Welcome back, thirsty readers. It has been a whirlwind of work lately, but I’m happy to be back with some great recipes for you! In previous posts, I included the words (recipe to follow) next to some of the cocktail ingredients. Today you will learn how to make these products at home or in your bar.
House-made ingredients can be a blessing or a curse (often both!). When using house-made ingredients in a cocktail bar, careful planning is essential to minimize the risk of running out or losing ingredients to spoilage. There is nothing more disappointing than finding that a mix full of expensive ingredients has turned before you could enjoy it all!. On the other hand, homemade ingredients add a personal touch and elements of freshness you can't get with commercially made products. Making your own cocktail ingredients can be time-consuming, but the results are very rewarding. The recipes shared here have been simplified, so you can make them easily in your home kitchen.
Strawberry Shrub: found in Honey Barrel Punch, from Punch: Community in a Bowl
Ahhh, Shrub... throughout the early American colonies, shrub was a way to enjoy fresh fruit all year round without refrigeration or drying. By definition, a shrub is an aged blend of fruit , sugar, and acid (vinegar), traditionally served diluted with iced water. Stemming from maritime tradition, the making of shrub helped Americancolonists endure long winters with some of their favorite warm weather flavors. This shrub recipe is one of my favorites. It's very simple, and it can be used for many things. Note: a shrub made from herbs and spices is known as a switchel.
1.5 cups Fresh Strawberries
1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a vessel with a secure lid.
Leave in refrigerator to cold macerate for 3 days, shaking occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Fine strain and enjoy.
Fassionola: found in Citizen Cane, from Film Noir Cocktail Series
Fassionola, orininally known as John English's Brand Red Tropical Gold Fruit Mix, was a syrup found in many tropical tiki cocktails. Because fassionola required many ingredients, most bars and syrup producing companies stopped many this magical elixir years ago. There are a few companies currently making Fassionola, but here is a quick recipe you can do at home.
2 cups Fresh Strawberries
1 cup Passion Fruit Puree
1 cup Fresh Pineapple Juice
1 cup Fresh Mango
3 cups 1:1 Simpe Syrup
3 Tablesspoons Hibiscus Tea
Combine Strawberries, Mangoes, and Simple Syrup in a medium sauce pot.
Simmer until the fruit begins to break down.
Add Hibiscus Tea and remove from heat.
Let steep 10 minutes.
Fine strain and add remaining ingredients.
Carypton: found in Pocket Full of Caryptonite, found in Citrus: Better Than Ambrosia
Carypton is a now defunct product once made by the Angostura company. After prohibition, Carypton had all but disappeared, leaving our swizzles feeling lonely. The original product is said to have sugar and lime added, but I took another approach by using the zest of limes to add both citrus and sweetness to the product.
1 bottle Wray & Nephew
Zest of 12 Limes
.5 teaspoons Citric Acid
Zest 12 limes into a large container.
Add your bottle of Wray & Nephew.
Stir the rum and zest together for only a few minutes. The rum will take on a bright green color.
Fine strain through a coffee filter
Stir in the citric acid.
Enjoy with caution.
Enjoy these recipes, and I'll be back soon with more history, cocktails, and overall bar-geekery!