Thursday, May 19, 2011

cynar julep

1 oz Cynar
1 oz Matusalem Classico Rum (Don Q Añejo)
1/4 oz Rich 2:1 Demerara Syrup (1/2 oz Jaggery Syrup 1:1)

Add ingredients to a Julep cup filled with crushed ice. Stir until frost forms on the outside. Garnish with enough mint to cover the top. Perhaps so much mint that adding a straw becomes a good idea.

Recently, our mint patch had returned and grown back enough to allow some light harvesting. One of the mint drinks that I had been saving up (I was refusing to buy mint in the off season) until last Friday was the Cynar Julep from the Rogue Beta Cocktails book. The drink was created by Brad Bolt who is now at Chicago's Bar DeVille after spending some time at the Violet Hour. Unlike most Juleps (save for the classic but unusual Pineapple Julep which is mintless), the mint here is purely aromatic and not incorporated into the liquid part of the drink. Instead, the drink relies on the Cynar liqueur to donate that herbal taste element and supplements it with a minty scent.
The mint bouquet did not let down my expectations and the long wait to be reacquainted with my garden friend was over; I believe the last recorded garden mint drink we had was the Dead Reckoning at the end of November. Next, a caramel rich sip contained an almost coffee-like flavor perhaps from a combination of the aged rum, Cynar, and jaggery syrup. The Cynar though came through most on the swallow where it provided an herbal note that could be considered mint-like in theory. Our lead-off Julep from last season, the Platonic Julep, was equally as unique and tasty with its sherry and yellow Chartreuse flavors.


Anonymous said...

Is your avoidance of mint in the off-season a cost issue or a locavore one? Just curious - out West here, we've got different produce in season at different times, but the growing season is continuous. That, and I can generally find very low cost mint in the Chinatown produce markets year-round. Have you tried Chinatown in Boston?

frederic said...

It's a stubbornness issue. For 7 months of the year, we have plenty of mint. It's often picked 5 minutes before it ends up in a drink and is rather healthy and fresh. It allows for spontaneity since I just have to go outside.

Paying for a bundle of mint and having most of it go bad before we use it again, or having it not even look that great when we buy it is always an option. I just choose to forgo for 5 months of the year. I guess it's a locavore issue since having access to good mint gets you picky or spoiled.

Others have told me to take in a plant or two for the winter but we don't have that many cat-safe areas that get good sun. I am okay with seasonality, I guess. Those 5 months can be filled with hot toddies, tom & jerrys, and the like.

bagchatter said...

This drink "sings" when you use Lemon Hart 151 instead of the Matusalem.

frederic said...

Keep that in mind when LH 151 returns. Right now we can only do LH 80 (or ED 151).