Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chamomile and Coconut

After enjoying a few Bees Knees cocktails (2 oz. gin, 3/4 honey syrup, 3/4 oz. lemon juice, shaken with ice and served up in a chilled cocktail glass) I began playing around with those same ratios, but subbing ingredients.  Just another case of experimenting and playing with new & different flavor combinations.  I made a very basic coconut simple syrup on the stove using shredded coconut, sugar and water.  Instead of gin, I used Novo Fogo Cachaca, but I think a mixable Rhum Agricole, perhaps a brand like Batiste, could work just as well.  I mixed these with lemon juice, and a tasty new cocktail was born.  I wanted to add another layer of flavor to the mix, but was trying to keep the cocktail at 3 ingredients.  So I heated up my coconut simple syrup, added two chamomile tea bags to it, and let it steep for about 10 minutes.  Chamomile and Coconut?  I remembered eating a chamomile/coconut pana cotta years ago, and those flavors worked quite well together in that dessert.  Would it work in a crisp, citrus-driven cocktail?  It works!  Enjoyable?  Very much so, but probably not a "mass appeal" cocktail, but you never know.  The funky, floral, and grassy notes in Cachaca paired nicely with the chamomile.  The fresh sugarcane notes present in the Cachaca works in harmony with coconut, creating a new, unique flavor profile.  A healthy dose of fresh lemon juice adds the needed acidity, lending balance and crispness to the drink. 

I'm also playing around with a chai-coconut syrup, mixed into a cocktail with bourbon!

Chamomile & Coconut
glass - chilled coupe
method - shake and fine-strain
garnish - lemon wheel

1.5 oz. Cachaca or Rhum Agricole Blanc*
.75oz. - 1 oz. coconut/chamomile syrup**
.75 oz. fresh lemon juice***
Shake with ice
Fine-strain into chilled coupe glass
Garnish with the lemon wheel & serve
Sip, savor, repeat

* 2 ounces of Cachaca dominated the cocktail and threw off its balance, while 1.5 ounces worked out much better

**I prefer .75 oz of syrup, but 1 oz. of syrup might be preferred.  It's easy enough to adjust the sour-to-sweet balance of this drink based on your guests taste preferences

***I haven't tried it, but I'm curious how this tastes with lime juice instead of lemon


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