Does the coconut not get the respect it deserves? Coconut is everywhere! It’s a bonafide trend, the water at least. I mean, few billion dollar industries can complain about “not getting respect” and come out sounding unlike this guy. But I suppose this week’s MxMo theme, courtesy of JFL at Rated R Cocktails does have a point: aside from the ubiquitous and often underwhelming Piña Colada, Coconut doesn’t have the same prestigious place in the cocktail fruit pantheon as Pineapple or Blackberry. So, in the spirit of the challenge, can we bring coconut back to the stage? Can we make it the star? Give it a reason to be kept behind the bar? And most importantly can I laugh in the face of all that is holy and sacred in food pairing and make gin and coconut work together? Take that Flavor Bible*.
I thought that my challenge was going to be pairing the astringent foresty notes of a good gin with coconut’s creamy richness. Gin and cream go together really well, but for some reason coconut always felt a little dissonant with gin: a touch funky, a touch tropical, but without that delightful acidic balance that pineapple or citrus fruits bring to the party.
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For Mixology Monday LXXXVII,* Stacy Markow, has issued us a challenge to summon forth our inner hulks and smash. But before you start smashing anything in sight, let’s get a hold of the reins. As this is a cocktail themed challenge, the only things Stacy is challenging us to smash are fruits and vegetables. So perhaps its more Gallagher than it is Hulk.
Here are the requirements for this game [summarized by your truly]:
1. Grab something fresh. At least one herb. At least one fruit. Bonus if its local and in season**.
2. Smash it.
3. Drown it in spirit and ice.
4. Sweetening is allowed.
So without further ado, here’s my entry for MxMo #87: The Midnight Sun cocktail:
Midnight Sun Cocktail
2 parts Gin [we were looking for a little bit of a lift, and since we were pairing with Aquavit, we went with a more contemporary toned gin. Counter Gin seemed a good choice because it highlights Verbena, Tarragon and Lavender, giving it a nice herb-forward tenor, which mixes really well in this cocktail. Other good alternatives include Gin Mare (), or Leopold’s ().]
1 part Aged Aquavit [many Aquavits are aged, but we think that Linie’s Auqavit, with over a year spent in Oak, gives it a nice, mellow, and more rounded out flavor.
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This month’s Mixology Monday theme was put up by the folks over at Booze Nerds, who wanted to nerd it up with the somewhat obscure theme of “resin.” Let me quote from the post which got the party started:
“Whatever resin means to you, we want to hear it.”
Well I’ve been looking for a good excuse to break out that bottle of Zirbenz, or even better yet my seasonal standby, the old Douglas Fir Eau de Vie.
So let me take you on the journey. Because although I got to the destination in the end, the road I walked down had dead ends which are more interesting than the final cocktail. As happens over an evening in the home bar, mixing and testing, you begin to feel the burden of your hard work: which is to say I ended up just a tad drunk by the time I came up with a drink which met my slowly lowering bar for what a “good cocktail” tastes like.
The Journey Begins
I wanted to try something fresh, so I busted out some fresh rosemary. For all of my best intentions, I came up short in locating safe pine needles [why couldn’t you have waited until next month?
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