Johnny Cocktail has been VERY busy!

There are many more posts to come so stay tuned. This Blog is getting ready to see quite the face lift!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Citrisss the Season

So at this point in the month is where life truly becomes littered with busy.  Food Matters has an Egg Nog recipe that will knock your socks off.  I however, spend about 2 hours hand making and essentially cooking this product up every other day and it occupies a lot of my free time to begin working on next month's creation.  The winter months have little to offer outside of the more exotic quinces as far as fruits go.  Apples, oranges and grapefruits are pretty much what we are working with during this time of the year.  The major situation about the quince is it's short seasonal peak, tapping out some where mid January at the latest.  It's vanilla, floral, lemon, musk and sourness do make it a great canidate for a future cocktail.  It's story, rumors and lore are what make it even further interesting.  It is suggested that many apples in literature were probably quinces, including the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden, as it was cultivated in western civilization long before the apple.

Oranges have a long time on the seasonal market and will likely be used in my Febuary cocktail (Anyone recall last year's Orange and Mint Sweet Tea success?)

Which leaves me with the grapefruit.  Usually considered a breakfast fruit, sliced in half with a sprinkle of sugar on top, grapefruit has been typically used in cocktails as "morning after" pick me up remedies seen in Bloody Mary alternatives such as the Greyhound and Salty Dog.  The only other major recognition the grapefruit has received in the cocktail world is the Seabreeze.

Now don't get me wrong, grapefruit is recognized for pairing well with tropical fruits and citrus.  In the culinary world, grapefruit is matched heavenly with particular herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme and mint.  This is the area I believe I am going to attempt to tap into with my creative juices.  I asked Chef what herbs were coming into play and it turns out rosemary is a local herb being harvested in January.  So it sounds like we have a premise.  I'm going to experiment this afternoon with gin and vodka based cocktails, probability of infusing rosemary either into a spirit or a salt or sugar.  The grapefruit, if not used fresh to order (which will be the ideal) will likely be used as an infusion for either spirit or simple syrup.

So be on the look out.  Because I'm brain storming and it sounds like I could have another "Cucumber Cooler" or "Strawberry Basil" masterpiece in the works.

In the mean time, check out these great grapefruit cocktail recipes for some of the drinks mentioned above.

IMPORTANT!!!  When using fruit juices in cocktails two things need to be considered.  1st, no need to use your top shelf vodkas as their subtles would be lost in the mixing, so use a mid level vodka such as Stoli or Ketel One.  2nd, if you are going to make any drink ever I highly recommend using ingredients that are in their peak of season and to freshly squeeze them just before serving.


Glass:  Rocks Glass
Garnish:  Lemon or Lime Wedge
Method:  Shake ingredients with ice and strain into ice filled rocks glass.

2 oz Vodka
4 oz Freshly squeezed grapefruit Juice

Salty Dog:

Glass:  Rocks or Highball Glass
Garnish:  Kosher Salt around rim of glass
Method:  Using a lemon, rim the edge of your glass and dip into healthy ammount of salt.  Shake ingredients with ice and strain straight into glass or over ice.

1 1/2 oz of Gin (Preferably one with more citrus in it's flavor such as Plymouth Gin)
5 oz Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

(I find that using a rocks glass with no ice makes a fantastic morning variation of the Salty Dog while a more brunch and patio friendly version would be over ice served in a highball glass)


Glass:  Collins or Highball
Method:  Pour cranberry juice into ice-filled glass.  Shake other ingredients with ice and strain into glass over cranberry juice.

2 oz Vodka
4 oz Cranberry juice
1 1/2 oz Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice

(This version is more aesthetically pleasing  to the eye and allows the individual to stir their ingredients together.  Much same as the way I layer my Arnold Palmer's!)


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