Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't Try This at Home

Sometimes things just don't work out. You come up with an idea that seems to make sense (say, sending a gerbil to the moon), may even be easy to implement (ie buy homemade rocket kit; stick gerbil in homemade rocket; light rocket), but the results just aren't what you were hoping for (ie flaming gerbil is imbedded in neighbor's roof, which is now also on fire). Thus was my experiment with coming up with a cocktail that would utilize the blueberry infused bourbon I made a couple of weeks ago.

Inspired by a recipe for blueberry infused bourbon and associated drink I saw in Imbibe magazine (I didn't have all of the ingredients for the drink in the magazine - anyone have a bottle of Benedictine just sitting around?), I had made a Blueberry Manhattan when my friend Ana came over for drinks and dinner the other night. I thought that was very good, but it was a little sweet, and the blueberry flavor didn't really come through. So I wanted to make something that would showcase the blueberry taste (otherwise why make the stuff in the first place, right?) and also add a little complexity to the flavor.

Looking through my cocktail books, I came across a recipe for a drink called a Rattlesnake. A bourbon based drink, but it added some lemon juice, egg white, and a dash of Pernod. Sweet, sour, bitter, creamy - sounded like the complex flavor profile I was looking for, and the blueberry / lemon / anise flavor I thought would be really nice complements for one another. I didn't have Pernod (sounds like I need to go shopping), so instead I planned to use some Le Tourment Absinthe (especially since it just called for a dash).

I placed all of the necessary ingredients in a Boston shaker, shook it vigorously, and strained into a rocks glass over ice, garnishing with a slice of lemon rind. Looked really promising - nice froth from the egg white, and the color was a really pretty bluish pink. Smelled good too, although more lemon came through than anything. So then the taste, None of the blueberry flavor, nor even the bourbon flavor, came through. The lemon was very up front, and the absinthe just made the whole thing taste "off." Figuring I needed to adjust the proportions, I made two other versions, increasing the bourbon content and lowering the lemon and ansinthe proportions. Still not all that good. At this point, having consumed three strong cocktails, I was in no condition to be doing unbiased critical evaluations of anything, so I bagged it.

Maybe I'll try the cocktail with the Benedictine in it (I think my father-in-law has a bottle). But as far trying to craft my own unique cocktail recipes, I think I'll hold off, make cocktails from "proven" recipes, and just work on creating some sort of fire retardant suit for a gerbil. R.I.P. AstroGerb v.1.0 - never forget :'(

Blueberry Infused Bourbon

1/2 pint of washed, whole blueberries
bourbon (amount will depend on size of the infusion container)

Place whole blueberries in a container which can be sealed air tight. Fill container with bourbon to at least completely cover the blueberries. Let sit in a cool place for approximately three weeks. Then drain bourbon through a coffee filter into as serving container, discarding the fruit. Keeps for 2 to 3 weeks.

Blueberry Rattlesnake

1 1/2 measures of blueberry-infused bourbon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup
1 egg white
few drops Pernod (I used Le Tourment Absinthe)

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake very well. Strain into a rocks glass and add more ice.

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