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Jun 16, 2014


While we're on the subject...

Basil flowers from my garden.

After purchasing and posting pictures of those first beautiful strawberries last week, I ended up playing an impromptu recipe building game over twitter with a fellow drink mixer (nerd alert). We were definitely on the same wavelength as to what should go into this imaginary drink. It wasn't a particularly trendy idea, or overtly popular, so why did we both have the same thoughts on what should go in this drink?

In the kitchen, it's well known that there are flavour combinations that persist through time and across cultures. Balancing the basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter & umami) by using specific ingredients. An amazing book written by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, Culinary Artistry is an invaluable reference tool for understanding and working with flavour. One of the ways I bridge the gap between the bar and the kitchen of is to utilize these flavour pairings in drinks the same way a chef would use them in a dish.

This weeks drink uses one of these combinations, strawberries, black pepper and basil. It's not hard to imagine these ingredients in a salad with some balsamic vinegar, here they're expressed through a lively summer cocktail using tequila.

Tres Amigos
2 oz Avion Reposado Tequila
1 oz fresh strawberry puree
3/4 oz honey syrup
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
3-4 dashes black pepper bitters
3 fresh basil leaves
pinch sea salt

In a small bowl, muddle 1/4 C chopped strawberries and sea salt, strain through fine mesh. Measure off 1 oz.  In a small jar mix equal parts honey and warm water, shake to combine (this honey syrup will last, try mixing 1/2 C each and storing the rest) measure off 3/4 oz. In a shaker combine all ingredients, fill 3/4 with ice, shake vigorously for 30 seconds, double strain into chilled glass, garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Tres Amigos
I admit this weeks drink is a level 2. I does require a few extra steps but it's worth it. It will also give you a chance to use skills from the kitchen and apply them to making a drink. If you don't have black pepper bitters, just use some fresh cracked black pepper.
Use the tequila you like best or that is already on your shelf, each one will give the drink a unique twist.

Big thank you to @KreavtivMixology for this weeks inspiration.

Do you have a favorite flavour combination? Share it with us!

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