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“Ceci n’est pas une jasmine” for MxMo LXXVIII

22 Sep

mxmologoIt’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.
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“Ceci n’est pas une Jasmine”
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Honeyfruit

24 Jun

Last month I had a lot of fun at the Disaronno Mixing Star casting in Milan, with my cocktail Mr. Wolf, unfortunately I didn’t make to the Amsterdam Final, but it was a great experience nonetheless, and a great honor to be selected among the 40 Italian finalists. I had the chance to meet many talented professionals, tasted great drinks, and I was relieved to see that almost all the participants were following international mixology trends and techniques. I wish I could make time to visit all these great guys, but unfortunately, although Italy is a rather small country, travelling trough it can be expensive and tedious. Hopefully by the end of this year I’ll manage to check out one or two cool bars, and I will make sure to keep you readers posted.
Now to the subject of todays’ post: I have recently discovered that Beefeater is holding a worldwide competition for their Beefeater 24 gin, and to keep my new year resolution in check, I am going to submit a drink and try to get to the final.

HONEYFRUIT
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Mr. Wolf for Disaronno Mixing Star 2013

25 Apr

Few days ago I received an email from Bols, containing all the scores and the feedbacks for my entry to BATW 2013. My drink was the “Yankee and the Dutch“, a Jerry Thomas’ inspired punch, which got me as far as the final national heat: the feedbacks on the drink were more than positive, unfortunately I got mixed reviews on the video we had to submit for the final heat. It was my first video submission and I made few key mistakes.. well you live, you learn.. anyway I had great fun filming the whole thing and I hope to make it at least as far next year.
With this good result in store, I can continue carrying on my new year resolution: participating in any possible cocktail competition. The end of April marks the deadline for the Disaronno Mixing Star, and that means we have a drink ready for the folks at Disaronno.
The theme for this year is “movies”, and I chose to pay a tribute to a character in a modern days classic: “Pulp Fiction” definitely one of my favorite film of all time.

Mr. Wolf

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“Yankee and the Dutch” for Bols Around The World 2013

15 Feb

Last year I promised myself that I would enter every cocktail competition possible in 2013, and so far I am keeping my word, although it is not that easy here in Italy, we are indeed cut off from many major comps.
Luckily Bols Around The World is not one of these so I get the chance to share what I have been working on for the past month.
I decided to use some Genever for this drink, and that proved a bit of a challenge as apparently nobody stocks it anymore here in my small town of Verona. It looked like I was forced to buy it on the net when in a small store in downtown I found a vintage bottle of Z.O. Genever, which was perfect for what I had in mind.
The idea behind this drink is a fictional meeting between Jerry “The Professor” Thomas and Vincent Van Gogh. These two artists lived in the same years, and of course never met each other, but what if they did? What would have the troubled painter ordered at the counter? Would have the professor conquered him with his flashy moves and shining jewels? This is, in my opinion, what those two artists could have drank after a long night, talking about ladies, inspiring each other, one mixing a drink in what was the prototypical American way, the other one supplying the booze (Vincent was broke but surely had some money for booze)and those flowers that were obsessing him. To celebrate this fantasy encounter I decided to take a drink that was very fashionable those days, such as the punch, and twist it with some ingredients that I think could have inspired Mr Van Gogh.

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Yankee and the Dutch

Ingredients:
0.25 oz Lemon and violet oleo saccharum
0.25 oz lime juice
2 oz. Z. O. Genever
1 oz. lavender infused water
0.25 oz. Ruby Port
6/7 dried rosebuds

Garnish:
Lemon peel flower

Prep:
Add all the ingredients except port and rosebuds in a shaker and shake vigorously for few seconds, then double strain on crushed ice. Gently stir in the rosebuds, top with more crushed ice and finish with Port. Garnish with a bright lemon peel flower.

This drink is a cross between a gin punch and a gin sangaree, thirst-quenching, fairly light and definitely very aromatic. The genever plays wonderfully with the subtlety of violets and roses, and the sip is definitely flower-forward with a long citrus finish. Port ensures that the whole feel wouldn’t come too herbal, giving just a touch of sweetness and wood. Lavender has a major role in the aroma, and together with the rosebuds contributes to a wonderful fragrance, not too forced like when using rose water.
Overall I am extremely pleased with the result, I don’t mix punches too often, but once again the old way of making drinks proves to be often the best.

the painting that inspired me

The ” 5 o’clock ritual ” for Bacardi Legacy

23 Oct

Here’s something i created for that giant competition that is Bacardi Legacy. Only eight people in Italy will be considered for the final, so it will be a fierce battle. Unfortunately i haven’t had the chance to see any other recipe, I just hope nobody came up with this yet.

Ingredients:

1 oz. Bacardi Superior
1/2 oz. Amaretto Disaronno
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1 passion fruit
5 cardamom pods
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Prep :

Pour the three spirits in a tin kettle, heat them up with the steamer and then light the liquid on fire. Swirl it a little to get the flame going and let it burn for a couple of minutes. To show off a little bit you can pour the flaming liquid from a kettle to another one a la “Jerry Thomas”. Meanwhile, prepare a teapot full of ice with the cardamom pods, passion fruit pulp and Angostura Bitters. When the flaming liquid is ready, pour it all at once in the teapot. I found out that just by letting it sit three minutes in the teapot, the aroma and flavor improve greatly, so , after three minutes (recommended), serve in a Martini cup with a lime wheel.

I got the inspiration for this after seeing my colleague drinking a hot tea in the afternoon, hence the name of the cocktail.. the result should be very similar in taste and aroma to a spiced tea and with most of the alcohol burnt away i would think it could be served even in the morning.. cheers!!!!

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