Category Archives: IN PROGRESS RECIPES

Experimenting With Coconut

Summer is starting to feel like it’s here and now that Negroni Week is over, my mind has started to wander toward tropical rum drinks.

At the bar where I work, we do a big trade in Mojitos every summer. We have a dozen different flavored rums… And we bring in watermelon every summer to muddle with the mint and lime. That’s easily one of our most popular drinks this time of year:

  
One thing which we don’t have at the bar where I work is a blender. Thats’s never really been a problem though. We are not a beach bar. We’re located in the city of Jamestown. And moreover, all those typical neon-colored cocktails served at beach bars are always so sugary and sticky sweet — which I’m guessing comes from all sorts packaged syrups and canned juices.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think there is a proper place and time for all that. One of the best drinks which my wife and I enjoyed on our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic was something called a Miami Vice — which was equal parts piña colada and strawberry daiquiri. It was exactly the sort of thing we wanted at the time, while sitting by the resort pool looking at the ocean.

Aside from that there was a lot of straight rum and a local liquor called Mamajuana.

In the city though, those sorts of beach drinks aren’t an immediate “go-to” for us or any of our customers. We do serve plenty of rum drinks — like daiquiris, Hurricanes, fake Caipirinhas and Dark and Stormy by the ton. But without a blender, we’ve never seen need to bring in any cream of coconut — which is probably why anytime anyone wants anything with coconut flavor, that flavor always ends up coming from Parrot Bay.

So, yeah, that’s where I found myself this past week — with an interest in making tropical drinks that no. 1, aren’t blended and no. 2, don’t use Coco Lopez or any other store-bought syrup or mixer.

Add to all this the fact that a recent episode of Best Bars In America showed a bar which used its own house coconut mix — comprised of equal parts coconut milk and coconut water. 

Seeing that half-and-half blend behind a high-end cocktail bar got me thinking about what I could do to incorporate coconut into our drinks (while still only shaking them and not incorporating a blender).

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Filed under BEST BARS IN AMERICA, BRANDS, COCONUT, IN PROGRESS RECIPES, NEW TO ME, RUM, SIMPLE SYRUP, WORK-RELATED

Fat-Wash Duck Whiskey

My chef at the restaurant where I work is pretty damn awesome.

She’s a constant supporter of us bartenders furthering our craft, and is always quick to help out in any way she can.

Her encouragement fuels my excitement for stepping up our cocktail game and vice-versa. The two of us can geek out pretty hard over obscure drink recipes, new techniques and vintage barware… So when I started telling her about how some bartenders have fat-washed whiskey with flavors like bacon and duck fat, it was only a matter of time before we had to try it ourselves.

From all that I’ve read about it so far, fat-washing just seems like a fancy name for infusing liquor in a certain way — a process where we add the fat and then later put the booze in the freezer to solidify the fat for removal.

This recipe for a Duck Sazerac was what we followed when making our own bottle of fat-washed rye whiskey, which is pictured below:

  

So, first and foremost I should say that this was an experiment for ourselves — and not anything we’re serving.

But in terms of the end result, I think we were both pretty impressed with the way the duck fat softened the rye whiskey — sweetening it and smoothing it out.

I’ve seen recipes online using bourbon, but I’m glad we went with rye. So much of the heat and pepper was softened, but the spirit still comes through. 

The rye recipes I’ve seen online for this fat-washed duck rye were basic drinks like the Sazerac and the Manhattan. My intent is to do a Smoked Duck Julep (and just in time for the Kentucky Derby no less). I’ve still got to test out making a smoked simple syrup and weigh it against a scotch rinse and other smoke options.

And I hope Jim Beam doesn’t mind my modification of its label in the picture above!

Further Reading:

— Here’s an article entitled The Science Of Fat-Washing.

— Another How To” post, but this one has a video.

— A recipe for a Smoked Duck Manhattan.

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Filed under BRANDS, FAT-WASH, IN PROGRESS RECIPES, NEW TO ME, RYE WHISKEY, SIMPLE SYRUP, TRENDS, WHISKEY

Honey-Ginger Sidecar #2

The other week I posted a picture of a cocktail I’ve been working on, and today I’m posting again about the Honey-Ginger Sidecar:

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Here’s the thing about Frontier Mixology. This isn’t Manhattan. That’s no excuse for subpar cocktails, of course… So I’m working within a certain palate of colors and still trying to put forth only worthwhile results.

More to come about this drink… As I either perfect the recipe for the right syrup or get the bar to start stocking something like Domaine de Canton.

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Honey-Ginger Sidecar #1

A honey-ginger sidecar I’m working on:

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It tasted alright, but it looks more like a lemon martini here in this picture.

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