Travelling is arguably one of my biggest passions. I consider myself lucky, as I have had the chance to travel, work and live around the world, always with my beautiful lady. Now that we moved back into my hometown, here in Italy, one of the thing I missed the most is just living in a foreign country, learning different lifestyles, different cuisines, new ingredients. I started blogging and participating in Mixology Mondays also for this reason: I wanted to stay in touch with a reality that was different than mine, I wanted to see what other bartenders had to say about cocktails and spirits, because, if there is one thing I learned during my travels, is that mixing ingredients and techniques from different cultures, often produces great results. Now this was almost impossible 100, 150 years ago (even now in Italy it’s difficult to find Chambord, produced in the neighbouring France), as most ingredients were locally sourced, and very few brands were able to reach all the continents. Nowadays though, as Stewart Putney of Putney Farm says in this month MxMo announcement, bar shelves are stocked with bottles from all over the world, most bartenders are familiar with more exotic techniques and even in my small town I can find a decent Asian grocery store. “Intercontinental” is the theme that Stewart decided for us, and it couldn’t be a better one, celebrating the globalization of the cocktail scene, and at the same time bringing us back into an era when travelling was an important event, not something casual, but something to remember and share with your loved ones.
STARS AND STRIPES
1.5 oz. Rum Santa Teresa 1796 (Venezuela, therefore South America)
0.5 oz. Calvados ( France, therefore Europe)
0.75 oz. Yuzu Juice (all the way from Japan, Asia)
0.5 oz. Honey Syrup
0.75 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
3 drops of Bittertruth Creole Bitters
Three sage leaves, slapped and then placed on top of the foam.
Pour all the ingredients in a shaker, shkae vigorously and then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. I used a glass that is often used for brandies or grappa, so the aroma of sage and creole bitters would concentrate in the top of the glass, hitting the nose with cherries, herbs and spices.
I have always beem a fan of pineapple and sage, but after trying to mix the two of them with bourbon, I decided to change for something with a bit more character. The combo of Venezualan Rum and French Calvados works really well, the apple complimenting the fresh pineapple as well. Honey syrup is necessary in my opinion, to give more body to the whole thing, binding with the aromatic yuzu, creating a bit of a thicker texture.
As you can see, three of the ingredients come from three different continents; the pineapples I used are from Panama, therefore North America, but it felt like cheating a little bit, in fact unlike Yuzu, which is found only in Japan, pineapples can be grown in half the world, or at least all along the Equator. So I decided to make up for that lost continents in another way, hence the title. Stars and Stripes is often used to describe something truly American, but it is also the name of the first airplane to take off and land in Antarctica. In 1929 Richard Evelyn Byrd guided the first expedition aimed at reaching the South Pole by plane.The expedition was a success and gave the world another view of Antarctica for the first time. Mr Byrd, a navy officer from USA went on to lead many other expedition, until his death in Boston, 1957.
That’s it for this one, unfortunately I couldn’t come up with anything from Africa and I decided to pass on a Bundaberg and Vegemite daiquiri… five out of seven is not that bad, but the drink is delicious!
A big thanks to the guys at Putney Farm for this awesome theme, and remember, keep travelling!