Friday, May 27, 2016

Belmont Stakes

I can't explain how long I've been preparing to make this cocktail and thinking about it: how to display it, how to acquire the spirits, which spirits to use... It's been about a month of ruminating; meanwhile the Preakness and Kentucky Derby have already been held. I am excited that the Belmont Stakes (the drink) is a rum cocktail, so it has little to do with southern whiskey.

The Belmont Stakes (the race) is held outside New York at the Belmont racetrack for almost a century. The cocktail that has its namesake is like most other New York cocktails in that it is pink or red. (See Cosmopolitan, Manhattan, New York Sour, New York Cocktail or, The New Yorker) The pink color comes from strawberry syrup and grenadine. For this cocktail I chose to make my own strawberry liqueur: the recipe follows below.

Boil 8-10 large cored and sliced strawberries in a cup of water until the berries are soft and the water has cooked down (about 5 minutes.) Cut heat and add 1/2 cup of fine white sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Using a potato ricer, mash the strawberries until they are pulverized and their juice is extracted. Allow the mixture to cool. Add 1 cup of 100-proof vodka or light rum and stir until evenly combined. Using a fine strainer, remove the strawberry pulp and preserve the liquor and sugar mixture in a clean saleable bottle.

Now the recipe for the cocktail:
  • 2 oz. vodka 
  • 1 oz. gold rum (Lyon Bijou Batch used)
  • 1/2 oz. strawberry liqueur (homemade liqueur used)
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. grenadine 
  • orange slice
  • lime wedge
  • strawberry
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fruit.

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