Saturday, December 15, 2018

Biscayne Cocktail

It's been a long road to this cocktail. The New York Bartender's Guide of 1997 includes a drink of this name made with one ounce of Forbidden Fruit, a spirit that has been defunct since the middle of last century. That meant I had work to do. I'm not opposed to faithfully recreating a spirit for the sake of this blog, and I've been known to travel to Paris or Iceland to get something I'm looking for, but this spirit is probably my greatest success--and not undeserved.

A lot of things went right about the Biscayne Cocktail, as it turned out. Firstly, that I chose a full-bodied gin like ImaGination by MurLarkey. It is tempting whenever rum and gin are listed in the same recipe to use Vitae gin to match their rum, but I wanted that rosemary and grains of paradise (not to mention barley) to stick out and ground things. Vitae rum, however was a good call because it has a noticeable tropical taste.

But what went off splendidly was the Forbidden Fruit liqueur I made from this recipe I found on Three Points Kitchen. This recipe perfectly balanced the ounce of lime juice and was actively present in the taste throughout. It was a three week process (and months before that of scanning Asian markets for pomelos, which are in season in the winter here in the U.S.), but well worth it to make this spirit.

Once I had these fruits in hand (or by the armload) it was about juicing and peeling. I assembled and crushed the spices according to the recipe and was sure to include blood oranges and orange blossom honey. These items aren't available just anywhere at any time of the year.

Vanilla beans, cardamom pods, coriander, vanilla, cinnamon--this was a challenge. I picked out Meukow VS cognac for the infusion. This turned out to be a good choice because this young cognac had a heavy honeyed nose, but being aged in French oak, was smoother than American brandy, which hews closer to whiskey. 
After two weeks of infusing the juice, fruit peels, cognac, and spices, I removed the solids and added the orange blossom honey. And I'm glad I took the recipie's advice and looked for this specific organic honey. The scent and particular sweetness is exactly what this exotic liqueur needed. After another week, I used a coffee drip filter to remove fine particles and bottled the Forbidden Fruit in a cognac bottle.
Now, at long last, I could make the Biscayne Cocktail!
  • 2 oz. gin (MurLarkey ImaGination used)
  • 1 oz. light rum (Vitae Platinum used)
  • 1 oz. Forbidden Fruit (see recipe link above)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  •  lime slice
Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime slice. 

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