Happy New Year all! I’ve been experimenting with citrus as of late- but instead of the usual juice it and forget it- the cast iron pan (over there) has made a new dimension to my drinks.
What? A cast iron pan? How do you mean?
I like the charred flavor of citrus fruits. But how?
Clementines are seasonal. As are blood oranges. Grapefruits are gorgeous at this time of year. Sure, they are great juiced, but why not heat up your cast iron pan to almost smoking, peel your citrus and throw it into the pan. Char the citrus and set aside to cool.
Use your juicer. What? You don’t have a juicer? Run down to Williams-Sonoma and buy one!
Photo: Warren Bobrow (Leica M8-Summicron 50mm F2)
Tequila is one of my favorite mediums to work with. As is the new wave of “Botanical” Gin.
My first cocktail- named aptly the “Essence of Simplicity” cocktail is just that.
2-3 grapefruit peeled
sprig of mint
Bitter End Moroccan Bitters
4 shots of Casa Noble Tequila
Heat your cast iron pan to sizzling hot
Char the grapefruit segments until nicely browned on all sides
Juice the segments and strain
Add Casa Noble Tequila to a cocktail shaker filled 1/2 with ice
Add one medicine dropper of Bitter End Moroccan Bitters to the shaker
Add the juice of the charred grapefruit
Shake!!! Shake!!! Shake!!!
Strain into a short rocks glass with a sprig of mint as garnish… Slurp and enjoy!
The next cocktail combines blood oranges juice, lime juice, and clementine juice in a punch-like concoction that includes Cava from Spain, Conjure Cognac and Ron de Jeremy Rum. “The Long, Smooth Rum”
It’s aptly called the “Hedgehog’s Revenge”
Take about three each, peel away the bitter pith and char in your cast iron pan. Set aside to cool.
Juice the citrus fruits
To a cocktail shaker, add 1/2 with ice
Add 2 shots of Conjure Cognac
Add 4 shots of Ron de Jeremy Rum
Splash of Cava (Spanish Sparking Wine)
Add about 6 oz of the charred juices
Shake and strain into two Champagne flutes
Top with a splash of Cava
This Cocktail uses Botanical-style Gin. What is Botanical Gin? Quite simply, it’s Gin that tastes like something! Most of the Gin on the market today has very little flavor. If it said Vodka on the label- you’d be 1/2 way to a hangover by now! My friend Laura Baddish sent me some samples of a lovely Botanical Gin named Bulldog.
This is Gin with GUTS! It stands up to citrus faster than you can say “Gin with juice” which is the basis of this little drink. It’s more of a long drink than a mere shot.
You can also use- if you can find it… The new Gin named FEW from the mid-western part of the USA. It’s remarkable stuff and it reminds me of White Whiskey in the nose… (More to follow on this one)
The More to Follow Cocktail is just that. You want more- to follow!
Blood Oranges- Charred in the cast iron pan
Home cured cocktail cherries
2 Shots of Bulldog or Few Gin
1 Shot of Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (or your choice)
1 Medicine Dropper of Bitter End Jamaican Jerk Bitters
Muddle the cherries and mint together in a cocktail shaker
Add some ice- how much? Not much.
Add the Blood Orange juice
Add the Gin
Add the Carpano Antica
Add the Jamaican Jerk Bitters
Shake and strain into a tall Collins glass with a couple cubes of ice and one of your home-cured cherries.