I’ll jump straight to the description of this months Mixology Monday, which is hosted by Christa and Shaun of the great BoozeNerds blog…
We thought hard about a theme that would work well for this time of year, and after contemplating the food, booze, and decor we like for the holidays, we settled on “Resin.” From savory rosemary in a stuffing, to a delicious juniper-y gin in a martini, to a fragrant fir ornament or garnish, our friends the evergreens have a lot to offer… The challenge: come up with an ingenious creation using the resin-y ingredient of your choice. Zirbenz, retsina, hoppy IPA, pine-nut puree, even? Sure! Spirit, garnish, aroma, all are fair game. Whatever resin means to you, we want to hear it.
After a quick google on resin, I headed out to see what I could pick up, knowing I have no retsina, zirbenz or fir liqueurs behind the bar. What I came back with was some frankincense (also called olibanum) and myrrh, both of which are aromatic resins. Resins are obtained when a wound penetrates the bark on specific trees and into the sapwood, after which the tree bleeds a resin. The resins are both waxy, and coagulate quickly to become hard and glossy. At this point I had no idea what to do with it. After eating a piece of each, I scrapped the idea of the myrrh (it was so bitter and not very pleasant), and started making syrups and tinctures with the frankincense, and ended with a lovely, very aromatic, citrusy syrup.
1 Barspoon of frankincense (use good frankincense here, it should be translucent, with no black or brown impurities)
150ml by volume sugar
Heat the frankincense in the water until boiling, simmer for 1 minute and remove from the heat, strain out any frankincense that hasn’t dissolved, add the sugar and heat until dissolved.
There wasn’t much information about people doing this on the internet so it was a bit of trail and error. This give a VERY fragrant syrup, so use sparingly!
I’ve also recently been very much enjoying my beer, if you follow me on Instagram you may have already noticed! I love the idea of crossing over beer into cocktails, but lately I’ve been wondering about using hops to make a drink more bitter and aromatic. I’ve seen a few hop infused gins online, but for this drink I’ve made an aromatic wine with hops In replace of the woodworm used for vermouth. (I may expand on this in the near future, a range of single variety hopped wine anyone!? Or maybe dry hopped vermouth? Just a thought). For more on making aromatic wine check out Frederic’s posts over at cocktail
virgin slut (He has a nice little bibliography at the bottom of the post as well, essential he’s done all the hard work for us!)
Handful of hops
Peel of 1/2 an orange
Peel of 1/2 a lemon
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
6 juniper berries (cracked)
5 cardamom pods (cracked)
1/2 star anise
1/4 teaspoon chamomile flowers
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
Simmer all the ingredients with 200ml of white wine, I used a Chardonnay here, for ten minutes in a lidded pan. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 hour, strain. Add 400ml of the original wine, 2oz of 2:1 sugar syrup, 100ml vodka, bottle and keep refrigerated.
So finally here’s my entry of this months mixology Monday
The Three Magi
50 ml Gin (I used Hendricks)
20ml hopped wine (substitute Noilly Prat)
10ml lemon juice
10ml orange juice
5ml Frankincense syrup
5ml sugar syrup
Dash of lavender bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled glass, garnish with an orange twist
Thanks to Christa and Shaun, and to Fred for hosting, and I look forward to everyone else’s entries.