Wednesday, January 6, 2010

punky monkey

3 Cardamom Pods
1 oz Aged Rum (El Dorado 12 Year)
1 oz Bourbon, preferably overproof (George T. Stagg)
1/2 oz Agave Nectar
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Lightly muddle the cardamom. Add rest of ingredients plus ice, shake, and double strain into a coupe glass. Optional garnish of a cardamom shoot.

On Sunday night, it was time for cocktails and I decided to break out of my rut of making classic cocktails and opened up the Food & Wine: Cocktails 2009 book and found the Punky Monkey. The drink was in the section written by Joaquin Simo of Manhattan's Death & Company; the Punky Monkey is his Tiki-style cocktail and refers to his nickname for his fiancée when she is being a smartypants. As a further tribute, his inclusion of cardamom flavors reflects her love of Indian spices.
For an aged rum in this drink, I went with the first one that appeared in front of my eyes, El Dorado 12 Year, a delightful Demerara rum which ended up working rather well. As an afterthought, I remember our bottle of Zacapa 23 which would have added a lot of extra spice notes to the mix but happened to be further back on the shelf. For overproof Bourbon, the Stagg immediately came to mind instead of the Booker's which probably would have worked just as well. Between the pair of brown spirits, yellow juices, and red bitters, the drink ended up an attractive deep burnt orange color. Cardamom and pineapple notes wafted off the surface of the drink which only prepared the mouth for a fraction of the tastes to come. Sweet pineapple appeared on the first part of the sip, rich bourbon notes in the middle, and the cardamom and rum flavors at the very end. The cardamom ended up pairing up spectacularly well with our rum choice and it acted very much like cinnamon syrups do in more standard Tiki drinks.

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