Sunday, July 27, 2014

cocoa puff smash

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LXXXVII) was picked by Stacy of the Stacy Markow blog. The theme she chose was "The Smash" which seemed perfect for the herb and fruit-laden summer. Stacy elaborated on the concept by describing, "...The Smash, those ice-laden, refreshing concoctions designed to celebrate my favorite things about life: stiff drinks and warm weather. It's no surprise that in 1862 Jerry Thomas was the first to declare that "the Smash is simply a julep on a small plan." The drink originally gets its name from the way mint was smashed up in the shaking process. Fast forward twenty-five or so years later to 1888 and barman Harry Johnson addresses the Smash as a separate cocktail from the julep entirely and expands the components to include "fruits in season." What little was originally written about the Smash can lead most to believe it wasn't a terribly popular beverage, but that couldn't be further from the truth... The basic elements of the drink have remained the same over the years: they always include a spirit base, ice, fresh herbs (most popular is mint), sugar, seasonal fruit, and a little bit of water. Let's get ultra creative, smash things, and then drown them in alcohol and ice."

While I have made a fair share of Whiskey Smashes, I wanted to move to some less charted territory. I did consider the Meletti Smash that I made for a regular guest who rather adores the amaro neat. And I guess that I could have used the Pugilist that I wrote about on Friday. However, I was drawn to one of the brunch cocktails at work created by Sam Gabrielli. In Russell House Tavern's section of cereal cocktails next to the Applejacks Rose on the brunch menu is the rather delicious Cocoa Puff Smash. The beauty of this drink is that it pairs something better than peanut butter with chocolate -- that being Green Chartreuse! Originally, the drink was being done with Cocoa Puff-infused Green Chartreuse, but during a busy brunch shift, it was learned out of necessity that à la minute cereal muddling worked almost as well. From there on out, the drink has been done that way to reduce the amount of bottles we carry and bar reagents we need to prep.
Cocoa Puff Smash
• 2 oz Cocoa Puff-infused Green Chartreuse (*)
• 1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
• 3 wedge Lemon
• 6-8 leaf Mint
Muddle lemon wedges and mint leaves. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a rocks glass. Fill with crushed ice, garnish with mint sprigs and a few Cocoa Puffs, and add straws.
(*) See infusion instructions below. Alternatively, muddle two dozen Cocoa Puffs à la minute with the lemon and mint.

Cocoa Puff-infused Green Chartreuse
• 750 mL Green Chartreuse
• 4 oz Cocoa Puffs
Crush cocoa puffs and add to the Chartreuse. Mix vigorously, let stand for at least 1 hour, strain, bottle, and refrigerate.
Once prepared, the Smash offered a mint and chocolate aroma from the garnishes, and the lemony sip shared a malty richness. Next, the swallow was rather herbal with a chocolate finish. The Chartreuse notes were more rounded and less distinct than expected, but the mint was undeterred and carried from the beginning to the end of the swallow. With two ounces of 110 proof spirit not to mention the crème de cacao, this is quite the way to face the day!
So thank you to Stacy for picking the theme and running this month's show, and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the shakers shaking and the spirit of the event alive!

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