Perhaps one of the best principles for creating a good cocktail is simply asking yourself: what would I want to drink? In this case, I saved this particular recipe name in the My Favorite Things series for my birth month, April. Who wouldn't want presents?! But, with my b-day otherwise occupied with tax-completing, I had to put off my indulgences for a little bit, which was beneficial.
This past week was nerve-wracking enough for anyone in the US, but especially those in Boston -- little did I realize that when I put in a supply order the Friday prior. As we all know now, all's well that ends well in greater things and small: my order, including a bottle of passionfruit syrup, came in -- maybe a little later than initially expected, but still quite timely in light of events -- many thanks to the fine folks at the Boston Shaker.
Now, passionfruit is quite possibly my favorite fruit: exotic and subtle, with hints of vanilla. It's just very soothing and mellow, even when concentrated. What's more, April's always seemed to have a monthly color of yellow, all the better for the fruit to fit.
In the meanwhile, my initial thoughts for indulgence trended towards Bourbon, accented with my homemade Vanilla Lace bitters. I haven't done a recipe with the bitters since January, and though I think they work fabulous in almost any recipe, I've wanted to be judicious in using them in recipe posts. Combine the bourbon and bitters with vanilla-hinted passion fruit syrup (and a serious one from B.G. Reynolds at that, much better than I could make at home) and you've got the fixings for a mighty tasty drink.
But something seemed missing. I mentioned before how a Yankee Candle series partially inspired this cocktail series, and here reminisces of lily scents and the very clean orderly notes of brown wrapping paper itself came to the fore: if not lily, perhaps almond to round out the cocktail? Not amaretto-almond, either, but something understated and milky without being thick, lest the nuances of bourbon and bitters be lost. Almond water? Or...or maybe I'll treat myself to a soda carbonating machine and get a bit fancy (nevermind the other plans I have for it later on..). If the ingredients aren't brown themselves, they do indeed come in brown paper packages!
Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings
2 oz bourbon
1 tsp passionfruit syrup
3 dashes Vanilla Lace Bitters
3 oz unsweetened almond soda
Stir the first three ingredients dry in a rocks or highball glass, then add ice cubes and almond soda.
Finish with an extra dash or two of Vanilla Lace bitters.
Somewhat a cross between a Tiki Old Fashioned and a highball. As good as the recipe reads, and even more ethereal.
A few weeks back I was at Whole Foods when I came across Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water. It seemed an interesting cocktail ingredient, so of course I bought it. It's quite delish, but it's difficult to work with because it comes pre-sweetened. So what's a girl to do but attempt to make her own, despite there being a general dearth of online recipes on almond water. (there are Chinese almond tea recipes, however, which is more of a dessert recipe thickened with rice starch)
My general impression on how to make this is: make orgeat, leave out the sugar.
Unsweetened almond soda
100g blanched almonds
3 cups water
|Making almond whey.|
|Making almond clotted cream.|
Once you've obtained the whey (my batch resulted in a little over 2 cups of liquid when all was said and done), mix as follows to prepare the almond soda.
Per 1 cup of almond whey add 1 cup water, 1/2 tsp rose water and (post-carbonation) 2 tsp Lactart. (Gently!) carbonate using your device of choice; depending, this may go against your warranty, so cocktailer beware.
The soda is ready for use in the cocktail as-is. Add some simple syrup if you'd like to enjoy it by itself.
Also? Happy milestone, Feu de Vie. Post #50 and still going strong!