The return of the squash-chili syrup. It’s a pretty good ingredient, though I’m thinking I could turn up the heat of the chilies a little. I’ve played more with the savory side of the squash this time with dashes of balsamic vinegar and salt, and a little Laphroaig for smoke. Sorta Sidecar-ish.
I’m really liking Kronan Swedish Punsch. Until recently, I had so much trouble buying punsch that I simply made it from Erik Ellestad’s recipe, which works very well. Kronan is a little heavier and darker in character—not a bad thing at all, merely different. I also wonder if it’s a little sweeter since I’ve had to adjust a few cocktails.
But then maybe it’s just me. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth in any case. But as I continue to think about taste and how it works, I notice a slight preference for more tartness in sour drinks—maybe the result of a subtle physiological change with the passage of time. (It’s unlikely that I want more sourness because I’m getting sweeter. Friends would say otherwise.)
Have a Heart
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz Swedish punsch
3/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz grenadine
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. SOURCE: ADAPTED FROM THE OFFICIAL MIXER’S MANUAL FOR HOME AND PROFESSIONAL USE, PATRICK GAVIN DUFFY
I first saw the original version of this recipe in Dr. Cocktail’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. I especially like the way the intense flavors play off a personality gin like Beefeater 24 or Botanivore.
It’s Mixology Monday wrap-up time! As your host, I’m truly having an amazing time with MxMo LXXII: Drink Your Vegetables, reading about all the exciting drinks and imaginative ways of combining booze with veggies. The turnout for this event shows the diversity of cocktail enthusiasts, and I’m very pleased to see some regulars, as well as some first timers who found inspiration in this theme.
First up is JFL of Rated R Cocktails, who answers that crunchy question, “What’s up, doc?” with Bugs Bunny, a rye-based carrot number to appeal to even the sharpest rabbit.
If it didn’t already feel like a vegetable patch around here, Raffaele Bellomi of The Shorter Straw brings us a trifecta of vegetal delights. The Green Wiseman (pictured) is fueled with gin and rocket. (That’s arugula here in the States.) Il Sangue di Maria is an unusual cachaça-tequila combo with celery and cherry tomato. Bitter Cup is a striking Pimm’s with fresh citrus, the traditional cucumber, and a big burst of Angostura Bitters.
Next we have a pair of Martinis by DJ HawaiianShirt of Spirited Remix. The Martini au Chef de Cuisine has a lacing of red onion than might just conjure my Gibson-loving great aunt from the great beyond. The companion piece, the Martini au Jardinier, is an herbal number. Parsley seems a quasi-vegetable, eaten as such in tabbouleh and pancake restaurants.
If the Fogged In Lounge seems a little low and salty from time to time, our honored visitor Matt L. Miller helps us out with the Low Country Celery, a dirty genever Martini with a little celery action and a spicy green bean.
Ian Lauer of Tempered Spirits uses tomato syrup and Cynar to deconstruct a complete culinary concept as a cocktail with Ciao, Provence! I’m getting hungry.
As a scotch fan, I’m intrigued by Moscrop by Mark Holmes of Cardiff Cocktails. An unusual blend of peaty malt, sweet romano pepper juice and chili-infused vermouth, it looks a tasty thing of smoke and bite.
The incomparable Fred Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Slut and our fearless MxMo leader whips up a handsome Going Back to Mezcali by Donato Alvarez: smoky, herbal, sweet and of course vegetal. I’m intrigued by the way it looks like red like Aperol and tastes of cucumber. And is the rhubarb in Aperol a vegetable? Looks like chard stems but we eat it like a fruit. Sort of like the cucumber being a fruit but we eat it like avegetable. OK—enough of that or my head’s gonna explode.
Nick of The Straight Up presents his Gentian Dream, an all-aperitif-and-bitters extravaganza featuring artichoke (Cynar), rhubarb (Aperol), celery bitters, and an herbal elixir supergroup.
Booze Nerds’ Christa and Shaun bring us a pair of cocktails featuring offbeat vodka infusions: celery root in The Night Market (which has sweet potato shochu as well), and watercress in The Hippy Chick. I’ve shown the HC here cuz I can’t resist a green drink.
More crazy infusions! Steve and Paul of Cocktail Buzz infuse moonshine with parsnip and soju with carrot as shown to rooty effect in their Logan 5.
I think if I had a Lazy Sunday Punch, a blended tequila drink from Elana of Stir and Strain, I might never getout of my chair. Floral notes, grapefruit and a cucumber spear seem to add up to a refreshing afternoon of idleness.
Andrea of Gin Houndlays down some of the hippest beets ever. There’s the fascinating, Fernet-driven Ode to Bax Beet Pinot, and then she goes and makes her own beet beer on which she bases the Beet Beet Cooler. How cool is that?!
I would like to thank everyone who participated for all their awesome drinks, articles and effort. I’d like to thank Mixology Monday moderator Frederic Yarm who makes it all happen. And thank all you readers out there for dropping by to see us do this incredibly fun monthly cocktail writers’ event. Cheers!
Greetings, folks. It’s time once again for another Mixology Monday post. The theme for this MxMo is Drink Your Vegetables, and I happen to be the host this month, challenging participants to find or invent a drink using one or more vegetable-based ingredients. (After all this drinking and writing about cocktails, we could use the vitamins.) So it is with particular pleasure that I present a vegetable ingredient for your delectation and wonderment, the squash. This would refer to the hard-skinned types including pumpkin, butternut, acorn and the like, sometimes called winter squash. These are available year-round. I’ve researched the matter to learn that the soft-skinned ones are called summer squash. There’s only so much you can do. (I reckon a zucchini wouldn’t survive a frost but can’t say I’ve seen it one way or the other. San Francisco, while chilly, doesn’t freeze. As people have said before, it’s hard to get a handle on the weather in these parts.)
Regardless of when you can find a winter squash, it is inseparable in the United States from an insanity that prevails from Halloween to Christmas, a dementia numerous in its symptoms, one of the weirdest being the delusion that everything tastes better with the addition of a large, tough, orange vegetable. You walk up to a coffee counter and they want to sell you a pumpkin latte. I always smile sweetly, exclaiming, “I would like a squash in my coffee, please!” The barista tends to look nervous.
I suspect what this bit of marketing is really about, and why it succeeds, is that people like pumpkin pie spices, and will have them in their coffee, beer, yogurt or whatever. A pumpkin pie is a very good thing indeed.
But the flavors of this group of similar orange squashes, while distinctive, are delicate and versatile, and lend themselves to lots of different treatments—not necessarily cinnamon, clove and ginger. The drink recipe below plays with the winter squash in more of a warm-weather way, the vegetal sweetness combining subtly with blanco tequila, chilies and lemon. A salt-cocoa rim brings out more salinity and earthiness. And it’s effervescent and without added ice in the glass, so I’ve declared it a fizz.
Mexican Pumpkin Fizz
First we need some squash-chili syrup.
1 c hard-shelled squash, peeled, diced
1 c raw sugar
1 c water
1/2 tsp chili flakes
Combine and bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is soft enough to mash. Strain off the liquid and mash the pulp. Recombine and double strain. (I put a fine strainer in the top of a measuring cup, and poured the squash mixture through a coarser sieve that I held over the fine one and the cup, pressing lightly with a spatula.)
And now for that drink.
MEXICAN PUMPKIN FIZZ
2 oz blanco tequila
1 oz squash-chili syrup
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 oz soda water
coarse salt, for rim
unsweetened cocoa, for rim
Chill a 6-ounce glass. (Delmonico, fizz, juice glass, etc.) In a saucer, combine a little coarse salt and unsweetened cocoa, enough to rim half the glass. Moisten half the rim with a cut lemon and dab the outside carefully in the salt-cocoa mixture. Shake tequila, syrup and lemon with ice cubes. Strain into prepared glass. Top with soda. ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
Light, bright and tingly, with an aroma of chocolate from the half-rim. I was tempted to throw every mole-style spice at the thing but quickly decided that I was not dealing with a dragon but a moon moth. The tequila used will have a considerable impact, whether it’s a pungent, mineral one, or a softer, more caramel one. I could go either way. Any left over syrup could go in savory glazes, and would be amazing on a vanilla dessert.
Guest blogger Matt L. Miller sends us an original recipe in response to this month’s Mixology Monday, the theme of which is Drink Your Vegetables. I, Rowen, have the pleasure of hosting this MxMo here at Fogged In Lounge, and invite participants to create a drink around one or more vegetable ingredients in any form. Matt responds with a celery-salted Holland gin Martini illustrated by his photo and description below.
Low Country Celery
2 oz genever gin (Genevieve)
1/2 oz dry vermouth (Dolin)
2 shakes celery salt
Stir vigorously over ice. Strain immediately into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with one spicy pickled green bean (Tillen Farm).
Strangely, Anchor Distilling has found it necessary to add the following warning label to Genevieve, their genever-style gin: WARNING: This is NOT a gin for making martinis! It is a “Genever” or “Schiedam” style gin, for old-fashioned cocktail recipe mixing. Or enjoy it on the rocks! Well, I suppose some people had complained. But I’m an iconoclast, so I decided to make a martini variation despite the warning, having run out of more orthodox recipes for genever. Strongly herbal, of course, but with a real backbone from the rye. It needed salt to go with the genever’s funkiness. And maybe something bitter to cut the genever’s sweetness. Celery salt? Perfect! Leafy vegetables were brought out by the salt, the Dolin vermouth added some more flowery herbal notes, and the celery completed the salad. Oh, and a spicy pickled bean for fun and distraction. MATT L. MILLER
Substitutions are real fun, and the Singapore Sling template makes so many tasty fizzy sours. For this adventure, I went with another herbal liqueur in place of the Bénédictine: the incomparable green Chartreuse. The resulting color and big flavor, together with a powerful alcohol wallop, reminded me of one of them gigantic reptiles they have in Southeast Asia, the ones that might just as soon eat you. They stun their victims with poison and then finish ’em off. Last I knew, these creatures are only wild in Indonesia, though maybe by now they’ve headed over to the Western Hemisphere and acquired a taste for rhum agricole in addition to the occasional person. In any case, the drink seems fairly pleasant to me, which might explain a few things around here.
2 oz London dry gin
1/2 oz Martinique rum (La Favorite Cœur d’Ambre)
1/2 oz green Chartreuse
1/2 oz crème de pêche (Massenez)
1 oz lime juice
1 1/2 oz soda
Shake all except soda with ice and pour into a collins glass. Top with soda. Fresh ice to fill. ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
Monday, April 22 will be the 72nd Mixology Monday, and I will be your host here at Fogged In Lounge. Our theme: Drink Your Vegetables. Want to get more vegetables but you’re always eating on the run? Maybe you hate vegetables but feel you should get more of them? Well then, how about a vegetable cocktail? No, not that nice little glass of red stuff Grandma put at each place setting—we’re talking something with a kick in it. You can definitely start with the little glass of red stuff and expand it to a Red Snapper-style drink like a Bloody Mary. Or how about a cucumber-scented cooler like a Pimm’s Cup, or maybe a cocktail featuring a vegetable-based ingredient like Cardamaro or celery bitters? Maybe you’ve been wondering if you can get more mileage out of that juice extractor before consigning it to the garage sale. However you get them in that glass, be prepared for the most fun with vegetables ever. Here‘s what to do.
Find a drink or create one featuring one or more vegetable-based ingredients in some form. Make the drink, and post a photo, the recipe, and your charming bar talk about the thing on your blog, Tumblr, or eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum. If you don’t have any other way of posting, you can also email it to me at foggedinlounge (at) gmail (dot) com.
Include in your post the MxMo logo and a link back to both the Mixology Monday and Fogged In Lounge sites. Once I post the roundup of all submissions, a link to that post as well would be grand.
Let me know about your awesome submission before 11:59pm PDT on Monday, April 22 by posting a link to your post in the comment section on this post or by shooting me an email at foggedinlounge (at) gmail (dot) com.
Have fun and remember: Don’t just vegetate—drink your vegetables.
Some notes on my cocktail life in San Francisco—mostly thoughts about classics or an idea I’m working on. Once in a while, I even go out and drink someone else’s liquor. (I try to take pictures to prove it.)