Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mixology 101: the mojito. Who said you had to muddle it? lol



So I'm back and spring is right around the corner,well actually if you look outside its still Winter with the 7inches of snow outside, but to my world of beer,wine and liquor,this is the springtime for such companies..Already Sam Adams and other microbreweries have their spring or late winter beers out,as well as liquor companies are pushing their next spring and even pumping up summer drinks in some areas..However no matter where you are or who you are with,one of your friends will ask for a Mojito which of course spawns many more cause well it sounds cool and you feel cool when you drink one and hopefully the bartender doesn't hate you already,he may make the best mojitos you and your friends have ever had. Now some of you will of course want to make your own or try different ways of creating your own however like any drink,the simpler is better.Some of the vids below are perfect and not so perfect examples..

                       

Then there's this guy's mojito below..jesus how many limes do you need? Also he obviously doesn't measure but hey-he's at home,you do what you want but just remember if you are doing this drink for friends,you may want to class it up a bit and not look like a farmer squeezing milk from a cow..Also if you are going to muddle,do it in a small shaker tin or wide cup,or buy a muddling set(you might as well, there are other drinks to muddle as well) it's fairly cheap,you can almost find one in any second hand store or goodwill shop. The reason I say this,as a mixologist I've had to improvise many a time with glasses of all sorts and well it didn't always work in my favor. So before you break your favourite pint glass from that microbrewery,you might look at getting something thicker to muddle your drink...Seriously I felt this guy was sure to break that Collins glass! Lol..




 Then we have this lil lady's mojito below....okay but it still needs to be shaken or stirred well prior to adding soda. Simple syrup..- I detest that stuff,a true mojito should use pure sugar cane,like the raw sugar cane you see in coffee shops.. However,simple syrup can be used.. Also I use .25 of Bacardi in the muddling process,to give that Cachaca flavor that mojitos down south have..Why not use Cachaca rum Vic? Well unfortunately not every liquor store carries the rum, it's still fairly new to these shores in recent years but not as strong as a heavyweight like Bacardi. But instead to finish the drink,I use Bacardi Limon- it brings out the flavors of the lime and mint more,acts as the glue between the ingredients,adding more of a refreshing drink.

 

 As you saw above,chicky forgot but played it off... This last video below has more info and "Derek" does a great job of explaining the whys of making this drink. However,it's annoying to see him add lime juice as appose to real limes,which is better because when you muddle this drink,you want the lime zest as well and not only just the juice,also just the juice can make your drink more sour and tart..

 

 Well there you have it, watch the vids,and make your own...once you get the hang of it,you can add your choice of fruit like mangos,strawberries,blackberries,blueberries or if able the elusive Acai berry..

I hope you gleaned something new and informative from this, also just so you know,before heading to your fave bar and torturing the new bartender,just remember "Derek" lied when he said this was his favorite drink!!
Til next time, CHEERS!
Victor(VK@Byte)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Local Marketplace: "Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup"

So yes I'm back and its been awhile...

Anyhoo,being that I'm still working local in the restaurant biz as a bartender/mixologist, I came upon these jars of Hibiscus flowers thru a buddy of mine who manages up at the local liquor/wine store-Allview Liquors..

A jar runs about $9..and as you can see by the picture, its great in champagne..its also great for desserts,cheesecakes-mostly as a garnish..
 When pulled from its jar,its very soft but pliable and because of the syrup that its been marinating in, its almost like a candied cabbage in texture and taste..
However, of course the idea is to use it as a garnish especially for foods like shish kabob,salads, and desserts..





So I got a jar, I thought it would be cool for Valentine's Day,especially for champagne toasts at the bar..unfortunately that idea got tossed out due to the fact that we had so much champagne going out that it would be ridiculous to waste these flowers especially since there are only 8 to a jar..

Besides that, it was very cool to watch the flowers open up in champagne!

Also because of the syrup,(its like a sweet rhubarb raspberry flavor)it added flavor and sweetness to the champagne..very tasty and beautiful to look at..a definite winner for the ladies at the bar..

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who's planning on having wine parties or dinner parties, a definite capper at dessert or along with dinner!
If you are looking for cooking recipes go here.
An especially awesome drink-if you can find the ingrediants is here.
The company's website: http://www.wildhibiscus.com/shop/index.html

Hibiscus in Liquor:

Also for fans of the flower,it seems that it hasn't gone unnoticed as some liquor companies have jumped on its popularity..Absolut Vodka has its "Absolut Hibiskus"



and other liquor companies,mostly independents-have come out with their own liquers,(however my knowledge on whether they are available locally is non existent but I do plan on finding out more about their availability)as seen below:

Inspired by the great amaros of Italy, celebrated mixologists, Adam Seger of Chicago and London's Joe McCanta infuse organic rum with fair trade hibiscus, organic ginger, green cardamom and kaffir lime to create the beautifully balanced spirit called "Hum".


 

 This cocktail is a little tart, and little sweet, and definitely spicy- just perfect for fall.

Buzzer-honey-cocktail-recipeThe Buzzer
1 oz. HUM (hibiscus-cardamom-ginger) liqueur
1 oz. premium vodka
 Lime slices
1/2 oz. honey simple syrup
Ginger ale
 Candied ginger
Fill with soda.
Distilled From: Sugar Cane
Retail Price: $$ ($20-$30)
Bottle Size: 750 ml Bottle
Brewer / Distiller: Modern Spirits LLC
Strength: 40 proof
Origin: United States - Monrovia,California

FRUITLAB liqueurs add depth and body to cocktails by bringing the flavor of whole fruits, flowers and real cane sugar to your glass. These liqueurs are bright and flavorful by design and contain a third less sugar than most.

Profile

Its natural red color, floral aroma and tangy finish work perfectly in white-spirit cocktails -- like margaritas and mojitos, Also great with sparkling wine.

FRUITLAB organic hibiscus liqueurCRUSOE Mojito

1¼ oz CRUSOE organic silver rum
½ oz FRUITLAB organic hibiscus liqueur
3-4 lime wedges, 1 tsp sugar
8 mint leaves, splash soda
Muddle mint, sugar, limes
Add rum, liqueur and shake
                                                                          Pour into rocks glass, top with soda


taken from DrinkHacker.com

{The evocatively named Whistling Andy is naturally flavored with both of the above and is imbued with a deep orange color. First things first: The rum (distilled in Bigfork, Montana from cane sugar) is extremely sweet, with a nose redolent of cookies, caramel, nougat, and — especially — honey.
What you don’t particularly get is, surprisingly, coconut. That’s largely relegated to nuance somewhere in that cookie character.
Is it the interplay with the hibiscus that mutes the coconut? While it’s not particularly floral, there’s more flower character here than coconut, that’s for sure. But it’s the intense sugariness that just about stopped me in my tracks on this one. Yes, rum is sweet, but this is so wild in its intensity that I often had trouble swallowing baby sips. The flavor’s a knockout, but I’m about 10 years too old to be able to handle this kind of brix.}
B / $26 / whistlingandy.com
- See more at: http://www.drinkhacker.com/2012/01/07/review-                                                          whistling-andy-hibiscus-coconut-rum/#sthash.9a5PU131.dpuf






Sorel is an artisanal hibiscus based liqueur produced in Red Hook, Brooklyn by Jack From Brooklyn. Sorel is a modern American twist on a centuries-old Caribbean recipe, in which the natives would ferment hibiscus plants and then add sugar, rum, and serve it on occasion. Fast forward to 2012, and this unique spirit features Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia, Nigerian ginger, Indonesian nutmeg, Moroccan hibiscus, pure cane sugar, and organic New York grain alcohol.
-taken from intoxicology.net, {Spicy, sweet, and warm notes all balance perfectly with this one and I loved it. It is a liqueur, so it’s not overly strong coming in at 15% alc (30 proof), but it doesn’t have to be. Tasted neat, it’s got a great first sip with no lingering after taste, and finishes sweet without over-doing it. I can see how variations of this recipe were used at holidays, it features many qualities that you would find in a warm spiced cider consumed in the fall months..}
http://intoxicology.net/sorel-hibiscus-liqueur-review/
Xaica is made with 100% natural mixture hibiscus flowers from guerrero, oaxaca and chiapas, states of mexico. made with the highests standards of quality. bottled in a thick glass bottle, glaze (froze) finish, printed on a bottle label, cork and stone "cantera" (mexican stone) hand made cap. fine taste. Xaica could be drunk with white wine, lemon soda, champagne, martini or on the rocs.


Drink recipes:


Sorel Lime Rickeyrecipe img sample 150x150 Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur Review

  • 3 oz Sorel
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Club Soda
  • 1 thin slice Lime
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 3 counts Sorel to one count lime juice. Fill the rest with club soda, garnish with a slice of lime.

Sorel Sangria

  • 1 bottle Sorel
  • 1 bottle Red Wine (Zinfandel, Syrah, or Cabernet work best. )
  • 2 Lemons
  • 2 Limes
  • 2 Oranges
  • 3 cups White Rum

Chill the fruit, rum, orange juice, wine and Sorel in a pitcher. Slice the fruit into thin rounds and add to pitcher. Chill in refrigerator for two hours to develop the flavors. Before serving, lightly crush fruit rounds with a wooden spoon. If you like the fizz, add Q Club Soda. Garnish glasses with fruit slices, fill with ice, and serve.

Sorel Submergesorelsubmerge 150x150 Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur Review

  • 2 cubes Sorel
  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz St. Germain Elderflower liqueur

Fill an ice-cube tray with Sorel, freeze. Place frozen cubes of Sorel into a highball glass. Add gin and elderberry liqueur; as Sorel ice cubes don’t float, they will sit at the bottom of the glass, dissolving slowly.








Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Why I Hate Mixology Bars"...a video that tells a slight truth..

A very funny vid that shows some truth when a customer wants that "designer" cocktail from a restaurants cocktail list..If it doesn't tell you whats in it...be warned..!! "I'll have the Laurel n Hardy please!"Enjoy..

Mixology 101: "Strawberries & Pearls"

This is pure genius... Xavier Herit,master mixologist created this drink/meal..strawberry pearls...with a strawberry margerita chaser..pure genius...I also want that machine he uses that only a chemist should have!! Watch this below..
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