It’s Mixology Monday time once again guys and boy, have I ever been this late in submitting my post… well, it doesn’t matter, although late, I am still in time to take part in this amazing monthly online meeting. The theme of the month has been chosen by Elana of Stir and Strain, one of the best crafted cocktail blog out there, especially when we talk about pictures. Elana is a pro, no questions about it. The theme she chose for this month is SMOKE, and you can read all about it on her announcement post.
Smoke infusions are a trendy technique nowadays, (maybe they are not even trendy anymore, bar trends are really fast lately) and definitely one of my favorite, so much that I will be hosting a night here in my hometown next month, and the 4 drinks menu will be focused on the different ways to smoke a cocktail, be it with a cold smoke infusion (such in the recipe below), or by adding a smoky flavor to one of the ingredients (Charcoal infused Campari for example).
In a few weeks I will post all the recipes, but until then, let’s check out something that kept me busy the whole weekend.
“Ceci n’est pas une Jasmine”
1.75 oz. Beefeater 24
0.50 oz. Good quality Japanese Sake
0.75 oz. Yuzu juice
1 tablespoon of Sweet and Bitter Orange Marmalade
Sencha tea cold smoke.
Teaspoon with marmalade, lemon peel, dehydrated Campari-rimmed glass
Combine all the ingredients except Campari and the smoke in a shaker, hard shake for about 20 seconds, then double strain into a teapot, previously filled with Sencha tea smoke. Swirl the liquid inside the pot for a couple of times, not too much, and then pour in a chilled teacup, previously rimmed with dehydrated Campari.
This is my entry for the new Beefeater 24 competition, and since it includes a bit of smoking technique, I decided to catch two birds with a stone and feature this recipe for this month MxMo.
This competition calls for a classic cocktail, to be made with Beefeater dry, and a twist on the chosen cocktail, converting to Beefeater 24. For the classic bit, I went with a contemporary classic: Jasmine, by Paul Harrington. Paul invented this drink in the mid 90′s, to get his patrons acquainted to the bitter flavor of Campari, in combination with dry gin. Hell of a drink, very simple but very rich, both in flavor and status among the professionals. The cocktail I am writing about today is essentially a twist on Paul’s Jasmine. Since Beefeater 24 owes his distinctive flavor to a Japanese Sencha Tea infusion, I decided to pay a tribute to that, combining two of the most iconic ways of drinking tea around the world: English Afternoon Tea, and the Japanese Tea Ritual. I started by substituting lemon juice with Yuzu juice, much more aromatic and truly a symbol of Japan’s fruit, then I referenced England a bit, using Marmalade instead of Cointreau, as it gives me less of a sweet edge and gets the drink a bit thicker. Back to Japan we go, with a touch of sake to balance the juniper, just like any dry vermouth would do in a Martini Cocktail.
The tea sensation is enhanced by a cold smoke infusion of Sencha, a great help for the aroma of this drink and at the same time a pretty cool thing to watch. Campari is still present, but in a different form; to create a Campari dust (or dehydrated Campari) you need patience, a good oven, and patience again. I was able to get mine ready after 7 hours of baking at 75°C, but Camper English has written many more words on the subject than me and you can check out plenty of recipes on his page. I wish I’d have a video showing my face once the dust was ready,I must have looked like a 5 years old kid in a candy store. The dust on the rim gives a great bitter sensation on the sip, but then slowly disappears, making way to the aromatic hints of citrus. It’s the exact opposite of the classic Jasmine, where the bitter note of Campari lingers in a very subtle way till the end.
If this drink will make it to the Italian final, it will be served with the classic English sandwiches, stuffed with Nori algae and Prawns cooked in a Campari reduction.
This was a lot of fun, I always love creating recipes using references here and there, I hope it was fun for all of my readers as well.A big thanks to Elana for hosting the event this month and a salute to Fred Yarm for keeping this outlet of creativity up and running.
A little extra, for whoever wants to spend a bit of time watching it: this is a video for Angostura Global Challenge 2013, there is smoke involved, unfortunately the use of raw eggs automatically forfeited my entry.. Anyway, I think it’s worth watching, at least for the soundtrack…