Tuesday, June 13, 2017

dandelion martini

2 oz St George Botanivore Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/4 oz Brine made out of lactic fermented dandelion greens and lemon peel (*)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
(*) A 5% salt solution, a few slices of lemon, a few dandelion flowers to brighten things up, and packed full of dandelion greens. Perhaps a lactic bacteria culture was added from a previous ferment, or perhaps this utilized native flora.

Two Tuesdays ago, I stopped in early to visit guest bartender Zach Luther at Backbar; besides having returned from a bartending stint in Southeast Asia, Zach is currently bartending at Flatiron in Manhattan and has known Backbar bar manager Carlo Caroscio from childhood. Zach's menu was described as "a comprehensive study of alternative acids and umami in cocktails," and the one I started with was the Dandelion Martini subtitled "an easy drinking Dirty Martini" for the lactic ferment brine aspect reminded me of Loyal Nine's Dirty Tini that utilizes sauerkraut brine. Given Zach's recipe structure, other lactic fermented flavored brines such as herb-infused ones could substitute well here.
The Dandelion Martini shared a lemon oil and grassy bouquet to the nose. Next, the sweet white grape sip shared a greenness from the dandelion and a creaminess from the lactic component. Finally, the swallow began with juniper and lemon and ended with a floral, herbal, and spiced finish.

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