Clarification is a process used in traditional cooking in an effort to render a liquid clear, a broth or stock for example.
In cocktails, clarification can be used to create a cleaner looking drink, or to play a visual trick on the drinker, perhaps disguising an ingredient to change one’s perception of the drink. Our preferred method to use is agar clarification. Continue Reading…
What makes a tonic? A classic tonic water is defined as a solution simply containing quinine. But we ask the question; at what concentration of quinine does it become tonic? Our answer is that as long as there is a discernible bitter element to the solution, it’s still tonic.
We were specfically trying to pair a tonic to Bluecoat Gin from Pennsylvania. We decided floral tonic would complement beautifully, but the floral flavors would be lost at too high a concentration of quinine. So we scaled it back. A lot.
We took dried lavender, rosebuds, juniper berries, fresh orange zest, and cinchona bark (the quinine element). All the ingredients were vacuum sealed and cooked at 190F sousvide (our usual tonic method) for thirty minutes. What resulted was a beautifully aromatic tonic with a slight bitter note that paired perfectly with out target gin.
We had the pleasure of first tasting verdita at The Pastry War in Houston, TX. We were instructed to sip on it as we worked our way through our mezcal flight, and while we were blown away by the mescal (as our selection of mezcal in Ohio is pitiful), the real take away for us was the verdita. Made of lime, pineapple juice, mint, cilantro, and serrano pepper this brilliant green elixir is meant to accompany your tequila or mezcal.
While we have made it a number of times since returning from Houston, we ran into two rather large problems:
1) we never wrote down or even really measured our ingredients, and as such 2) we could never get it quite right. Continue Reading…
On August 25th, people across the nation will indulge in a whiskey sour, as they do every year, in honor of national whiskey sour day. We love a traditional whiskey sour, but wanted to challenge ourselves to give it an update, one that we call the Whiskey Tart.
One of the best things about a properly made whiskey sour is its texture. When shaken, the egg white acts as a foaming agent with the rest of the drinks ingredients to give it a silky smooth texture. We wanted to enhance and highlight this texture by creating contrast with a two layered drink. To do so, we utilized one of our favorite kitchen tools; the iSi whipper. By using an iSi whipper we can create a foam separate from the rest of the cocktail with it’s own flavor profile that compliments the traditional whiskey sour components. Continue Reading…
One of our favorite new cocktails is the Shrub Sour. A shrub is a fruit (and/or spice) infused vinegar, an historical method for preserving fruits well into the off season. While there are many different ways to make a shrub, as well as countless flavor combinations, one of our long time favorites is a Strawberry, Black Pepper Shrub made with both balsamic and apple cider vinegars. The resulting flavor profile is dark and sweet with a slight tang, and a peppery finish.
We took our flavorful shrub and combined it with traditional “sour” ingredients: lemon juice, egg white, and bourbon. And let us just say, you will definitely be seeing this on the menu!
We don’t believe that one tonic fits all. There are hundreds of types of gins in the world, each with it’s own flavor profile and individual characteristics. How could it be that one style of tonic is best for all of them?
Instead of finding the right gin to go with tonic, we wanted to craft the tonic for the gin. We taste the gin we want to highlight and pick ingredients that enhance the flavors of the chosen gin. Our basic approach is to take herbs, spices, and cinchona bark (we use cut pieces, not powder) and seal it in a bag with water. We cook it sous vide at 190F for 30 minutes. Immediatley chill it in an ice bath and then strain it through a cheese cloth. Then we add in the sugar and stir to dissolve. Make your gin and tonic with 1.5 ounces of your favorite gin, 1.5 ounces of curated tonic syrup, and 3 ounces of high quality soda water.
We love fall in Ohio. The weather is perfect, the food gets hearty, and Columbus truly comes alive. That’s why some of our favorite flavors remind us of this time of year. Our aim was to make a syrup that could capture those flavors and be utilized in subtle, seasonal drinks.
Our moroccan syrup is simple syrup simmered with bay leaves, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, whole clove, and coriander seeds.
We wanted to play with a classic Whiskey Sour, so we decided to create an Aperol Foam to sit atop traditional whiskey sour components. We took Aperol, Lemon Juice, and an Egg white and charged them in an iSi whipper. What resulted was a pink, silky smooth foam that was tart and just slightly bitter – contrasting beautifully with the whiskey below.
Salt In Cocktails. We should have been doing this a long time ago. We are very aware of the role salt plays in cooking and it’s role as a flavor enhancer. But for some reason we hadn’t thought to use it much in cocktails. Inspired by some of the books we have been reading lately and especially the Campari Martini from Beta Cocktails, we have begun experimenting and adding salt to almost every cocktail.
We have found that salt can change the experience of all kinds of drinks. We have mainly stuck to using salt to balance out bitter and enhance some different flavors in otherwise challenging spirits. We are wondering if a few drops of saline solution might even make Malort palatable!
For our saline solution, we are simply using a 1 to 10 ratio of salt to water by weight.
Splitting a cocktail into a sphere and shooter creates sort of a two-step drinking experience. First, you taste the shooter, or the flavors of the liquid in which the sphere is floating, and then POP! – a burst of secondary flavors come through as the delicate sphere breaks against the pressure of the roof of your mouth. Because it all happens in a short period of time, the flavors integrate quickly and beautifully into one, cohesive flavor experience. We took watermelon juice and sphered it using reverse spherification. We then floated them in Bombay Sapphire, black pepper simple syrup, Dolin Blanc, and lime juice.