Friday, May 13, 2011

tamarind whiskey sour

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Bulleit)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Tamarind Purée mixed with 1/2 oz Hot Water 1 tsp Tamarind Concentrate mixed with 1/3 oz Hot Water
1/2 oz Rich (2:1) Simple Syrup 1 oz Jaggery Syrup (1:1)

Shake with ice and strain into a Double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

After the Duke on Wednesday, I was still in the mood for another drink. Therefore, I picked up our new Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 and decided on the Tamarind Whiskey Sour. The Sour was created by Andy Ricker, and the drink must work splendidly with the cuisine at Pok Pok, the Thai restaurant in Portland, Oregon, especially since Andy works in the kitchen there as an award-winning chef. Since I did not have any tamarind purée, I used tamarind concentrate which can be found in most Indian supermarkets. As the stuff is really potent, I figured that it definitely needed to be scaled back a bit to equate to the purée. Another possibility was to make my own tamarind paste out of dried tamarind blocks like we did for the Pattaya Punch; however, the concentrate required no additional prep time and thus won out. Another change I made was in the sweetener. While I could have used rich simple syrup, I was anxious to try the jaggery syrup I had just made and reduced the amount of water in the recipe accordingly. Jaggery is a traditional Asian, African, Caribbean, and Latin American unrefined sugar made from either sugar cane or palm tree. Beside sugars, jaggery also contains minerals, protein, and whatever else would be in nonrefined sugar cane pressings or palm tree sap, and the result is a dark, rich, and flavorful product that reminds me a little of molasses and maple syrup when dissolved. Jaggery syrup might be closer to what they use at Pok Pok than the rich simple syrup in the book; one Portland blog claims that they use palm sugar syrup to make this drink. In addition, this substitution was one that David Wondrich would most likely smile upon (Wondrich discusses jaggery in his Punch book).
The Tamarind Whiskey Sour provided a dark Bourbon aroma. The sip was a complex tart fruit flavor from the lime pairing with the tamarind, and the tamarind continued on in the swallow where its zing, jaggery's funkiness, and the Bourbon's heat and barrel notes rounded out the drink. Indeed, the tamarind added a level of tart complexity to the drink that cannot be achieved with citric acid-based juices alone. Moreover, I could definitely see this drink pairing elegantly with either Thai or Indian food beside being enjoyed on its own as a delicious Sour.


Corey Taché said...

Terrific drink.
Quick note: Ricker is the chef, not the bartender. He won a Beard award a couple days ago for best chef NW.

frederic said...

Fixed. Thank you for the 4-1-1!

ritty said...

Wondrich convinced me to buy jaggery for punch. I'm SO glad to have another use for it! I made your drink with hot liquids, creating a winter warmer. It was quite pleasing.