This Sh*t's Delicious

Exploring the world through cocktails, shit hole restaurants, and UrbanAg

Category Archives: Recipes

Beakerhead: Engineered Eats

What’s this? A new blog post? No, your eyes are not deceiving you – after having the privilege attending the Beakerhead Engineered Eats sneak-peek on Monday, I felt obligated to dust off the keyboard and give it a plug. After all, a food-based event for a grassroots festival in Calgary based on art and science pretty much pushes all of my buttons!

What better symbolizes food + science than sous-vide?

Of the seven Calgary restaurants who are participating in the 5-day-long Engineered Eats program, five of them were present at the sneak-peek – Mango Shiva, Charcut, Taste, Raw Bar/Yellow Door and Muse (the last of whom hosted the event). Each had brought a special concoction or two featuring science-y “molecular gastronomy” techniques – be it gels, foams, sous-vide, caviar, etc. – and in keeping with the Beakerhead theme, most of the dishes and cocktails were assembled in a creative and artful manner.

Looks like a lot more than "just 3 ingredients" to me ;) (Muse's description says it's just tomato/basil/watermelon)

To start off, I hit up Muse’s table for their “tomato and watermelon inversion” (my description, not theirs). It was a daintily put-together mini-salad, featuring tomato, watermelon and basil in numerous combinations meant to f*ck with your mind 😉 Indeed, what appeared to be a scooped watermelon ball had the vegetably-tartness of a tomato, and the meticulously-crafted watermelon slice was of course an intensely-flavoured tomato bomb (the cucumber rind was a perfect choice!). Even the watery sauce with sprinklings of dehydrated buckwheat modelled the innards of a tomato remarkably well. Muse also offered a cocktail of sorts, a Tequila Sunrise push-pop. Utilizing a dollop of sous-vided fruit gel and topped with slushy ice, their cocktail was also an inversion of sorts (this time a thermal one!) – the mix of cold and hot sensations is a fascinating one, though the leakiness of the push-pop device proved a little problematic.

Modernizing an ancient cuisine

The strong aroma of Indian spices was difficult to miss, as Mango Shiva’s chef doled out portions of delectable chicken tikka and gol gappa on demand. There always seemed to be a bit of a lineup by the Mango Shiva table throughout the night, but it was worth the wait – the succulent, yoghurt-tenderized chicken tikka was well complemented by the balsamic caviar, mango puree and mint-yoghurt chutney. The deconstructed gol gappa/panipuri featured artfully transformed chutneys in the form of yoghurt balls and tamarind spaghetti, and the traditional flavoured water (or in this case, a less-traditional herbs-and-vodka mix) was to be taken as a shot rather than poured into the shell. All of the components are reconstructed in your mouth for a complex mosaic of flavours.

More than meets the eye

Taste offered what was likely the most humble-looking offering, with their “gazpacho-on-a-stick”. But the appearance of the minimalistic beige rectangles simply increases the shock value of the explosive flavours that arise upon putting the jelly into your mouth – it’s a full-spectrum savoury sensation. My one criticism of the gazpacho was the size of the serving – it basically filled my mouth to bursting. Who eats soup by the bulging mouthful? Kent tried to bite his and ended up dropping the rest of it on the floor (though admittedly they were kind of melting due to it being really hot in the restaurant). I think a portion half to one-third of the size would make it the ideal amuse-bouche.

All it needs is a fat straw!Hollow ice spheres for cocktails should become a new thing

Perhaps one of the more delightfully-themed dishes at the event was the Tom Yum Bubble Tea, by Raw Bar – presented in a shot glass, the tom yum soup was jazzed up with “pearls” made up of tomato caviar and currant tomatoes (which Muse also used in their dish). The floating cilantro and flower petal just added to the tropical feel. Raw Bar’s cocktail was also a smashing hit – literally! An aromatic kaffir-lime based drink featuring Vietnamese cinnamon spray and jalapeno bitters (if I’m remembering correctly), the presentation of the cocktail left many impressed – the cocktail was injected into a hollow ice sphere, which is subsequently smashed with a hammer and pin. Too cool!

Foie and brioche - just a touch of sorrel to round out the fresh lightness

Last, but definitely not least, the venerable folks at Charcut put some modernist twists on classic favourites – foie gras and brioche. Both are normally extremely rich foods, but with a little magic foaming action they were transformed into a light, airy, yet flavourful bite. The brioche was apparently foamed before it was cooked, then microwaved – sounds like something even an engineer could cook 😉 Served with the light sweetness of cognac-soaked peach and apple jelly, the foie and brioche could almost double as a dessert. Charcut’s “Autumn in Cognac” cocktail was demure but delicious – cognac plus one other fortified wine whose name escapes me, topped with a little vanilla-apple foam. Not as flashy as the other cocktails perhaps, but I think I liked the flavor of this one best.

You can check out all of the above and more from today through Sunday – in addition to the five restaurants at the sneak-peek, downtownfood and Candela are also offering science specials. Be sure to check out the other Beakerhead events as well! Many thanks to Wendy for setting this all up and extending us an invite 🙂

-Richard

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The Best Veggie Burger Recipe Ever (and no, it doesn’t involve tofu) @songsonglol

Alright, I am back after a long hiatus. The whole A-Cocktail-A-Day didn’t really pan out once I got back from Vancouver. I had several epiphanies during my storm chasing trip, the big one being about blogging more, so I jumped on to the the first thing that popped into my head, which was cocktails.

I really like cocktails. But I like blogging about other things too. There’s so many hole-in-wall restaurants that I would like to review. So many people to interview. A single-minded focus on cocktails would be great, but it isn’t the only thing I want to blog about.

Cocktails are still going to be the focus, but just not everyday. I am going to aim to blog everyday, just not only about cocktails.

With that in mind, here’s the first blog post of the week. I organized a BBQ with some friends on Sunday. The weather was a bit shitty, but the food was really good. Song, one of my long-time friends from Engineering was kind enough to make me (?) some veggie burgers. Song’s one of those gifted home chefs that makes her own recipes from scratch. She would be the one “thing” I would bring to a deserted island so I could have gourmet food everyday while waiting to be rescued.

Veggie Burgers (unedited – makes approx. 8 burgers)

Ingredients:

2 cans lentils, rinsed (green or yellow)
1 can six bean blend, rinsed
1.5 cups fresh herbs (loosely packed; mostly basil, carrot top, and a bit of cilantro, but parsley is good in it too!)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 egg
2 cups shredded vegetables (I used one carrot and like 4 tiny beets and a small jalapeno, but whatever’s around works. I’ve made them with apples and zucchini before.)

Bread crumbs (I think it was nearly 2 cups I needed)
Oil (as needed)

Instructions:

1. Combine 1 can of lentils and 1/2 can of beans into a food processor with the herbs, garlic, cumin, and egg. Blend until it becomes a smooth paste.

2. Transfer the paste into a large bowl. Add the remaining lentils and beans along with the shredded vegetables and 1/3 cup bread crumbs. Stir until well combined.

3. Form into patties.  Pour additional bread crumbs on a plate or shallow dish. Take patties and press them into the crumbs to coat.

4. Fry them on the stove top over medium heat until golden on both sides.  Use oil in the pan liberally.

5. You can eat them after you fry them or store them in the fridge / freezer for a BBQ later!!

———

That’s it! The best thing about these burgers is the sheer amount of protein you consume. I am not really a big fan of those tofu veggie burgers as they often taste rubbery or quite frankly, are pretty bland and tasteless.

Song also likes the chunky texture you get by combining whole beans along with the pureed stuff, but if that’s not your thing, you could puree everything, I suppose.

A great compliment to the burgers was the sweet, tangy Carolina sauce that Song made from the original recipe. The only difference was she didn’t add any white pepper and switched olive oil for butter.

I ended up mixing the Carolina sauce with a little bit of Mango Fire hot sauce and it was absolutely gorgeous.

Let me know how you like this recipe!

A Cocktail-a-Day #15: The Best Fucking Chai (and chai-based cocktail) You Will Ever Have

So, yeah let’s face it, the Chai Tea Latte Mocha Frappuccino Grande bullshit you get in Starbucks is putrid. Most people don’t know what real chai is. Or that “chai” means “tea” and when you say “chai tea latte”, it translates to “tea tea latte”.

Kinda like “Sahara desert” means “desert desert”. Or “Los Angeles Angels” means “The Angels Angels”

So today, I will educate you all on how to make the best chai you have ever had.

The first step to making a good chai is to eliminate or minimize water. Yeah, that’s correct. You heard me right the first time. Water-based chai’s, while they do the trick, are simply too watered down and feel “thin”. To make real chai like they have it back in India, you need to substitute the water for milk. If you make that one change, your chai will taste 10x better.

Keep reading for the rest of the recipe.

Original Recipe (makes 1 serving)

– 2 cardamom pods

– 4 black pepper corns

– 1 tsp. grated or julienned ginger

OR

– 1/8 tsp. of chai masala powder

– 1 cup milk (low fat or otherwise; the fatter the better..haha)

– 1/4 cup water

– 1 tsp. black tea (any black tea, but Darjeeling or Kenyan varieties are best)

– sugar to taste

1. Combine the cardamom, peppercorns, and ginger in a mortar and grind roughly (if you don’t have the chai masala)

2. Combine all ingredients, including milk, water, and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat.

3. Once the tea boils over (and I mean boils over the edges), simmer on low for another 4 min. until the chai turns a deep brown color.

4. Filter through a sieve and serve piping hot.

Bam! Just like that. The best chai you will ever have.

Modified Recipe

You can easily turn this into a digestive (or an early morning boozy pick-me-up) by cutting back on the milk and making up the difference in alcohol. Recipe as follows:

– 1/2 cup water

– 1/2 cup milk

– 1-1/2 oz. Amarula

– 1/2 oz. Kahlua

Follow the same procedure as above. Filter the tea and stir in the Kahlua, Amarula, and sugar. Let it cool down naturally or in the fridge.

Serve over ice.

Discussion

The delicious combination of ginger and cardamom is by far, the best way to wake up in the morning. There’s simply nothing else that beats it. Except for maybe some equally delicious coffee from Phil & Sebastian.

Making the chai with milk makes it fuller, thicker, and “luxurious.” In Hindi, the phrase “kadak chai” is used, which means “strong tea”. The full meaning of the word “kadak” is lost in translation, but if you want some kadak chai, this is the only way to do it.

I found adding the Amarula and Kahlua changed the taste profile of the chai, but not so much so that I couldn’t taste the cardamom anymore. It definitely tasted better chilled, over ice than when it was served hot, so I would try it that way.

Let me know how you guys make out!

A Cocktail-a-Day #14: The Classic, Most Traditional Bloody Mary Recipe?

I love Bloody Mary’s. Who doesn’t like breakfast and alcohol in the same drink? Just found out that a Bloody Mary is considered to be a “hair of the dog” drink that is consumed with the express purpose of lessening a hangover. Basically, a hangover cure.

In my quest to find the best and most traditional recipe, I discovered that the drink has a contentious history. No one really knows where it originated. The most plausible and oft-quoted story involves Fernand Petiot, a bar tender working at the New York Bar in Paris, invented it in 1921. However, it was not transformed into the brunch drink we know today until he was at the St. Regis hotel in NYC in 1933, where he added the special ingredient Tabasco sauce.

It is also possible that a comedian by the name George Jessel who frequented the 21 Club invented it and Petiot simply added the finishing touches in 1939. It seems the original version of the Bloody Mary was simply a 50/50 vodka/tomato juice mix without any of the ingredients fancy ingredients.

IMG_0059As for a “standard” recipe, I think that’s just a laughable notion. BM is probably the most experimented cocktail next to the martini based on the literally 10s (maybe even 100s) of variations that I found on the Internets. Here’s the most classic recipe I could find (warning, it’s not as awesome as we have come to know it):

1 oz. vodka

3 oz. tomato juice

1 oz. lemon juice

Salt & Pepper

Celery stick (optional)

Combine the ingredients over large ice (so it doesn’t become a watery mess) in a highball glass and stir to ensure even mixing.

That’s it. No Tabasco, Worchestershire sauce, rimming the glass with celery salt, or anything else.

Uh ok.

So I made myself one just for shits & giggles, even though I had all the pre-requisite ingredients.

It was…meh.

With none of the complex flavours of Tabasco and Worchestershire, the classic version of the drink had lost its potency. What makes BM the tipple of choice for me is the harmonious blend of sweet, spicy, salty, and sour. The classic version has the saltiness and sourness, but lacks the oomphf to make it stand out.

I plan on making my way through some of the variations I have seen on the net to come up with my personal favourite. But I would encourage everyone to try the classic version just to be able to appreciate the more contemporary, modernist versions.

Happy experimenting!

A Cocktail-a-Day #13: Zubtonic (vodka + tonic) @kenterv

Another late day. I was actually pretty tired today – my hectic schedule is catching up with me. Working on another project of mine called AudioMob. It’s basically a 40 min. long choreographed flash mob that is a mix of Simon Says and Jane’s Walk. Imagine 100s of people downloading the same mp3. At a pre-determined time and location, everyone hits ‘Play’ and out comes a mix of music and instruction which directs people to go from place to place while doing cool, crazy things along the way! It was directly inspired by The mp3 Experiment that was created by Improv Everywhere. These guys are the bomb.

ImprovEverywhere’s events pull in 1000s of people. Ours aren’t that ambitious, but it’s still lots of fun to see people engaged and having fun and interacting with their city in new ways. This is going to be 3rd year of Audiomob and is going to be the most ambitious. Here’s our video from AudioMobYYC #1:

This year’s Audiomob takes place on July 20th. RSVP on our Facebook page if you are interested in coming!

Today’s recipe was inspired by a friend of mine who recently came back from a trip to Japan. Apparently, he had this great high ball at a random hostel that was made from Zubrowka and tonic. I love gin + tonic so couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experiment with a classic. Here’s the recipe:

2 oz. Zubrowka vodka (Polish bison grass flavoured vodka)

3/4 oz. fresh lime juice

Tonic water

Ice

In a Collins glass, mix the vodka and lime juice over ice. Top up with tonic water and and mix using a bar spoon. Serve with a slice of lime (optional).

Discussion

I love this drink. The natural sweetness of tonic water, the tartness of lime juice and the grassy flavour of the vodka combine really well to provide a refreshing drink. It definitely ends on a slight bitter and medicinal note, but nothing that’s unpleasant. Kinda like a lemonade, but having more complexity. I don’t think straight unflavoured vodka would work well as it would just taste like tonic and lime juice.

Zubrowka is traditionally served with apple juice. Apparently, it can also be served with vanilla ice cream (!) and ginger, both of which I have at home!

Zubrowka is an interesting vodka. This rye vodka (40% ABV) has a grassy, almost medicinal flavour, thanks to the bison grass. The medicinal flavour is a result of the way the bison grass flavour is extracted. I am not sure of the exact industrial process, but tinctures are essentially made by leaving the herbs to stand in alcohol for 2-3 weeks.

The name actually is derived from the root word zubr, the Polish and Belarusian word for the bison found in the Białowieża Forest that straddles the border of Belarus and Poland. The grass is a favourite of the bison who thrive in the area.

Funnily enough, Zubrowka is actually NOT available in the US as:

"…the tincture of bison grass found in Żubrówka is prohibited as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration because it contains coumarin, which showed hepatotoxic effects in rats and has a blood thinning effect." {Source: Wikipedia}

Canadians have no such problems. We like out liver damage in all forms. It is freely available, just like Absinthe.

Zubrowka is traditionally served with apple juice. Apparently, it can also be served with vanilla ice cream (!) and ginger, both of which I have at home! I think next time, I am going to try and rim the glass with kosher salt and muddle fresh lime to release more of the citrus oils.

Happy drinking!

A Cocktail-a-Day #12: Sex for the First Time

Computer is acting up, so this is going to be short post. No photos either for that reason. If you didn’t know already, WP has a great feature where you can email your blog post to a secret WP address instead of logging into their web interface. It’s pretty handy.

The party yesterday was pretty awesome. Good times were had. The Grande Marnier infused mini-melons didn’t turn out all that awesome though. I left the bottle in for over an hour but couldn’t get any alcohol in. I think the mini-melons don’t have enough volume/capacity to absorb more any more liquid. I read on wikihow that you can insert a syringe and withdraw fluid from the meat, but I didn’t have one handy so couldn’t verify that. I think the easiest solution is to just buy a regular-sized melon.

We did get inspired to create an awesome shot though. Pretty simple to make, but frickin’ delicious. Some would call it girly, but heck, if it’s delicious, who gives a shit.

Recipe

1 oz. SOHO lychee liqueur

1 oz. Crabbie’s ginger beer (Crabbie’s only – all others suck)

Combine both ingredients in a 2 oz. shot glass.

Serve liberally.

SOHO tends to be pretty sweet, so you might want to up the ginger beer concentration. Or vice-versa. It’s all good. Either way, it’s a delicious shot that will keep you coming back for more.

As for the name, in my drunken state, I felt the expression on the party girl’s face was that of having sex for the first time. A little painful, but ultimately really good…haha.

Enjoy!

A Cocktail-a-Day #11: Whole Watermelon & Grand Marnier (alternative to vodka-watermelon)

A dear friend of mine recently graduated from the Masters in Education program at the University of Calgary and is having her grad party today. What better way to celebrate that than to get drunk?

As this is a special occasion, I wanted a special treat. I am sure many of you have heard of this concept of emptying a whole bottle of vodka into a watermelon before? If not, you are in for a treat. This has been done countless times, so I am not going to recreate the wheel. Here’s a great video that takes you through all the steps:

 

I bought a couple of mini watermelons for two reasons:

1. Not sure how many people were going to turn up

2. Wanted to try a couple of different combos than just the plain vodka-watermelon

IMG_0048I wanted to know which other spirits I could pair with watermelon. This led to me the uber-cool foodpairing.com website. You can search almost any ingredient and explore related ingredients you could pair it with. There’s a limited ‘lite’ version which gives you access to 100 ingredients and 25 beverages only. If you update to the pro version for 13$/month, that opens up the doors to 1000+ ingredients, 250 alcoholic beverages and other fun stuff. I think it would be a great tool if you are advanced amateur cook or pro chef, but otherwise I am not dishing out 13$/month. For the rest of us, there is a free option: http://www.ingredientpairings.com/?i=watermelon. I find it works just as well, but not as thorough or comprehensive and doesn’t break the results down into different categories. BUT, they have apps for Android and Apple, which is big plus.

It seems watermelon pairs really well with orange-based liqueurs and champagnes. I had both, but the orange flavour really appealed to be, so decided to go with the 200 mL bottle of Grande Marnier that’s been sitting on my counter for a while.

One thing to note though: it seems the mini melons have very limited capacity to absorb alcohol. Unlike in the video, I am still waiting for bottoms-up after 30 min. I am just going to leave it that for as long as it takes and then refrigerate for the party.

Will update tomorrow on how both melons tasted.

A Cocktail-a-Day #10: Celine Fizz (aka why gin & elderflower are awesome together)

IMG_0020Alright, short post today. It’s been another long in meetings and hanging out with friends. It’s awesome how now stressed out about time I am. Time is the true currency in life.

This one’s by Philip Ward of Death & Co. in Manhattan. Haven’t had time to research into him yet, so don’t know much about him. Here’s the recipe:

2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur

1/2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice

1/4 oz. simple syrup

1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

Dash of orange bitters

1 large egg white

Ice

1/2 oz. chilled club soda

1 grapefruit twist for garnish.

In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, orange bitters, and egg white and shake vigorously without ice. Add ice to shaker and shake again. Strain the cocktail into a chilled fizz glass or flute and top with club soda. Pinch the grapefruit twist over the drink and rub it around the rim of the glass, then discard the twist.

Discussion

Visually, this drink is much cloudier as I accidentally added a bit of egg yolk as well, Compare this with the Boris Karloff which just has egg white and how much more transparent it is. I believe this is called the

Rubbing the grapefruit twist gives an amazing aroma to the drink. To be honest, it dominates the orange bitters, but I am not complaining.

I love how the gin, elderflower liqueur, and grapefruit juice combine together. It seems these three ingredients are very powerful when combined. The drink starts with a sweet tangy note and ends with a nice elderflower liqueur note. The egg white adds a bit of richness/thickness to the drink for sure. I actually forgot to add a bit of soda water like the recipe calls for, and got a big blast of gin. Will have to remember to add it in next time.

Photography

This was another hard drink to photograph. The egg yolk made the drink fairly opaque so no amount of backlight would help. Plus, it was too dark in the foreground. I also was getting too many shadows and I couldn’t figure out why – it’s not like the setup was any different that before. I just don’t have enough room with my setup to move the lights around so they don’t cast crazy shadows. I have to figure out some other setup here.

This is what I ended up doing. I angled the light in the back so it “collided” with the light on the side to eliminate any shadows. It didn’t really work. You can tell the foreground is much darker and needs more light.

I gotta sit down and learn more about studio lighting, white balance correction and all that technical stuff.

A Cocktail-a-Day #9: Boris Karloff

IMG_0065

Today was a busy day. You would think with not having a job I would have all the time in the world, but no, it seems I am busier than before. Maybe it’s the lack of priorities and urgency in my day.

Went to a really informative session hosted by the Calgary Food Committee called CALGARY EATS!. CFC’s vision is to create a sustainable resilient food system for the Calgary region and CALGARY EATS! was a community event enabling Calgarians to “come together, collaborate & start working on a projects that build a sustainable food system”.

The basic premise of the event was to allow Calgarians to put forward food project ideas and get feedback from the larger audience on the next steps needed to realize the dream. People pitched their ideas and then the audience could then choose which project they wanted to learn more about and work on.

My idea was enabling outdoor winter gardening. Sure, everyone grows herbs and shit indoors during winter, but what if you live in a small condo and don’t have the indoor team? Most condos & apartments have balconies that lay fallow for 8 months out of the year. What if you could turn that dead space into a productive piece of “land”?

So for the next few months, I am going to research various ways of outdoor winter farming in a condo. Sure, you can build yourself a “cold frame” or a green house, but all of those require you live in a house with a backyard, a luxury most people don’t have. It will be an interesting challenge.

Anyways, for today’s drink, I went back to my favourite cocktail book of all time: Food & Wine 2009 Cocktail Guide. This drink is the brainchild of Todd Thrasher, who I featured in my first cocktail: Sweet Basil. This man’s a genius. The ingredients didn’t look much to me at first, so to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. Plus, the egg whites in the drink kinda creeped me out. But I am glad I persisted. Here’s the recipe:

IMG_0042-23/4 oz. gin

3/4 oz. St-Germain elderflower liqueur

1 oz. fresh lime juice

1 tbs confectioners’ sugar (I just used the same amount of simple syrup)

1 large egg white

Ice

1 oz. chilled club soda

Pinch each of finely grated lime zest and freshly ground pepper for garnish.

In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, St-Germain, lime juice, sugar (or simple syrup) and egg white. Shake at least 1 min. Add ice and shake again. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass, stir in the club soda and garnish with lime zest and pepper.

Discussion

Lime juice, gin, elderflower liqueur and egg whites?! What the what? But fear not. This is a DELICIOUS drink, especially if you are a fan of intense tangy, citrusy and sweet drinks. The elderflower adds another delicious burst of aroma and made the drink taste like sugarcane juice you get in Indian roadside stalls.

A note though: the drink has a faint “egg-y” smell, but not too overpowering. I could conveniently turn a blind eye to it. I threw in the lime halves just for presentation and the burst of lime flavour when you smell it. The pepper does nothing. Apart from that, I don’t have much to complain about it this drink.

Shaking the cocktail without the ice is called dry shaking. This allows the egg whites (the albumen) to emulsify without watering down the drink. If you don’t know how to separate the egg whites from the yolk, here’s a list of ways you can.

Give this drink a try. You won’t regret it.

A Cocktail-a-Day #8: Cilantro Cooler

IMG_0054

I am looking forward to experimenting with more cocktails and learning more about the art of mixology as well. Also, bought a Molecular Mixology Kit from Molecule-R, so I am going to be experimenting with molecular gastronomy in my cocktails. F’ yeah.

For today’s cocktail, I have chosen another one of my perennial favourites. I was craving Mexican so I headed on over to Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill for the best tasting and best value burrito in Calgary. For $10, you get a burrito that will last you two meals…and then so more. Look out for a review soon.

Today’s recipe is by none other than Jamie Boudreau who is quickly turning into one of my favourite mixologists for his original use of herbs in a lot of his recipes. I originally featured Jamie Boudreau’s  Rosemary Paloma recipe on Day 2 (from the Food & Wine 2009 Cocktail Guide ). According to Boudreau, a good aperitif often hints at the meal that will follow. In that case, this cocktail would be a great lead up to any cuisine that makes heavy use of cilantro (like Indian and Mexican food).

IMG_0051Recipe is as follows:

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

5 cilantro leaves, 1 flowering cilantro sprig for garnish (optional)

Ice

2 oz. vodka

3/4 oz. fresh lime juice

3/4 oz. Simple Syrup

1 oz. club soda

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber and cilantro leaves. Add the ice and remaining ingredients EXCEPT the club soda. Shake well and double strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Stir in the club soda and garnish.

 

Discussion

There’s nothing like the sweet aroma of cucumber and cilantro muddled together. I love how refreshing this drink is. You almost get this minty after taste that just cleanses and refreshes your palette at the same time. The addition of club soda gave me the impression of drinking a cucumber-cilantro lemonade. Delicious!

Let me know what you guys think.