'As the bearer of this book, you are most fortunate - there are many fine cocktails in your future'.
Who doesn't want to see a fine cocktail in his or her future? Summer or winter, autumn or spring, to celebrate or to mourn, a cocktail is a challenge for the palate and a great way to put your culinary imagination at work. As someone so much in love with the spices, I couldn't stop using them outside the usual savory or sweet edible recipes, and trying my hand on cocktails is the next stage of personal achievement.
'Like a spread of tarot cards, a cocktail combines different components - each with a unique role to play, a flavor or texture to contribute - and that purpose changes depending on the combination and quantities of ingredients. The ritual involves certain instruments, careful measurements, an alchemy of ingredients, and an order of operations. There's a science to that, but there is magic in the mix, too'.
Inspired by tarot cards, the 45 'Divine Drink Recipes' by Katy Seibel offers a lot of great tips and invites to unique flavors. For instance, mixing scotch and camomille tea or adding a touch to bell pepper juice to an alcoholic drink. What about mixing red beet and vodka? For me, it was an unique lesson in cocktails basics, starting with the tools, the precise measurements but also the acknowledging of some unique products such as fig butter or Cynar - an Italian liqueur made of artichokes.
Accompanied by lavish photos, the recipes are relatively simple, if you have the right ingredients and spices. A great recommendation to anyone looking to try something new this autumn.
There are a couple of recipes I have on my list for coming posts, but as for now, my first cocktail achievement was The Milky Moon.
It is described in the book: 'Calming and familiar with an air of the afar, this take on a classic milk punch draws influence from masala chai'.
2 ounces - around 50 gr. - whole milk. An alternative version is also fine, although I personally thing that almond milk or rice milk or any other kind of substitutes may change completely the final taste.
3 ounches - chai tea concentrate
1 1/2 ounces gold rum. I used a German brand, Nordbrand Nordhausen Goldbrand - Mild.
pinch of ground cardamom
small pinch of salt
small pinch of ground black pepper
2 star anise from Spice Kitchen UK, received part of their Brand Ambassador Program
An ice cube or two is also more than welcomed, especially if you plan to sip it in a summer evening.
Technique (mine, as I did not follow fully the directions described in the book)
Add the milk, rum and spices and shake them well. Let it rest for a couple of minutes and serve it in a glass, with the garnish and ice cube.
The result: although the taste of rum stays strong and dominates the drink, the milk and the spices are bringing more nuances and elegance to the drink. It is an unique flavor, which reveals sip by sip.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Disclaimer: The book was offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review