Wednesday, January 21, 2015

blue peter

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XCIII) was picked by Andrea of the Ginhound blog. The theme she chose was "Blue" which seemed like a fun lead-in to drinks that could break up the winter doldrums and be a good foreword to February's Tiki month celebrated by the Pegu Blog and others. Andrea elaborated on the concept by describing, "January needs a bit of color -- or perhaps the month after all the holiday mania makes you Either way this month' Mixology Monday is a chance to live those emotions out. You can dazzle us with a brilliant blue drink or you can share that blue feeling with a melancholic drink. Blue has been predicted as a new cocktail trend several times in recent years... But any mixer of blue drinks is faced with a bit of a dilemma as there is nothing 'natural' about E133 -- the most common of blue food colors: Do I really want to mix chemicals into my prefect mixture of fresh juices and good booze? Feel free to interpret blue as freely as you wish -- if natural is the way you want to go blueberries, violets, cornflower or red cabbage could be good ingredients to work with."
According to this history of blue curaçao, the origins are a little confusing but many point to Bols who created their version in the 1920s while others point to Senior Curaçao of Curaçao. Both still produce their formulations today. While liqueurs have had artificial colorants for quite a while, the blue cordial trend seemed to gain steam along with pre-bottled sour mixes and the like. True, these liqueurs are fake in color, but real in the fun and frivolity that they can deliver. Instead of taking the Tiki route with something festive like the Blue Hawaiian or the Blue Marlin, I opted to take blue drinks to the earliest roots that I know of in the cocktail world, namely, 1937's Café Royal Cocktail Book. While I have made a few blue drinks (and one green one, the Green Line using blue food coloring and other ingredients) from that book, it was still easy to find something new and intriguing.
Blue Peter
• 1/4 Blue Curaçao (1 oz clear Senior Curaçao + 1 drop blue food coloring)
• 1/4 Booth's Gin (1 oz Hayman's Royal Dock)
• 1/4 Lillet (1 oz Cocchi Americano)
• 1/4 Orange Juice (1 oz Cara Cara)
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added an orange twist.
The one that caught my eye was the Blue Peter that lay somewhere between a Corpse Reviver #2 and an Abbey Cocktail. The recipe was attributed to G. Munro who also crafted the Dee Don and Georgia drinks sans any blueness. Once mixed, the Blue Peter shared an orange and juniper aroma. The sip offered a complex orange flavor on top of the wine from the Cocchi Americano, and the swallow continued on with bitter orange notes as well as the gin botanicals. I opted for navy strength gin to dry out the drink since there was no lemon juice or bitters in the mix; perhaps a more juniper-forward gin might have done better here though for my palate to donate some additional herbal complexity. Dagreb commented on my Instagram post that he is suspicious of any time orange juice and orange liqueur are combined. I definitely agree, and the idea made me think that maybe I should have used tart Seville oranges with their lemon-like acidity that Stephen Shellenberger introduced me to.

Also, go see my companion post on the MocktailVirgin blog with a riff of the Blue Lady dubbed the Blue Girl from the same Café Royal Cocktail Book.

So thank you to Andrea 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!

1 comment:

Dagreb said...

Mentioned by name in your post? *blushing*