Tiki month is here, so it is the same procedure as every February! This means that I of course, have special drinks in stall for you. Now you might expect a conglomerate of various rum and exotic ingredients. However, who says that Tiki drinks have to contain rum at all? So, this year I decided to present Tiki cocktails to you that do not contain rum at all. Let’s start with the Chains Of Love, a colourful combination of mango and smoke!
Some of my readers who are interested in the culinary arts, might already be familiar with the Foodpairing website. Basically, they analyse ingredients and list others with chemically similar components. I cannot really tell you why until now I did not use Foodpairing more often for my cocktail creations. Maybe, because I already was using the Flavour Bible or because the number of ingredients for the free account was too low earlier. Nevertheless, for my Tiki drink creations I am going to take a break from presenting spirits to you and solely concentrate on the drink itself.
So, what is the Chains Of Love all about?
As already mentioned, I used the Foodpairing service to search for matching ingredients. Interestingly, I did not start of with the base spirit, but instead built the drink around the dry vermouth. Another small drawback of the free Foodpairing account is that you sometimes have to take the things listed as matches figuratively. Some ingredients are not available at all and others are only sponsored ingredients, which sometimes you should replace with higher quality spirits. In this case, one suggestion for a match was a famous Greek “brandy”, but instead I decided to use a higher quality Spanish brandy. The rest of the ingredients just kind of fell into place and after settling on the amounts to use I took the first shot at mixing the drink.
Where the hell is my drink?!
Usually, I more or less spent enough time thinking about the proportions and preparation of the drink, that I get an acceptable result the first time of mixing the cocktail. However, this time I did not take into account the consistency of the fresh fruit in the recipe. On my first try, I just added some chunks of freshly sliced mango to the shaker and shook the bejesus out of it. When it came to straining the drink I used my usual Wuesthoff strainer in combination with a tea sieve. This meant that at first almost nothing came trough. The two strainers very effectively held back the ice… and everything else… After using just one strainer I still did not manage to get enough liquid out of the shaker to really fill the glass. This is why I decided to revisit the proportions of the drink and to purée the mango before shaking. As you can see in the picture above I managed to finally fill the glass by adding more brandy to the cocktail. After all, a real Tiki drink has to be powerful!
3 cl Belsazar Vermouth Dry
1 oz Belsazar Vermouth Dry
Spray Pierde Almas Espadin Mezcal
Purée mango – add cranberries and let soak in brandy for 5 min – shake – spray chilled marmalade glass with Mezcal – strain through Julep strainer – again spray Mezcal on top of the drink;
*Infuse the brandy for 5 min in 2 Bsp. black Assam tea
Garnish: Twist Of mango peel – short straw
Song: The Arcs – Chains Of Love
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Naturally, the first thing you will smell and taste is the smokiness of the Mezcal. Apart from that, the drink’s main aromas are brandy and mango, which also adds a nice mouth feel to the cocktail. If you manage to find a really ripe one the mango will give the drink acidity and sweetness at the same time. However, if your mango is not sweet enough, just add a few barspoons of simple syrup. Of course, the other ingredients are also noticeable in the drink, but they linger somewhere in the back. The black tea adds a certain level of bitterness, while the dry vermouth gives the drink a herbal and also fruity note. Finally, you have to concentrate very hard to notice the cranberries. Yet, if you leave them out the drink would miss something and be less complex. All in all, I am more than happy with this drink and it really shows that you do not really need rum to create a exotic tasting experience! Let me know what your favourite Tiki drink without rum is!