When I saw the prompt for this month’s Mixology Monday, I knew I had to participate. Here’s the challenge:
The evolution of the cocktail has been a wondrous, and sometimes, frightful journey… But with all this focus on “craft” ingredients and classic tools & form, it seems we have become somewhat pretentious…Remember, the bar was created with pleasing one particular group in mind: the guest. As such, this month’s MxMo theme… will focus on concocting a craft cocktail worthy of not only MxMo but any trendy bar, using dubious and otherwise shunned ingredients to sprout forth a craft cocktail that no one could deny is anything less.
Thanks to Scott Diaz of Shake, Stir, & Sip for hosting.
Why am I so excited about this challenge? Because to me, “craft” is all about paying attention to how ingredients mix, not about obscure bitters or hard-to-find liqueurs. I talk a lot about this in my book, and this challenge gave me a chance to revisit the concept.
So without further ado I present:
The “Craft” Strawberry Daiquiri
the following is adapted from pages 125-127 of Craft Cocktails at Home
Craft Strawberry Daiquiri
1.5 oz. White Rum
1 oz. Lime Juice
0.5 oz. 1:1 Simple Syrup
1 tbsp Strawberry Preserves
1-2 drops Orange Flower Water
Shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. No garnish.
- I rebottle my orange flower water into a 2-oz. dropper bottle for precision dosing.
- More notes after the pretty picture.
More notes, as promised.
- It’s important to double-strain to get out all the seeds and fruit chunks that come in preserves.
- I use the 3” RSVP Endurance Conical Strainer. For more body, only double strain half the drink. I kind of like the little seeds.
- Orange flower water is available in most middle eastern supermarkets. If you can’t find it, substitute ¼ oz. elderflower liqueur for ¼ oz. simple syrup to get that floral note again. I don’t like rose water as a substitute for orange flower water—they are very different, in my opinion.
- Orange flower water is a hydrosol—an intensely-flavored water-based byproduct of essential oil production.
- The orange flower water and high acidity help to replicate the freshness of just-picked strawberries. I forget where I read this trick, but it’s so effective!
- Feel free to sub in dry white wine for the rum to make this drink a low-ABV introduction to craft cocktails.
- I used to call for good quality strawberry preserves, but I actually find it a little easier to use the little squeeze bottles.
Time Out: Strawberry Jam?! How is that “Craft”?
Fruit preserves are a great way to experiment with flavor without dropping lots of benjamins on fancy liqueurs and syrups.
In fact, here are few more reasons they’re awesome:
- You probably won’t do better at home. Fruit flavors do not dissolve readily into water. To incorporate fruit flavors into a cocktail, your best bet would be to make a liqueur or syrup, but the flavor of these would not be as concentrated as preserves.
- They are balanced. Preserves makers add just enough sugar to achieve the ideal acid-to-sugar balance. And that means it’s usually ok to add them to a sour without mussing with the other components too much. Easy.
- Texture comes included. Try the strawberry daiquiri recipe. You’ll notice that the drink ends up with an attractive, long-lasting foam and luscious mouthfeel. That’s due to the naturally-occurring pectins in strawberries that act as thickeners. I wouldn’t pair gomme syrup with fruit preserves for this reason as well.
The book has recipes for drinks using blueberry and blackberry jams as well – what’s your favorite cocktail using fruit preserves?