sake

MxMo: Drink Your Vegetables

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I almost didn’t participate. Mainly ’cause I’m a big baby.

Making a cocktail that tastes good, looks good, smells good and more importantly, would make you want to have another (cause lets face it, we’ve all downed some shit drinks one time or another just to be polite) is no simple task. To put things into context:

This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Rowen of Fogged In Lounge where vegetables take center stage. Yeah. You know, those things that sprout from the ground that you normally avoid at all cost.

“Want to get more vegetables but you’re always eating on the run?… Well then, how about a vegetable cocktail? No, not that nice little glass of red stuff Grandma put at each place setting—we’re talking something with a kick in it. You can definitely start with the little glass of red stuff and expand it to a Red Snapper-style drink like a Bloody Mary. Or how about a cucumber-scented cooler like a Pimm’s Cup, or maybe a cocktail featuring a vegetable-based ingredient like Cardamaro or celery bitters? Maybe you’ve been wondering if you can get more mileage out of that juice extractor before consigning it to the garage sale. However you get them in that glass, be prepared for the most fun with vegetables ever.”

I thought everyone would be making something with carrots or cucumbers, since they lend themselves so well for this. Add to that the fact that I already have cucumber drinks on my blog and I was running out of options. I mean, I STRONGLY entertained the idea of using roasted asparagus for a long time (too long). But then I imagined everyone’s face when they asked what was in it and I said “asparagus”. In case you’re wondering, I imagined them giving me the “ew. who just farted?” look.

My fiance suggested radishes which I love and don’t even consider a vegetable. Probably ’cause I’ve been eating them with salt and lime since I was running ‘Death to Sour Milk’ and how many kids do you know that like vegetables? They’re bright and a bit spicy in nature so I added a bit of red pepper flakes to give that spiciness a high 5 and a few drops of rhubarb bitters to finish it off.

Hope you like it. I know I did.

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Pisco
Nigori Sake
Bitters
Radish syrup*
Lemon juice 

*For the syrup, take equal parts water, sugar and chopped radishes (washed but not peeled). Boil. Then add a bit of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. Simmer. Bottle unstained when cool.

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1.5 oz pisco [ Porton ]
3/4 oz nigori sake [ Rihaku ]
1 Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
6 Drops of rhubarb bitters [ Brooklyn Bitters ]
3/4 oz radish Simple*
1/2 oz lemon juice

Pour all contents into a shaker and add ice.
Shake it like you would a tanned European lover.
Double strain into a chilled coup
e.

For the garnish (my favorite part this time around), take 2-3 small radishes, peel them, rub the leftover lemon on them and then dip them in some salt. If you have some funky salt, now would be the time to use it.

[ Enjoy ]

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Wanderlust

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Wanderlust. I mean, the name says it all, right? No? Ok…

I’ve been working on this drink for a while and it seems that every time I make it, I either forget the ratios, what goes in it or simply end up calling it something different. At one time, I was cracking black pepper in it. Yeah. That happened. But then my meds kicked in (Rogaine if you must know) and all is well. I was calling it “The Doubleblack” too, which is just egocentric really, tho if you knew me, you’d say “hmm. that makes sense”. On the egocentric part. The name was shit and hence, while listening to Bjork recently, I photoshop’d the name on a picture, which around these here parts means it’s permanent. Just like your life’s most embarrassing mistakes.

I’ve professed my love for blood oranges in the past and since they’re going out of style faster than overalls in the late 90’s, I wanted to make one last drink to rule them all [where my ‘lord of the rings’ nerds at?! -crickets-].

This cocktail aims to be playful (like me, you guys!) and although it may seem all over the place (like me, you guys!), I like it cause it has a bit of whimsy (no), which is never a bad thing in life. The nigori sake and the gin (Junipero here. My new bff) go great together and the thyme/ginger/elderflower combo brings out some nice earthy—record stops— who am I?! I can’t tell you if I taste coffee beans while sipping an espresso, much less can I point out notes and shit. Know this: Its very pretty (seductive even), has tons of flavor and it packs a punch.

Cautionary tale:
My lovely Liliana (future Mrs. Zelaya who takes many of the photos on this blog) was sipping a bit extra I had poured in a shot glass while taking this picture, and once she was done, while giggling on the couch, confessed she was, as they say in the olden days: “a little fucked up”. 5 minutes later, she was out like a black rhino in the savannah after being hit in the ass with a tranquilizer dart (NOTE to self: make a drink called black rhyno. I called dibs!).

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Dry gin
Junmai nigori sake
Elder flower liquor
Bitters
honey/ginger/thyme syrup *
blood orange juice

To make the syrup:
3 parts water
2 parts clover honey
1 part fresh grated ginger
3 branches of thyme

boil. simmer. strain. bottle.

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1 part Junipero gin
1 part Rihaku junmai nigori sake
1/2 part St Germain elderflower liquor
1/2 eye-dropper of Bitterman’s Xocolatl Mole bitters
3/4 part blood orange juice
1/2 part honey/ginger/thyme syrup*

baby shaking syndrome time…
pour in a rocks glass or my favorite: DIRECTLY INTO YOUR MOUTH
garnish with 1/2 slice of blood orange & thyme branch.
[Enjoy]

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White Owls

1 part sake [ Rihaku Junmai Nigori ]
1 part owl mix* [ see below ]
couple drops of old fashioned bitters [ Fee Brothers’ Aromatic Bitters ]

Shots aren’t really my thing anymore (I’m 30, you guys. I’m not into foam parties anymore either FYI) and I don’t see myself making many more on this site but I had this idea after discovering Hitachino White Ale (brewed in Japan). This beer is seriously delicious and I’m almost sorry for bastardizing using it like I do. Almost. But at least I mix it with a friendly neighbor, so everybody wins!

Owl Mix:
12 oz Hitachino White Ale.
Dry orange peels.
1/4 cup of palm sugar. [ accept no substitutes ]
Pour the beer, the peels and the sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
simmer for about 10 minutes and let cool.
Strain liquid into a bottle and refrigerate.

How to:
shake the sake and owl mix vigorously. [ You like that word?! ]
strain into shot glasses [ or right into your pie hole. I wont judge you ]
pour 1-2 DROPS of bitters on top of each shot. [ any more and it starts to overpower ]
[ Enjoy ]