maandag 24 juli 2023

Tequila Old Fashioned

Happy Tequila Day!!!

Why is it crucial to familiarize yourself with basic cocktail recipes? By doing so, you gain the ability to explore and experiment, allowing for ingredient substitutions that result in diverse and exciting outcomes. Let me give you an example: 

Take the Old Fashioned, which traces its roots back to the original definition of a cocktail: "A mixed drink composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters." Over time, the water component has evolved into the use of ice. A classic Old Fashioned typically consists of whisky or Bourbon, a lump of sugar, and Angostura aromatic bitters. However, each of these ingredients can be easily substituted, opening up a world of possibilities. You have the freedom to select different spirits, alternate sweeteners, and experiment with various types of bitters. In my case, I opted for a complete overhaul, making changes to all three elements.

By understanding the fundamental recipes, you gain confidence in your mixology skills and the creativity to craft unique and personalized cocktails. Embracing this knowledge empowers you to break away from convention, discover new flavours, and truly make the art of cocktail mixing your own. Cheers to the exciting journey of mixology!

Tequila Old Fashioned

60ml Sierra Tequila Reposado
5ml Agave syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Cocoa bitters

To prepare this particular drink to perfection, it requires a careful stirring process, for which small ice cubes are essential. There are two approaches to achieve this:

Option 1:
Add all the ingredients to a tumbler and stir the drink directly in your glass. This method works well with the small ice cubes, ensuring a well-mixed and balanced concoction.

Option 2:
Alternatively, you can opt for a more professional touch by stirring the drink in a separate mixing glass. After achieving the desired blend, strain the mixture into a tumbler. This technique allows you to utilize a large, clear ice block, which not only enhances the presentation but also keeps the drink colder for a longer period.

In both cases, garnish with a dehydrated slice of blood orange. 

Whichever method you choose, the key is to ensure that the drink receives the right stirring treatment, resulting in a delightful and satisfying taste. So, grab your preferred style and indulge in the perfect sip of this exquisite beverage. Cheers!

P.S. Serve with peaches or some toast with rillettes (potted meat).  

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Consulting 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.

zondag 16 juli 2023

Calvados Morin

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my family in the charming village of Ivry-la-Bataille, nestled in the picturesque region of Normandy, France. One of the highlights of this area is its renowned production of a popular spirit known as Calvados. During our stay, we visited the Calvados Morin caves, located just a short distance away.

Normally, tours of the cellars were only available on Fridays. However, due to the national holiday on the 14th of July, this posed a challenge. Fortunately, the accommodating guide, upon learning about my blog and passion for spirits, graciously offered to conduct a private tour for us anyway.

Calvados Morin can be compared to the top independent whisky blenders and bottlers. They source their spirits from a selection of 7 or 8 trusted distillers in the Calvados region, skillfully aging them in enormous oak casks before creating their unique blends. It was fascinating to discover that this entire operation is managed by a mere five individuals, despite 60% of their production being exported. 

We also learned that any Calvados brand wishing to feature an apple tree on their label must have a live apple tree present on the premises of their head office. True to this tradition, Calvados Morin proudly maintains an apple tree at their location.

Descending into the depths of the cellars, we marvelled at the casks of Calvados quietly maturing over the course of several decades. Some casks we encountered were already more than 40 years old. A noteworthy detail is that the labels of the bottles always indicate the age of the youngest spirit in the blend. Unlike similar products that undergo a secondary phase in large glass "dame Jeanne" bottles, Calvados Morin exclusively ages their spirits in oak casks before transferring them to the final bottles for sale.

The last segment of the cave tour took us through a narrow passage lined with shelves, where up to 300 bottles of each production patiently awaited harmonization with the ambient elements. The presence of multi-coloured yeast-mold in this confined passage was extraordinary, as can be seen in the photos. However, it is important to note that while visually intriguing, this mold has negligible impact on the spirit itself, which ceases to age the moment it leaves the oak casks. These moldy bottles primarily serve as a marketing spectacle.

Naturally, the tour included a delightful tasting session featuring several bottles from their main range, some of which had been aged for up to 50 years. Tasting the various expressions proved to be a fascinating experience, allowing me to discern the nuances brought forth by the aging process. The younger spirits delivered a fruity burst of fresh apples, which I particularly relish in cocktails. On the other hand, the older bottlings exhibited a more subdued alcohol burn, accompanied by a complexity of flavour and aroma.

The guide also offered me the opportunity to sample a special bottle, a project crafted by their master blender to cater to whisky enthusiasts. This particular Calvados displayed a pronounced freshness, with the fruity apple notes taking a backseat to subtle hints of citrus. What intrigued me most was a distinctive sour note that instantly evoked the local product of apple cider. The guide revealed that this unique bottling was partially aged in ex-cider casks. I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride as he commended me for being the first visitor to ever make the connection to cider.

Calvados Morin, 10 Rue d’Ezy, 27540 Ivry-la-Bataille.

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Consulting 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 6 juli 2023

Pineapple Margarita

Let’s kick-start the summer with a true classic. A Margarita is a drink that immediately sweeps you away to a sunny beach. 

Do you want to add a little something extra (no, I’m not talking about one of those little umbrellas…), just add a shot of pineapple juice. 

Pineapple Margarita

50ml Sierra Tequila Silver
20ml Lime juice
40ml Pineapple juice
30ml Triple Sec
Optional: 1 Barspoon of agave syrup

Add all ingredients to a shaker with lots of ice. Give it a hard shake for 15 seconds and strain in a Margarita glass. Garnish is optional and to your personal preference… a salt rim, lime, a chunk of pineapple or even some pretty pineapple leaves. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Consulting 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.