Tuesday, March 8, 2011

tangerine pisco

2 oz Capel Pisco
1 oz Tangerine Juice
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Garam Masala Simple Syrup (*)
1 Egg White

Dry shake the citrus, syrup, and egg white. Add ice and pisco, shake, and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish the egg white froth with a dash of Peychaud's Bitters. All volumes are approximates.
(*) For a good starting point, see the recipe for Five Spice Simple Syrup.

Last Wednesday after stopping in at Clio, I headed across the Back Bay to meet Andrea at Aquitaine in the South End. The drink I was tempted by on the menu was the Tangerine Pisco which seemed like an interesting Pisco Sour variation, so I asked bartender Nathan to make me one. The drink switched the citrus from the classic lime to tangerine with a little lemon to supplement the crispness that tangerine is lacking; after having the Luigi a few weeks back, I was eager to squeeze in another tangerine drink before the season ended. The other twist was instead of using simple syrup, the recipe called for Garam Masala syrup. Garam Masala is frequently used in Indian and other South Asian cooking and translates to "hot spice mix"; although there is great variation in Garam Masala mix recipes, many contain cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, coriander, and pepper corns.
The drink greeted my nose with the scent of the tangerine juice and the Peychaud's Bitter's anise. Next, a slightly crisp tangerine sip was chased by the pisco brandy and Garam Masala on the swallow. What really tied the drink together beside the smoothness of the egg white was how well the spices in the Garam Masala syrup complemented the tangerine flavor. The Tangerine Pisco made for a solid Pisco Sour variation akin to Trina's Starlite Lounge's Alfa Sour and Ben Sandrof's Pisco Punch-Pisco Sour hybrid.

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