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Bergamot oranges are in season


trillium
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I promised Audrey I'd sound the alarm when bergamot sour oranges showed up on the left coast, and they have. So all of you deprived right coasters need to bug your specialty producemongers to get your mitts on some of these, they make the best cocktails (and candied peels). At the very least, track down some Seville oranges....

And when you find the bergamots, don't forget to try a

Friday After Five

1 ounce gin

1/2 ounce green Chartreuse

3/4 ounce bergamot juice

1 dash Herbsaint, absinthe or Pernod

Shake over ice, pour into chilled glasses and garnish with a bergamot peel twist.

regards,

trillium

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Trillium, last year I searched in vain for Seville oranges here in San Francisco. I think I was trying the wrong sort of markets, though (upscale farmer's markets). Now I'm thinking ethinic markets might be a better bet. What sort of market do you find them in (either Bergamots or Sevilles)?

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What sort of market do you find them in (either Bergamots or Sevilles)?

I found Seville oranges last year at the QFC (a Kroger's chain) in Seattle's University Village, of all places. Never have seen a bergamot, tho.

~Anita

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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I find them at New Seasons, which is sort of like Whole Foods, but geared towards more affordability. The produce guys actually waved me over when they came in because they knew I would want some (ok, I admit, they even know me by name). The produce buyer for this local chain really rocks, he's brought in Buddhahand citron, kaffir limes, Seville oranges and bergamots. Seville or sour oranges used to pop up in latino grocery stores in Chicago. I know that Green Leaf, a SF wholesaler had bergamots last year, you might contact them and ask for retail venues.

If all else fails, I'd be happy to mail out an orange or two to a few desperate cocktailian eGers.

regards,

trillium

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Ohh goody! Pass on any good cocktails you come up with using them, ok? And they make the best candied peels for pannettone.

I'm wondering about bergamot and creme de cacao these days, mostly because of Sam's 18th Century cocktail.

regards,

trillium

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I saw bergamots at Monterey Market in Berkeley a week ago, though not today. There is a seller at the Marin Farmer's Market that has Seville organges -- and many other great stuff. They are Italians -- De Santos or something close too that. On Sundays, they are opposite the rotisserie chicken truck.

Charley Martel

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Well, I found them and bought some, but --wouldn't you know -- came down with a head cold the very next day, so I can't taste anything now. I did try a Friday After Five, which was great -- the herbal flavors in the Chartreuse work well with the bergamots. Then I tried a Sidecar with the bergamot juice instead of lemon. It needs some adjustments, which I'll work on after my cold goes away, but it shows promise.

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The Berkeley Bowl had bergamots when I stopped by this afternoon. Now I have 2 sitting in the kitchen and am trying to decide how to use them. At the moment the Eighteenth Century cocktail is in the lead.

They also had Meyer lemons, which will likely wind up in a lemon drop, I think. I wonder how they'd be in a Sidecar? :huh:

"The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet." - Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

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I don't think Meyers have enough acid to work in the usual Sidecar -- you'd probably want to reduce the amount of Cointreau/triple sec.

They do work really well with Lillet (blond) -- I make a drink with 1.5 oz. gin, 1 oz. Lillet and .25 to .5 oz of Meyer lemon juice, with either a dash of orange bitters or a drop or two of Chartreuse, shaken over ice and served up. It really showcases the Meyers.

Meyer lemon juice also works well in a variation on a Margarita -- substitute Meyer lemon juice for the lime, and Grand Marnier or curacao for the triple sec. Both those ingredients are sweeter, relatively, though, so you probably want to use more Meyer (than lime) and less curacao (than triple sec) than you would in a traditional Margarita.

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During Meyer lemon season I make all of my cocktails using lemon with them because the scent of the peels makes me swoon (in a good way). Instead cutting back on the sweeter components of a drink, I just add more lemon juice. Since I'm always making the more classically sized cocktail (ie, small) it works well.

Bergamots do a have a really great peel/zest, and an alcohol extraction with Everclear did make a very tasty digestivo. I like to add in the juice too.

I'm trying to imagine the flavors with rum, which didn't ever really cross my mind, I'm such a gin drinker for cold cocktails. Let us know if you like the combo, and I'll try it too.

regards,

trillium

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After regaining my sense of taste and smell, I've been experimenting with my bergamot oranges and have found that a Jasmine-like drink works well with them: 2 oz. gin, 1/2 oz. Velvet Falernum, a splash of Campari and about 3/4 oz. of bergamot juice.

They also make a great nonalcoholic sparkling drink mixed with simple syrup and sparkling water.

I find the bergamots have a juice somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit juice, as far as the level of acidity and bitterness. I'm looking forward to trying them in a version of the Nevada, as soon as I make it to the liquor store for some rum.

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After some more experimentation, I've come to the conclusion that bergamot juice blends best with gin and rum -- not so well with brandy or tequila.

The drinks I've liked the best, in addition to Trillium's Friday After Five, are these:

A variation on the Jasmine (from Harrington's book):

2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. bergamot juice

splash Campari

A Bergamot French 75:

1 oz. gin

1/2 oz. bergamot juice

1/4 oz. simple syrup

topped with Champagne or other dry sparkling wine

This one was a surprise. I had half a bottle of sparkling wine left over from a New Year's brunch, so I figured I'd give it a try, but I wasn't sure about the acid of the fruit and the champagne. But it worked very well.

My favorite, surprisingly, was the rum drink I tried. (Surprisingly, because I don't consider myself much of a rum drinker.)

I made a drink similar to the Nevada cocktail, substituting bergamot for the grapefruit juice.

2 oz. white rum

3/4 oz bergamot juice

1/4 oz. lime juice

1/2 oz. Velvet Falernum

dash Angostura bitters

Like the original Nevada, it's a drink that's complex, with layers of flavors playing very nicely.

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Still haven't seen any in NYC. :angry:

Try the large fruit/vegetable joint in the Chelsea Market--Toby Cecchini and I just scored some there; they call them "sour oranges"--3 for $1.

HNY,

DW

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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Still haven't seen any in NYC. :angry:

Try the large fruit/vegetable joint in the Chelsea Market--Toby Cecchini and I just scored some there; they call them "sour oranges"--3 for $1.

One thousand blessings be upon you, my friend. Will check soonest.

--

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  • 2 weeks later...
Still haven't seen any in NYC. :angry:

Try the large fruit/vegetable joint in the Chelsea Market--Toby Cecchini and I just scored some there; they call them "sour oranges"--3 for $1.

One thousand blessings be upon you, my friend. Will check soonest.

Were they there? Looking for some myself.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Try the large fruit/vegetable joint in the Chelsea Market--Toby Cecchini and I just scored some there; they call them "sour oranges"--3 for $1.

One thousand blessings be upon you, my friend. Will check soonest.

Were they there? Looking for some myself.

Unfortunately, upon checking it appeared to me that the sour oranges they had there were, indeed, sour oranges. :sad:

--

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