maandag 22 maart 2021

The Old Fashioned Mexican - El Ron Prohibida Reserva 22y

Question of the day: Cocktails with exclusive or expensive spirits – Yes or No?

A cocktail can only be as good as the ingredients. If you use poor quality ingredients, it will be much harder to get to a delicious result. For home use I would recommend to pick the ‘normal’ range of products, which is widely available in liqueur stores. Creating cocktails with high end spirits is a whole other ballgame. I have seen it done successful, for example with the ‘Green Club Card’ menu at Bar Burbure in Antwerp. They brought very clever variations on classic cocktails, but lifted up to the absolute maximum in flavour. Often they also paired it with a bite to create a complete taste experience.  

Experimenting with high end spirits is of course expensive. That’s why you need to limit the fails. Always start from a classic recipe and slightly adapt the recipe. I’ll give you a practical case. Let’s say we start with the father of all recipes, the Old Fashioned. This cocktail only contains a good quality spirit, sugar, bitters and ice. The sugar is the easiest part to adapt. In liqueur stores you will find a whole range of sugar syrups that you can try in your Old Fashioned. Swapping the simple syrup for honey or vanilla syrup will absolutely add something extra. These are both very safe tries with brown spirits, but if you use gin as your spirit, you could even try cucumber syrup. The sky is the limit. 

The same goes for bitters. Traditionally the Old Fashioned is made with a few dashes of Angostura Aromatic bitters, but you could easily swap this for other bitters that complement the flavors of the spirit. I have made some great Old Fashioned cocktails with walnut bitters or orange bitters. Adding 10 or 20 ml of Amaro is a similar variation. It adds a herbal touch to your drink. 

Another nice option is to cut back on the sugar and add some sweet sherry to the mix instead. This will add sweetness but also a nice silky layer. An Old Fashioned with some Pedro Ximenez sherry added is called a Velvet Old Fashioned.  

The new bottle on my home-bar today is a very nice Mexican rum, El Ron Prohibido Reserva 22y. If you like whisky, you know that 22 years is already pretty long. For Rum it’s even more impressive, because this spirit ages in a much warmer climate. A 22y old rum can be compared in aging with a 40y old whisky, at least!

I don’t want to spill too much of this rum, so I opted for a (safe!) nice and tasty Old Fashioned. 

The Old Fashioned Mexican

60 ml El Ron Prohibido Reserva 22y
10 ml Vanilla syrup
2 dashes Angostura Cocoa Bitters

You can easily stir this one up directly in the glass. Or you can mix it in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain your drink into a tumbler with fresh ice. Garnish with a sweet amarena cherry.

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.

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