The Martinez Re-visited

I was already a fan of a Martinez over a Martini and making it with Ransom Old Tom Gin is a real treat. The gin is an unusual (for gin) brown color and has slightly sweeter taste to it thanks to the added malt. I like it because it doesn’t taste like a bottle of Pine-Sol although now that I think of it, the brown color makes it look more like Pine-Sol.  The coloring comes from the gin resting in Pinot Noir barrels, which is supposed to replicate the journey across the Atlantic on ships in the old days.

The Martinez

In a Martinez, the Ransom blends perfectly with the thick sweetness of the sweet vermouth and the herbacious (as the BF likes to call it) bitterness of Boker’s Bitters. The drink is a delicate balance of sweet and medicinal, which makes it a relaxing sipping drink.

Persimmons + Booze = √persimmon

When life gives you lots of lemons, you make lemonade.  When friends give you pounds of persimmons, you don’t make persimmonade.  You make a persimmon cocktail just in time to usher in the cold weather.  Living in Los Angeles, we miss out on watching the foliage turn those warm fall colors, but one way to make up for it is to make a spiced drink that looks like the season.

Booze + Persimmon = ?

Not surprisingly, there aren’t too many recipes for persimmon cocktails online, which meant the BF had to improvise. When I think of a holiday drink, I think of something mellow and warming with spices like nutmeg, cloves, and even cinnamon. Luckily, these flavors also go well with persimmon.

Booze + Persimmon = ?

The first step was to peel, core and seed the persimmons.  The hachiya persimmons, from a friend of Yuko’s (Yuko was nice enough to invite us into her kitchen and make dinner) were incredibly ripe and soft. One was so ripe that it would have been impossible to peel, so we just set that one aside.  While peeling the persimmons, be sure to taste some because if they’re not perfectly ripe, the hachiya persimmons can be quite astringent, which could easily ruin a drink.

Booze + Persimmon = ?

The second step was to puree the the fruit with a little water, a small amount of vanilla, and lemon juice.  Be light on the vanilla because persimmon has such a delicate flavor that one too many drops can overpower it completely. The lemon was to keep the nice orange color from turning brown as well as an added boost of flavor.

Once the puree was nice and smooth, it was time for experimenting.

Booze + Persimmon = ?

persimmon cocktail #1:

2 oz bourbon (used Old Weller 107)
1 oz persimmon puree *
3/4 oz spiced honey syrup **
dash aromatic bitters (BF used Bitter Truth “Jerry Thomas” bitters)

This being our first persimmon cocktail, we didn’t really know what to expect. I thought the spiced honey syrup was too strong for the mild flavor of persimmon and covered it completely. There was only a hint of persimmon aftertaste. Our friend Yuko noted that persimmon was more of a texture than flavor in this drink — lending a silky, thick mouth-feel.

persimmon cocktail #2:

2 oz white rhum (used Barbancourt)
1 oz persimmon puree *
3/4 oz ginger syrup ***

Without even tasting it, I could tell this wasn’t going to be something I’d want to drink again. The tropical, sweet flavor of the rum was at odds with the flavor of persimmon. It reminded me of a pina colada gone wrong. Sometimes, contrasting flavors can be good, but not in this case.

√persimmon (aka persimmon cocktail #3):

1.5 oz bourbon (used Old Weller 107)
1 oz ROOT
1 oz persimmon puree *
1/2-3/4 oz ginger syrup ***

Ding! Ding! Ding! Third time’s a charm. This drink was the clear winner of the night. The slightly medicinal, root beer aroma of ROOT, the creamy texture of the persimmon puree, and the mildly spicy ginger syrup combined to make a complex yet easy to drink beverage. The texture of this drink was so pleasantly thick it reminded me a bit of eggnog. I expect to see this drink at my Thanksgiving table.

Additional recipes for syrups and puree after the jump.
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Cocktail Week: The Sazerac

The Sazerac is what I’d describe as an Old Fashioned jazzed up for a Friday night. It’s still a strong whiskey drink, but the added absinthe rinse gives it a little somethin-somethin. It smells sweet and fruity, but don’t let this little drink fool you. It’s no girly-drink to be carried around by one with perfectly polished nails and a tacky wristlet.

Cocktail Week: The Sazerac

Recipe (via Jeffrey Morgenthaler)

In a 16-oz mixing glass, combine:
1 sugar cube
¼ oz simple syrup
4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters*
Small splash water

Muddle together until sugar cube is dissolved (skip this step if using simple syrup, obviously)

2 oz rye
Fill mixing glass with ice and stir contents until well-chilled. Strain into Herbsaint-rinsed Old Fashioned glass. Twist lemon peel over drink to express oils, and discard peel.

* The BF used Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters instead of the Angostura ones.