Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Cocktailing for beginners Pt 7 :- Gomme & Grenadine

Two ingredients this week, both from, the what the hell is that end of the scale. Well they are both syrups, that's right reader dear non-alcoholic ingredients(*). Grenadine is pomegranate syrup, used to colour & flavour drinks. Your best bet is to buy it,  Monin is easily available (though they say their syrup has little pomegranate, being red berry & vanilla). Gomme, gum or simple syrup is just that a mixture of sugar and water, this you can make at home. The standard recipe is 2 volumes of sugar dissolved in 1 volume of boiling water and then allowed to cool. Some recipes call for 3 sugar to 1 water, I tend to split the difference and go with 2.5 :)

So onto the drink. This is another classic, the old fashioned. Making a traditional old fashioned is quite a job, and tends to take about 20 minutes, it is worth the work, however with a bottle of gomme to hand we can make a good old fashioned. This is something the Fontana bar at the Bellagio (Las Vegas) would do well to learn as they served me a mess of an old fashioned gritty with undissolved sugar.

 The Old Fashioned

In a tumbler/rocks glass put 1 or 2 teaspoons of simple syrup, add a couple of dashes of bitters (angostura is usual) stir to combine. (If you are making an traditional old fashioned, you would be working on dissolving sugar into the bitters with a meagre drop of water, this takes time). Add in a good measure of Bourbon, I'm not giving exact amounts because it depends on taste & glass size, but a standard single measure (25ml) is where you want to aim. Stir some more, again you are after a homogeneous mix of whiskey,bitters and sugar syrup.
Add a couple of lumps of cracked ice and top up with more Bourbon. This brings us to the tricky question of garnish. My old fashioned (on the left) has a Maraschino cherry, as I added a drop of Maraschino liqueur. Normally a strip of peel, either orange or lemon is best. Some people would have orange slices, lemon wheels, cherries, and other assorted fruits. At this point it is worth remembering the words of "hot-lips"Houlihan. "Bring me a scotch old fashioned & remember hold the fruit"

(*) Ok sometimes a little alcohol is added to stabilize them.

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