Category Archives: lime

Jungle Bird and Jungle Boogie

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In my ongoing quest to learn to love Campari (shudder), this week I whipped up a Jungle Bird (pictured above). I figured that, seeing as it contained numerous other ingredients that I like – rum, citrus, pineapple – there was a good chance I’d appreciate what the Campari added to the mix, and wouldn’t reject the drink simply because I could taste, well, Campari in it.

As usual I was partly right and partly wrong. I did appreciate the way Campari added a bitter complexity and notes of burnt orange to the cocktail.

But that didn’t mean I liked it.

For me, the Campari flavour overrode the nuances of the rum, though perhaps that’s because I was seeking it out, the way a beautiful person will look for a flaw in their appearance. The CTO said he liked the way it balanced out the rum’s sweetness, and that it was an interesting and well-rounded drink. I thought the drink might be better without it, and so I made another one, omitting the Campari.

It was much more approachable – a refreshing, if a bit run-of-the-mill (rum of the mill?), sweet-sour concoction, with notes of Christmas spice and vanilla courtesy of the rum. I called it a Jungle Boogie (pictured below) and it was only when I was halfway through it that I realised I’d made something akin to a Pisco Sour, but with rum instead of pisco. No wonder I liked it – I love Pisco Sours. Did I love the Jungle Boogie enough to start making it instead of Pisco Sours, though? Would it be on high rotation at my bar, like its very distant Peruvian cousin? Would I start offering it to all and sundry? Er…

No.

It just didn’t have enough ‘wow’ factor for me.

So in the end, the best thing I can say about this experiment is that it gave me an excuse to open my first bottle of Kraken black spiced rum, which I’ve been wanting to try for ages simply because of the label (yes, I’m a sucker for packaging). I’m no rum aficionado, but it’s delicious. And hey, I got to try out two new cocktails – can’t complain about that. If you want to try them out, the recipes are below.

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INGREDIENTS

45ml black spiced rum

25ml Campari (include this if you are making a Jungle Bird; omit if you are making a Jungle Boogie)

45ml pineapple juice

15ml fresh lime juice

15ml sugar syrup

GLASS

Tumbler or old-fashioned

METHOD

Add all ingredients to a shaker that’s half-full of ice, and shake hard. Strain into a tumbler that’s half-full of ice and garnish with pineapple pieces and pineapple leaves (failing that, use mint, as I’ve done…or don’t garnish at all!)

RECIPE BY

The Jungle Bird recipe is in Dan Murphy’s Cocktail Discovery Guide – edition 2.

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Coriander Mojito

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When I was in high school I was told algebra would come in handy some day. The time has come to find out. Here is a formula that requires testing:

If mojito = a refreshing combination of mint, lime and rum

And coriander = a flavour I associate with Thai food, which I love

Then a coriander mojito should = something delicious, with a savoury, herbaceous note that would match well with three-flavour fish and, of course, another cocktail.

If you want to try out this formula, here’s the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1 handful coriander leaves and stalks, washed to remove any grit

1 lime, quartered

1 teaspoon sugar

15ml sugar syrup

60ml white rum

soda water, to top up

GLASS

Tumbler

METHOD

Muddle the coriander, lime, sugar and sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker. It will look suspiciously healthy, but do not fret.

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Add a handful of ice and the rum. Shake it x 3 to the power of 20. I don’t know how much that is because I dropped out of maths once I’d calculated that algebra was basically useless, but you get the idea. Strain into a tumbler that’s half-full of ice and top with soda. (You can double-strain if you want to be rid of any weeny bits of green herbs.)

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Hmm, degrees. Something about Pythagoras and triangles and protractors and… Oh go on, you can do the maths, surely. It’s easy.

RECIPE BY

This one’s from one of my favourite cocktail books, Shaken – 250 Very Sexy Cocktails (Murdoch Books, first printed 2004).

 

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Madison Avenue

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At the height of Mad Men fever, the words Madison Avenue conjured up images of a sultry Don Draper sipping whiskey for breakfast (what a champ) or a polished, poised Joan saying, ‘Excuse me?’ through ever-so-slightly-pursed lips whenever she’d been wronged. Chances are she’d have liked a drink in those moments, too – something as sophisticated as her, perhaps, such as this Madison Avenue cocktail.

It’s a clean, crisp drink with a good balance of sweet, tart and sassiness, suitable as a pick-me-up after a long day in an alcohol-free office (the horror!) or as a classy start to a summer drinks party.

INGREDIENTS

45ml white rum

20ml Cointreau

15ml fresh lime juice

dash of orange bitters

3-5 mint leaves

additional mint sprig (to garnish)

lime wheel (to garnish)
GLASS

Rocks glass
METHOD

Add all the ingredients except the garnishes to a shaker that’s half full of ice. Shake like you’re furious with rage at the inequality of the workplace but you can’t show it ’cause it’s the ’60s and you might lose your job. Strain into a rocks glass that’s half-filled with ice, garnish with the mint sprig and lime wheel and hope like hell the boss doesn’t catch you drinking at work again.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Much, much easier than being a woman in the ’60s.
RECIPE BY
Madison Avenue is in New York (and, according to Google, it is also in Dandenong, though we’d wager that one’s not quite as glamorous). The Madison Avenue cocktail recipe is in The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff (Clarkson Potter, 2002).

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El Diablo

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Devilishly easy to make and even easier to drink, El Diablo is a drink I put off making for a long time because (a) I bought some blackcurrant liqueur (Cassis) and then couldn’t remember which recipe I’d bought it for, so it sat forlornly in the fridge where it got mocked for being ‘adult Ribena’, and (b)I’m an idiot (see (a) for proof of this).

Then, while having lunch at Mamasita (a Mexican joint in Melbourne that, at the height of its fame, you had to queue for hours to get into), I tried this magical yet unlikely combination of blackcurrant liqueur, tequila and ginger beer and immediately knew I had to replicate it at home.

Mamasita’s looks way better than mine – they present theirs with half a spent lime shell filled with Cassis for you to add to the drink as you wish – but I think mine tastes just as good, and it’s less fiddly to serve. Lots of recipes call for a 2:1 ratio of tequila to Cassis (eg 60ml tequila and 30ml Cassis), but I found that was too blackcurrant-y, so I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit, going for a 3:1 ratio instead.

INGREDIENTS

45ml blanco tequila (we used Espolón)

15ml Cassis

lime wedge

ginger beer (we used Bundaberg)

GLASS

rocks

METHOD

Half-fill a rocks glass with ice. Add the tequila and cassis; squeeze the lime juice directly into the glass and drop the rind in, too. Top with ginger beer, stir gently and serve.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Easier than selling your soul to Satan. Not that we’d know from experience, of course…
RECIPE BY

52 Cocktails adapted this one from a bunch of other recipes. You can adjust the tequila-to-Cassis ratio as you see fit, add more lime or serve it in a long glass with more ginger beer to make it suit your own satanic purposes!

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Baldilocks and the three Caipirinhas: a 52 Cocktails experiment

IMG_3656Once upon a time there was a man with no hair called Baldilocks who was also known as the 52 Cocktails’ CTO (Cocktail Tasting Officer). One day Baldilocks went out to gather flowers for his mother and came home with a big bunch of mint and some juicy limes. “I suck at picking flowers,” sighed Baldilocks. “And whatever am I going to do with all these limes?”

Just as Balidlocks began juicing limes by smashing them repeatedly into his forehead, 52 Cocktails’ CEO (Cocktail Experimentation Officer) came home. “I don’t know what to do with all this sugar,” she said, unpacking a bag of brown sugar (not the kind favoured by the Rolling Stones), a bag of caster sugar and a bag of organic rapadura sugar. “I met with a publishing company today who said they might be interested in turning 52 Cocktails into a cocktail book. They said they couldn’t pay much but that they’d try to sweeten the deal. I didn’t think they’d mean it literally!”

She turned to look at Baldilocks, who had a rather sour expression. “What’s that look for?” she asked.

“I can’t help it,” Baldilocks said. “All the lime juice keeps getting in my eyes.” He indicated the pile of citrus and mint on the bench, which rather conveniently was sitting next to a bottle of cachaca. This gave the CEO an idea.

“Oh Baldilocks,” the CEO sighed, “why don’t you out for a walk and when you come back I’ll have something smooth and juicy for you to slip into.”

Baldilocks left hastily, and while he was out the CEO prepared herself for a three-way.

A Caipirinha prepared three different ways, that is, in order to discover which one they liked best. What, were you expecting some kind of kinky sex story? This is 52 Cocktails, not 52 Cock Tales!

First she made her standard, tried-and-true Caipirinha, using a recipe she’d adapted from Shaken: 250 very sexy cocktails (Murdoch Books, 2004).


CAIPIRINHA (aka 52 Cocktails’ house Caipirinha)

Brazil’s national drink is simultaneously sweet, sour and strong. On a hot day, with a squirt of soda water and some mint added, it’s a refreshing thirst-quencher.

INGREDIENTS

6-8 mint leaves

1 lime, chopped in half, then each half into quarters

3 teaspoons caster sugar

15 ml sugar syrup

ice cubes

60ml cachaca (she used the Sagatiba brand)

30ml soda water

GLASS

Old-fashioned

METHOD

Muddle the mint, lime, sugar and sugar syrup in an old-fashioned glass. Add several ice cubes and the cachaca and stir until ice-cold. Top with soda water and serve.

NOTES

– The above recipe is for a 52 Cocktails house Caipirinha; true Caipirinhas are not usually made this way. The method given in the book is to muddle the lime, sugar and syrup in a cocktail shaker, add ice and cachaca, shake and strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a sprig of mint. Note that soda is not usually added if you’re using this method, and the mint is not muddled along with the lime. Try making one of each style and see which you prefer – let us know in the comments section below!

– If you are trying the 52 Cocktails house Caipirinha recipe, you can add more or less mint and more or less soda water, to taste. 52 Cocktails would usually add enough soda water to top up the glass.


Next, she made two Caipirinhas based on the recipe in The Craft of the Cocktail by the legendary Dale De Groff (Clarkson Potter, 2002), using brown sugar in one and rapadura (unrefined cane sugar with a caramelly flavour) in the other.


INGREDIENTS

6-8 mint leaves

1/2 lime, quartered

1 teaspoon brown/rapadura sugar

60ml cachaca

30ml soda water

GLASS

Old-fashioned

METHOD

Muddle the mint, lime and sugar in an old-fashioned glass. Add several ice cubes and the cachaca and stir until ice-cold. Top with soda water and serve.

NOTES

Dale De Groff’s recipe is quite different, but for the sake of the experiment 52 Cocktails had to make each drink using much the same ingredients and method. Dale’s recipe does not include mint or soda, and it uses brown sugar (not rapadura). His method is as follows:

Chill a rocks glass with cracked ice. Muddle the lime and syrup in a mixing glass and add the cachaca. Dump the ice from the rocks glass into the mixing glass and shake well. Pour the entire contents of the mixing glass into the rocks glass and serve.


Because this was turning into a scientific experiment that just happened to look like an excuse to drink three cocktails on a school night, the CEO labelled each drink using a very scientific method, ie by writing what type of sugar was in each drink on a rubber band and placing it around the relevant glass. “Genius!” she exclaimed. OK, OK, she might have had a few too taste tests along the way, but let’s not hold that against her.

When Baldilocks returned he found the three drinks lined up on the bench. First he tried the rapadura Caipirinha.

“Erk,” said Baldilocks eloquently. “Why is this so dry? Where’s the flavour I know and love?”

Next he tried the brown sugar Caipirinha.

“Ooh,” said Baldilocks. “It’s not as sweet as the house style Caipirinhas. But that allows the flavour of the cachaca to come through; that slightly petrol-y, slightly earthy, entirely delicious flavour. I like this one.”

Then he tried the house style Caipirinha.

“Oh!” said Baldilocks in shock. “I thought this would be my favourite, since it’s the one we always drink. But it’s so, SO sweet! It’s like drinking liquid lime icing! It’s delicious, but I can barely taste the cachaca and it makes my teeth hurt.”

He tried them all again before giving his final verdict.

“I like the brown sugar one best, though it could do with some more lime. It tastes like what a local would get in Brazil, whereas the house style one tastes like what the tourists would drink. The rapadura one is too dry and tastes sort of burnt.” He paused, thinking. “A drink that was in between the brown sugar one and the house Caipirinha would be really good,” he hinted subtly.

He tried them all again to be sure, even drinking the one he liked least, and then, not surprisingly, he need a little lie down. So he made his way into the bedroom – and in walked three bears. And not the kind from a fairy tale, either. Boy, was Baldilocks in for a surprise!

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