eye of someone at the bar and then that's 3 more drinks to make.

"We must cultivate our own garden. When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest."
- Voltaire