Sunday, November 9, 2008

From the home lab, the Kiwi's Nest Grog

I thought I would start my first mixology post with a recent development in my home bar/lab. This cocktail was developed 10/4/08, at approximately 12:15am. Though there have been some real stinkers to come out of my mixing, and i am sure most home bars, when the attempt starts in the wee hours and after the consumption of other drinks, this one was surprisingly good on samplings since that evening. This Grog was developed out of necessity, the necessity for a cocktail to serve late that evening, having limited fresh components to draw from. Kiwifruit can always be found in our fridge, though, as it is a staple of my iguana's diet, therefor it commonly has found its way into cocktails at home for years.

Grogs in general are a favorite of mine for they're refreshing taste, generally lighter mouth feel, and tartness. I have seen some debates about What constitutes a Grog, but in the case of this cocktail, using a fruit from down under, I will go with that region's application of the word that covers any drink that has alcohol as a component. That being said, the Kiwi's Nest Grog is similar in flavor and draws from some common Grog ingredients.
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This recipe is one i have not broken down to make a single drink, it essentially made three cocktails in the size glass you see in the photo.

the Kiwi's Nest Grog
2 oz. Rhum Clemente VSOP
2 oz. Cruzan Lt rum
1 oz. Coruba dark Jamaican rum
2 oz. homemade almond syrup (orgeat can be used)
3 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. pimento liqueur
dash of Blood orange Bitters
2 Kiwifruit, cut in half
1 1/2 dispensed half lemon shells

Take 1 Kiwifruit half and squeeze fruit away from the skin into bottom of glass. Muddle the fruit to make a pulpy puree. Cover Kiwifruit puree with half dispensed lemon shell, shell side up. Add dash of Blood Orange Bitters, and cover with crushed ice. Shake all other ingredients together with ice, pour slowly into glass as not to disturb the lemon shell (which would cause puree to dispense into drink, making it pulpy). Garnish with Kiwifruit wedge on rim of glass.

The point of the lemon shell "nest" is to allow the Kiwifruit puree to flavor the drink, without making the cocktail gritty or chunky. This was the solution I came up with that evening as prior attempts to juice a kiwi by hand failed miserably, and drinks i have served in the past with the puree in them would have been much nicer just having the flavor of the fruit and not the pulp. Also, using the dispensed citrus shell adds flavor, a zesty flavor from the oils of the shell, which is called for in a number of other cocktails.

Forgot to add earlier, when the drink is finished, which seems to coincide with when most of the ice is gone, we who drank this cocktail that evening were able to cleanly flip the lemon shell with its pureed contents and remove it from the glass. We then were able to eat the pureed Kiwifruit from the "nest", which was a nice tart treat that subtly carried with it the flavor of the drink.

The photo above is not a good example of what a lovely presentation this drink has. Bad lighting and a glass with a lot of heavy black print is preventing the sight of the dispensed lemon shell dome, with traces of the Kiwifruit puree, at the bottom of the drink. This photo was taken that evening late at night, and required some alteration that caused it to further look muddy.

***a note to home mixologists, from what i have read lemon and lime skins can harbor bacteria and have traces of pesticides or other deposits from the water table, i always wash these and other fruits before using, particularly in the case of cocktails requiring the addition of a dispensed shell.

Hope you try one, and please feel free to comment back when you have.

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