Friday, April 8, 2011

Leblon Cocktail Competition and the Inspector Espinosa

I had a lot of fun competing at the Leblon Cocktail Competition recently, and I was fortunate enough to take home 1st place!  Thanks to everyone who came out to support me and the WCYC.  The whole day was a blast:  we started the afternoon off by coming up with the name, and then I began my recipe development and put together a fun little back-story to accompany the drink.  Then it was off to the event to shake it up with 12 talented bartenders from the East Bay.  Fun night indeed!

Inspector Espinosa
This cocktail is named after Brazilian mystery writer Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza's star character, the intrepid Inspector Espinosa.  

Inspector Espinosa was born and raised in Rio.  He became a police detective, dedicated to solving mysterious crimes throughout Rio.  His time is spent walking, eating, drinking and solving crimes in the neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon.

Just as Inspector Espinosa uses several methods to combine various clues into ultimately solving the crimes, we have combined various techniques and ingredients to craft our cocktail named in his honor. 

As Leblon spends some time resting in Cognac barrels, we thought the addition of a nice VSOP to the mix was just.  The tropical flavors of our house-made pineapple syrup and fresh lime juice are mixed in, along with a touch of St. Liz Allspice Dram (allspice being a popular flavor used in Pan American cuisine).  Egg white is added in to create a light and silky texture, with grapefruit oil and vanilla bitters concluding the mystery of the Inspector Espinosa cocktail.

1 1/2 oz. Leblon Cachaca
1/2 oz. VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1.5 oz. Home-Made pineapple syrup*
1 bar spoon of St. Liz Allspice Dram
1/2 oz. Egg White
Dry shake for 30 seconds
Add ice
Shake well with ice
Express the oil from 2 large grapefruit peels into an empty, chilled cocktail glass so that the oil coats the chilled glass
Strain finished cocktail into the cocktail glass
Garnish with a stenciled question mark on top of the foam, using home-made vanilla bitters

*The pineapple syrup is made with fresh, cubed pineapple chunks and is a 2 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio (that's why we're using a little more syrup here than we'd normally use for a sugar syrup in a cocktail)

Sip, savor, and enjoy life.  The crime has been solved my friends.

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