Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Great Artists Steal

My cocktails are designed to pair with Mediterranean cuisine, primarily those with a strong Italian basis. My aperitif is designed to pair with a lovely appetizer of prosciutto with fig, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

1 oz Zacapa No. 23
0.5 oz Cynar
1.25 oz Cold Brew Coffee
0.5 oz Fever-Tree Tonic Water
2 dashes Frangelico

Rub a lemon wedge along the side of a Nick and Nora glass and dust the glass with sea salt creating a salt strip. Place the Ron Zacapa No. 23, Cynar, and cold brew coffee into a shaker tin with ice. Add your tonic water to your Nick and Nora glassware. Shake your cocktail and strain it into the glass over the tonic water. Dash a bit of Frangelico on top of the drink for aroma and serve. 

In terms of my digestif cocktail, an old chef friend of mine taught me that artichokes contain the chemical cynarin which chemically seems to make everything taste sweeter after you consume it. Some people have even found the taste of water oddly sweet. Quite a few chefs use it during their penultimate course to make dessert taste even sweeter without having to add excess sugar. This drink would thus be complemented by a creamy low-sugar dessert like a floral panna cotta. The artichoke brings out the natural saccharine flavor of rum and pairs well with other bittersweet flavors like coffee. Zacapa pairs particularly wonderfully with coffee given its nutty nose and notes of spice and dried fruits which come from its partial aging in PX sherry and ex-cognac casks. It's also a favorite of my Italian mentor.

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