Tinctures, Syrups and Foams…
Of the 79 drinks I’ve got logged as of this writing, 27 call for one or more ingredients that have be made from scratch and in advance. Much as no Jedi’s training is complete before they make their own light saber, it would seem that the “rock star” bartender must prove her or his own worth sooner or later by concocting a cocktail (or two) dependent on a home made ingredient.
As a cook, I’m of course attracted to these particular recipes. I like drinks with lots of esoteric ingredients and I’m always excited to make these, eagerly anticipating the day when I’ll be able to build my first drink using a tincture I made at home. What I don’t like, however, are poorly written instructions which leave out steps, don’t clearly identify ingredients or which are vague about quantities (“a few” or “a handful” in relationship to chilis, being my favorite). Notes someone makes remind him or herself how some infusion was made are not the same as a recipe which can be followed again and again by others. But then again, writing a good recipe is a skill which not even the best chefs possess (which is why cookbooks must be carefully proofed or even ghost written). Net/net: I am working with Ted and our crew of star bartenders to make sure everything is clear as it can be before we go to print and you start making these drinks.
OK, enough ranting. Below is the list of things I’m going to be making for the cocktails in this book. I’ve already got most of the “long lead” items done or soaking. Some things, of course, can only be make fresh, an hour or more before they are needed at best.
And then there’s the smoked ice. Hickory smoked ice.
Costus Root Bitters
Dried Apricot Pisco
Dried Chili Infused Orange Bitters
Honey Syrups (five strengths)
House Chocolate Liquor
Lime-Thai Chili Tincture
Maple Syrup Gastrique
Prickly Pear Juice
Smoked Cider Air