TEQUILA SAZERAC Chill a rocks glass and leave it on the side. In a mixing glass packed with ice cubes, pour 10ml of agave nectar, four dashes of Peychaud Bitters and 50ml of 1800 Añejo Tequila. Stir gently until perfect dilution and temperature. Drop the crushed ice off the rock glass and coat it with absinthe by spinning it up in the air and scream: TEQUILA SAZERAC! Pour the mix into the glass and garnish it with a lime twist. Enjoy.
Great drink, I actually prefer it with a blanco tequila and a good dose of lime twist to fight the anise.
I was back at my mum’s house the other day, and for some reason suddenly had a childhood urge/flashback for chrysanthemum tea (my mum is from Singapore). For those who haven’t had it, chrysanthemum tea is a light, floral, dandelion-esque tea with notes of honey and jasmine. You just stick the whole flower heads into boiling water. So when I saw the title of this MxMo, I knew what I was going to use.
Sometimes MxMo is fuelled by an urge to use the intellect, sometimes a drive to dig into the past, and sometimes a need to burn off exccess creative energy. This time though, it was simply a need to have the coldest possible dry martini I could make in the kitchen.
Infusing using chrysanthemum flowers took a couple of goes. The optimum I found was about 10 flowers to 100ml gin for 4 hours. Any more and you start to get bitterness, any less and the chrysanthemum is drowned out by the other botanicals.
So with that out the way, I just went ahead and made a dry martini using Noilly Prat.
60ml Chrysanthemum-infused Plymouth gin
Little bit of Noilly Prat
Stirred over ice for a long time, strained into a very very cold martini glass
Zest a lemon peel and floating chrysanthymum flower garnish
I really really enjoyed it. The chrysanthymum tastes like a very fine natural add on to the existing floral notes from the gin, and I am pretty sure chrysanthymum would make a fine botanical ingredient to a gin. Goes nicely with Noilly Prat which adds good mid-tones to the drink.
Incidentally, I am currently involved in making a perfume fragrance (amateurishly) and have been getting to grips with top middle and bottom notes – the molecular mixology enthusiasts will be no doubt familiar with all this – wikipedia:
Top notes: The scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person’s initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of a perfume. Also called the head notes.
Middle notes: The scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to when the top notes dissipate. The middle note compounds form the “heart” or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. They are also called the “heart notes”.
Base notes: The scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and “deep” and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.
Then there is also a fragrance wheel, which attempts to categorise scents. I know that wine buffs have a similar tool, perhaps someone should invent one for the spirits category.
People say you should wait until after first frost, but if you live in the city like me, they will all be gone by them. So do what you can, perhaps freeze them in the freezer overnight.
Wash and stab the sloes with a pin.
Fill the bottle about 1/3 full of sloes, add about 8 teaspoons of fine white sugar, then add cachaça.
Let it sit somewhere near a door for 2-3 months. Everyone that passes the bottle should give it a lucky shake.
It’s delicious. Tastes like sloe gin with fresh vegetal and cane notes. Stupid thing to say I know, but I can’t really describe it. I now understand though why sloe gin is so good – sloes have a very juniper like punt to them, but you normally can’t taste it as it’s overwhelmed by sweet or sourness.
Here is a video I made ages ago after being inspired by stop-motion videos on YouTube. One ‘beef’ with it is elegantly pointed out by a viewer from New York – why use a measure?! Although we’re not massively concerned with how caipirinhas are made (as long as the drinker enjoys) another beef might be the horizontal cutting of the limes – but you try controlling a sharp knife with the mind alone and see if you can cut them any other way. Happy New Year!
We recently did some sampling at Whole Foods supermarket in Kensington, London (the range of stuff there never ceases to amaze me, along with how good looking some of the shoppers are), where as well as doing caipirinhas we had a big pot of hot mulled Abelha Gold 3 year old on the stove. This proved to be a real winner on a cold winters day, with people coming back for more and more.
Mulled cachaça is popular in Brasil, where it’s called a Quentão (big hot thing) and served in the colder months. As with any old folk tradition there’s no one ‘right’ recipe – there exist regional variations, and like feijoada (traditonal Brasilian black bean pork stew) only your own granny makes the best one.
Zest half an orange into the pot (make sure the oils from the skin spray onto the liquid)
Juice of an orange (can use more to taste)
2 cinnamon sticks
Teaspoon of cloves
a piece of finely chopped fresh ginger.
about 8 teaspoons of fine light brown sugar
There different things you can do like caramelise the sugar first for a richer flavour, but we were hungover and I wanted a drink as quickly as possible. So we went for the time honoured method of putting everything in the pot and heating it. You only really need to mull it for a short amount of time (10-15 mins max) as because it’s strong alcohol it picks up flavours very quickly from the ingredients.
If you’re making more, don’t leave old cloves in there – if you mull them for too long, they start to give a bitter flavour.
Serve in little cups. Remember that even though it’s very drinkable it’s still a very strong spirit, about 3 times the potency of mulled wine. Enjoy!
50ml Abelha Cachaca Gold (3 year old), into an ice filled highball. Top up with Ting (Jamaican Grapefruit Soda).
In terms of a basic cachaca + mixer drink, I don’t think you can get much better than this. The fruityness of the 3 year really shines through the Ting. It’s a difficult one to describe, but it just really works. From the most unlikely Jamaican/Brasilian ambassador, Will Foster of Casita Bar, London.
Thought I’d take a moment to show some of the amazing things that cocktail bloggers have been up to with Abelha. First up is Jay from Oh Gosh, with this take on an Old Fashioned using lemongrass syrup and Abelha Gold:
* 2 shots / 60 ml / 2 oz Abelha Gold
* ⅓ shot / 10 ml / ⅓ oz lemon grass syrup
* ¼ shot / 7.5 ml / ¼ oz Falernum
* 2 dashes TBT Lemon bitters
Stir all ingredients thoroughly with ice. Strain in to an ice-filled old-fashioned and garnish with a lemon zest twist.
The cachaça and lemon grass syrup play together nicely rounding out the spirit and creating an interesting lightly aromatic drink. The falernum adds a touch of brightness to the drink and the lemon bitters round the flavours out nicely. Depending on your syrup and falernum you will need to watch the sweetness, but if the balance is right this is quite an enjoyable sipper.
…really nice and smooth – with a hint of honey, sugarcane and grass. A hint of the typical earthy flavour is there as well to remind you that this is cachaca. I can safely say this is the best I have tasted as far as cachacas go…
Bahia Rose (Rosa da Bahia)
* 2 oz Abelha Cachaca Silver
* 1 oz Aperol
* 1 oz fresh ruby grapefruit
* 0.5 oz fresh lime
* 0.5 oz simple syrup.
Shake and pour in saucer type of glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a grapefruit rose and add two straws.
Last but not least – I have got to get up to Edinburgh before too long, as there seem to be are a plethora of excellent bars and bartenders there. Jon from The Old Town Alchemy Co – great name for a cocktail blog, was also impressed by Abelha and came up with this simple yet delicious (I can say this now I have tried it) take on a daquiri using a little maraschino.
…I was completely blown away by the Silver. On the nose it has those familiar vegetal notes that come with cachacas and rhums agricole, but it also has a pleasant honey scent with a touch of citrus to it. The mouth feel is great – a slightly viscous texture, with a strong finish but without chemical burn of column-still spirit.
50ml Abelha Silver Cachaca
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
10ml sugar cane syrup
1 barspoon Maraschino
Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into a chilled martini/coupette glass. Twist a lime zest over the top and discard. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.
Monday night sees the Abelha research lab knock up a take on a martinez. Really good, the vermouth and cachaça round each other out, and the maraschino brings it all together.
50ml Abelha cachaça gold (3 year aged)
50ml Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
2 bar spoons Luxardo maraschino
2 dashes of orange or grapefruit bitters
Stir over ice until cold, then strain into a chilled martini glass.
Abelha Cachaça, Hackney's Finest Cachaça, created and imported by the Responsible Trading Company Ltd, Masters of the Cachaçaverse since 2008. Registered in England no.06438602 This website is powered byWordpress. Designed in-house, based on theme by pure-essence.net.