zaterdag 17 april 2021

Not a Daiquiri


In earlier recipes I have already made connections between cachaça from Brazil and rum from the Caribbean. Cachaça and rum have similar roots, but the result in the bottle is pretty different. Somehow I really love the combination of the typical warm sweetness of rum and the more ‘grassy’ notes of cachaça. Another spirit which also has that ‘grassiness’ is Tequila. Let’s try a sour with a mix of Tequila and rum. To keep a link with Brazil, I’m using Weber Rum, produced by one of the better cachaça distillers. The result is something in between a Daiquiri and a Caipirinha 😉 

Not a Daiquiri

Ingredients
25 ml Sierra Antiguo Plata (100% Blue Agave)
25 ml Señor Weber Rum Blanco
25 ml Fresh Lime juice
10 ml Simple Syrup

Method
Add all ingredients to a shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 15 minutes and strain in a tumbler with fresh ice. Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

dinsdag 13 april 2021

Costa Sour - Duingin


This week I got a nice introduction to the gin-range headed by Duingin. Today I’ll focus on the leading bottle of the range, which is Duingin itself. This distilled gin is a real terroir product based on a maceration of Sea Buckthorn (in dutch: Duindoorn). These bright coloured berries grow in the dunes at the Belgian/Netherlands coast and have a very specific coastal flavor. I’ve seen lots of them at the Zwin Nature Parc between Knokke (B) and Cadzand (NL). 

On the nose this gin has the refreshing smell of Sea Buckthorn and Juniper berries. The very typical sweet-sour taste of the berries is well balanced in the mouth and is supported by a complex mix of herbs and spices. Primary botanicals are Sea Buckthorn and Lavender. 

Perfect serve: 5 cl Duingin, 15cl neutral Indian tonic and a slice of lime. 

When I read the story of this gin, I immediately wanted to mix it with Hierbas de las Dunas, the herbal liqueur produced by Michelin star chef Syrco Bakker. This Ibiza-style liqueur has a salty-sweet flavour and is made with the same Sea Buckthorn as one of the primary botanicals. The Duingin range also has 3 other gins (Ginger, Ginius and Oxygin). We’ll return with a couple of those later on. 

Costa Sour

Ingredients
40 ml Duingin
30 ml Hierbas de las Dunas
30 ml Lime juice
10 ml Simple Syrup
1 eggwhite

Method
Add all ingredients to a shaker without ice. Shake hard to create some foam. Add ice and shake gently for 10 more seconds. Double strain in a pre-chilled coupe or cognac glass. No garnish needed. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.


 

donderdag 8 april 2021

Crazy Monkey by @sommthing.RAD


From the very start of my blogging adventures I always had a very clear mission in mind. It was January 2016 and more and more people were enjoying Gin & Tonics at home multiple times a week. I wanted to convince them to buy a few more bottles and experiment with easy but tasty homemade cocktails. This means I often have to ‘undress’ recipes which are too difficult, suggest different preparation methods or find alternatives for hard-to-find bottles etc. 

A while back I got a message from Amanda Greenbaum. She’s a mixologist, sommelier and winemaker from Malibu (California) with more or less the same mission. She published a nice cocktail book with easy recipes and wanted me to have a look at it. On the first page she’s already very cheeky with her statement : “This book is for all of the suckers who paid twenty dollars for a cocktail last night you could’ve made at home. It’s okay, we’ve all been there”

You can order the book from her website, it’s packed with tasty recipes. I selected this easy, but soooooo very tasty cocktail… 

Crazy Monkey

Ingredients
60 ml Dark Rum (I selected a nice bottle of El Ron Prohibido Solera 12)
15 ml Giffard Banane du Brésil  
30 ml Kahlua coffee liqueur

Method
I mixed everything together in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strained it into a small tumbler with a nice block of clear ice. Garnish is optional, I used some tiny flowers to make it a bit more Instagrammable 😉 .

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

dinsdag 6 april 2021

Easy Greasy Bacon Old Fashioned


Any butcher will tell you fat holds most of the flavour in any meat. That’s the reason why fat-marbled Wagyu steaks are so delicious and why you really should have a nice layer of fat on any piece of roast. Adding fat to spirits is something which is not that uncommon in bars, it’s called “fat-washing the spirit” and it can be done with several spirits such as whisky, Bourbon, rum, … 

Today I’m talking about one of the most popular ‘fatty’ cocktails: The Bacon Old Fashioned. I’ll explain in short how it’s done in the bars, but I’ll also give you a quick and easy method to shake one up at home. 

In the bars the name is really not that accurate, because they will only use the liquid fat of the bacon to mix with Bourbon. Make sure to use greasy belly bacon to get enough liquid fat. Mix the fat and Bourbon in a jar and have it rest for a day to make sure the spirit absorbs all the delicious flavors (shake regularly). Next day refrigerate (or freeze) the mix, which will make the fat become solid again and it will split from the spirit. Get rid of the fat and pour the whiskey through a coffee filter to get your ready-to-use Bacon flavored whiskey. 

For measurements, I would suggest maximum 60 ml of liquid fat on a complete bottle of whiskey. 

So yes, it’s not that easy and it’s only rewarding if you make a batch of it. But I also have a pretty easy way of adding bacon taste to your whiskey(-cocktail). 

Easy Greasy Bacon Old Fashioned

Ingredients
60 ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
10 ml Honey Syrup (or Maple Syrup)
3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
1 strip of grilled greasy bacon

Method
Cut your grilled strip of bacon in half lengthwise. Put the prettiest half aside for garnish, cut up the other half in small cubes. Add these to a shaker with ice, also add the whisky, honey syrup and bitters. Shake for 15 seconds. Fine strain in a tumbler with fresh ice. Notice the beautiful color. Garnish with the bacon strip. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

donderdag 1 april 2021

Bruichladdich Black Art 1994 Ed 08-1 - A tasting with Nick Baeyens


Nick Baeyens is a Brand Ambassador for PHD (Progressive Hebridean Distillers), the makers of Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte, Octomore and the fantastic The Botanist Gin. Each time Nick invites us to a tasting, I know I’m up for something special. In the past we already deconstructed bottlings, tasted individual casks, shared a pot of mussels or went on a foraging walk at the Belgian/Dutch coastal border. This guy is a brand ambassador, bartender, forager, teacher, DJ,… that will always drag you into a new adventure. This week he invited me to a virtual tasting of a very exclusive bottling: Bruichladdich Black Art 1994 Edition 08.1 - 26 years.

“Decades have passed since this unpeated spirit ran from the stills in the ethereal, Victorian stillhouse. The stillmen who were present in 1994 would have no concept of its destiny; that it would eventually become the eighth iteration of the notorious Bruichladdich Black Art. This spirit would take many weaving journeys within our loch-side warehouses. Each cask it met has been identified and nurtured over time under the tenureship of the Head Distiller. All with one ultimate purpose in mind. Few responsibilities are as daunting as the composition of this cuvee. Lesser distillers would be unwilling to release their finest casks completely unaccounted for, totally in secret”. 

And of course Nick made this tasting – again – something to remember. 

Together with a pair of  whisky-samples, we received an intriguing treasure-chest filled with Black Art stuff... a deck of Tarot cards, candles, sage, wood, a ring and a silver necklace with a jewel. He invited Sofie Joan Wouters aka ‘Esmeralda’ to interrupt the webinar and take us on a journey for a very personal seance. 

A few more credits
The silver jewel we received was one of 15 unique designs, created for this occasion by Anaïs de KeyzerThe deck of Tarot cards was designed and illustrated by Lisa Sterle.

A big 'Thank You' to Nick for – again – a very adventurous tasting. And by the way, I really loved this whisky. Very unusual and with a slightly sweeter taste-profile for Bruichladdich, but totally the style of whisky I like to sip. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.


woensdag 31 maart 2021

The Slightly Lower ABV Sazerac


I often mentioned that my Nr.1 recipe of choice is the Old Fashioned. It’s also a quick and easy way to experience how a spirit behaves in a cocktail. If that spirit is a brandy, cognac or rye whiskey I would probably go for a Sazerac style of drink which is actually a variation on the Old Fashioned. Why? Because these bold spirits work so well together with the extra anise flavors of this drink. 

No, Soberano is not the housebrand of my good friend Soberon, it’s a sweet Spanish brandy at only 36°. This is a product made by Gonzalez Byass, the producers of the best sherry wines. You can expect a soft and silky texture, with a full body. Lots of oak and roasted nuts. The name ‘Soberano’ is related to ‘Sovereign’ (in Spanish the v is often pronounced as a b), this brandy was created to highlight their relationship with the King of Spain. 

I received this bottle of Soberano Solera Brandy on the same day as a new bottle of Absente. It’s almost like a match made in heaven. This calls for an easy sipping Sazerac, slightly lower in alcohol. 

Henri Bardouin Absente is my favorite brand of Absinthe. I always have the 55° Absinthe in my homebar. This new flashy bottle (which looks absolutely stunning in any bar) is much lower in alcohol, only 26°. It would suit better in what we generally categorize as liqueurs. The 55° is also defined as a herbal liqueur, but with 55° it’s as strong as your base spirit. 

The Slightly Lower ABV Sazerac

Ingredients
60 ml Soberano Solera Brandy
10 ml Sugar syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
A few ml of Absente 26° for a rinse

Method
Rinse the glass with Absinthe (Swirl it around, you want a thin coating of absinthe on the complete inside of your glass) and add icecubes. If you don’t use too much Absinthe, just leave it in the glass. It there’s too much Absinthe left on the bottom, discard it. Because this cocktail is a bit lower in alcohol, you could discard the icecubes too. If the glass and the cocktail are both cold enough, this should give you a perfect experience. I actually like my Sazeracs with a huge block of ice, which will cool the drink but won’t add much dilution. I was almost out of ice, so had to settle for the smaller cubes.

Stir the Soberano brandy with sugar and bitters in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain the cocktail into the chilled and rinsed tumbler. Garnish with lemon.

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

vrijdag 26 maart 2021

Toy Revolver


How to simplify a cocktail that only has three ingredients? The Revolver is a lesser known variation on the Manhattan. It’s basically a mix of Bourbon and coffee liqueur with a few drops of orange bitters. The magic extra ingredients are a few drops of oil expressed from a piece of orange peel and warmed up with a lighter. Spectacular when done properly, and it absolutely adds an extra aroma dimension to your drink. Most home bartenders won’t bother because it’s a skill that really needs some practice. 

How can we simplify this in a way which also adds a more or less similar effect to the drink? We could add a mist of orange extract. This is extremely easy to make yourself. Do you ever eat oranges? Just add the orange peels to a closed jar with vodka. Let it rest for a couple of weeks. Strain and filter. Put it in a cheap spray-bottle

Toy Revolver

Ingredients
60 ml Bulleit Bourbon
15 ml Coffee liqueur
2 dashes of Orange bitters
Home-made orange vodka spray

Method
Stir together in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain in a chilled coupe. Spray with the orange infused vodka. No garnish is really needed, but you can add a dehydrated orange wheel if you want. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.