vrijdag 27 mei 2022

School Blues Smash


This could be one of my weirdest articles, posted on the Double Strainger cocktail blog. I was challenged to turn a book into a cocktail, taking lots of different aspects of the book into account. The book is “School Blues” by Daniel Pennac. I have read the book in English, but it’s actually a translation from the French original “Chagrin d’├ęcole”. The book talks about the life of Daniel as a teacher and more specific, about how he paid special attention to the dunces in his classroom. Daniel started out as a dunce himself, so he knows that every pupil can thrive when given the right care and attention. 

The reason why a pupil is a dunce could be anything from a range of reasons. Some pupils have trouble understanding what’s taught and need extra instruction. Others might be challenged by stuff going on at home, or might even be bullied at school. And let’s not forget gifted children, who are often overlooked and bored out. 

Daniel invests the time needed to pick up those children. I also have to invest time to create a tasty cocktail. I have to plan my actions to make sure the drink I serve to my guests or spouse will be delicious. For this “School Blues” drink, I want to work with a base of London Dry Gin. And when this idea was thrown in my lap, I knew from the first second that this drink had to be a smash. I need to smash something as a metaphor, to show that this ingredient will still add its flavours to the result. Even more, a smashed ingredient adds much more flavour.

Because of the title of this book, I add a slight bit of Blue Curacao, which is a liqueur based on orange peels. I also add a tiny splash of absinthe, to honour the French origin of the book and make a link to mental health. Absinthe, in the past, was linked to hallucinations and other mental issues. Pennac talks about mental issues and how he worked with pupils to make them escape from their zeros. 

School Blues Smash

Ingredients
50 ml London Dry Gin
30 ml Lemon juice
10 ml Simple Syrup
10 ml Blue Curacao
Rinse of absinthe.
Fresh mint leaves

Method
Add 6 to 10 mint leaves (depending on size) to a shaker, together with the lemon juice.


Muddle to extract more flavour. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the Absinthe). Add ice and give it a good shake. Give your cocktail glass a rinse with absinthe and add fresh ice. Fine strain your drink into your cocktail glass. Garnish with a few mint leaves. 

P.S. You could also serve this drink on shaved ice. Have a look at the reel I posted on Instagram, you’ll see how I made some fresh shaved ice with my new KitchenAid Ice Shaver. 

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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