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MxMo XXXIV---Spice


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#1 eje

eje
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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:42 PM

If any of you read (or write) blogs which cover cocktails, you might know that Paul over at Cocktail Chronicles has been organizing a monthly online cocktail event he calls Mixology Mondays.

This month's event is being hosted by Craig over on his blog Tiki Drinks & Indigo Firmaments The theme is Spice.

To quote Craig from his explanation of the topic:

Spice should give you plenty of room to play - from the winter warmers of egg nog, wassail and mulled products to the strange and interesting infusions of pepper, ceubub, grains of paradise, nutmeg — what have you! I would like to stretch the traditional meanings of spice (as the bark, seed, nut or flowering part of a plant used for seasoning) to basically anything used for flavoring that isn’t an herb. Salt? Go for it. Paprika? I’d love to see you try. I hear that cardamom is hot right now.


If you would like to participate, please write up a cocktail in this topic before Monday, Dec 15th at midnight. I will compile a list of cocktails posted and email them to the organizer.

Savory or sweet, raid the spice cabinet and let's get mixing!
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#2 eje

eje
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Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:17 PM

Because syrup making is so much like sorbet making, I really like the idea of changing the phase of one of the syrup ingredients in a cocktail. You sort of have to change the function of the syrup, because both the cocktail and the sorbet need to be balanced enough to enjoy them on their own.

But when it works out, you can get a cocktail that is interesting and evolves as the solid and liquid portions combine.

The other week, I'd read a dessert recipe in our local paper, Pomegranate Granita with Cardamom Cream & Rose Meringues and thought, damn if there isn't a good drink hiding in that dessert, I'm not a crazy Drinky Sorbet maker. Maybe a spiced Jack Rose type cocktail with a small scoop of Pomegranate sorbet in the middle of the glass.

First thing I set about making was Pomegranate Sorbet. Unfortunately, holiday errands prevented a trip to the Farmers' Market, so I ended up buying Knudsen Just Pomegranate instead of using fresh.

I've used the Knudsen Just Pomegranate in Grenadine before, and thought it OK. But whenever I've tried the juice on its own, I've found it incredibly tannic.

For a while, I thought that was just the way natural pomegranate was supposed to be. That is, until I tried fresh squeezed pomegranate juice from the Farmers' Market. Admittedly, there is an evolution through the pomegranate season, from young and tart Pomegranates to sweet and ripe late season softballs.

But no fresh juice I've ever tried has anywhere near the tannic character of the Knudsen.

But I thought, if it works OK in grenadine, it will work OK in a sorbet.

Well, the short answer is you never know which flavors will be suppressed by temperature and which will be enhanced. Dear god was that a tannic and medicinal tasting sorbet.

As she had just finished a glass of the Just Pomegranate, Mrs. eje said, "Yes, that is an exact and enhanced version of the Knudsen juice."

Thinking about it, they must have some sort of technological flaw with their juicing process. Too much of the white flesh or seeds are being crushed and contaminating the juice. It's the only thing I can figure out.

So sadly, no spiced changed phase jack rose like cocktail for me this month.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#3 haresfur

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 01:13 PM

So sadly, no spiced changed phase jack rose like cocktail for me this month.

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Well, the good thing about the internet is that the idea counts. The virtual cocktail sounds tantilizing. Hope you continue the R&D and report back.
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