Monday, October 15, 2012

MxMo LXVI: Bein' Green - Verdant Hope


To complete my trilogy of posts for the "Bein' Green" themed Mixology Monday I'm hosting, here's a second green cocktail. This one has evolved significantly over time as I've played with it, but it's inspiration came from a cocktail incorporating lovage I had at the (now closed) Compose. The muddled lovage gives the cocktail a slight savory character; if you are unfamiliar with lovage a comparison to celery will get you in the ballpark, though lovage has both a more subtle celery component and a wider herbaceous flavor profile.

Inspiration struck when I was making one of the lovage cocktails and I noticed a bowl of fresh hops I had harvested from the vines that I had planted last season (see pic to left), which have taken quite well to their environs. Before muddling the lovage, I tossed a couple hop cones in to muddle as well. Since they were added fresh at the end (as opposed to being boiled for hours while brewing beer), the hops added some bitterness, but their biggest contribution was to add a lovely floral aroma to the cocktail.


I figured if muddling added a subtle enhancement to the cocktail, what if we went further and infused the spirit (here aged genever) with the fresh hops:
I added the genever to several handfuls of hop cones and let them sit, tasting occasionally until I felt a good balance was struck. After 7 or 8 hours, the hops had imbued the genever with a pronounced aroma reminiscent of a strong IPA and a present but not overwhelming bitterness. So I strained and bottled, and shortly thereafter tried it in this cocktail. Before trying the infusing tactic, I simply muddled the fresh hops and supplemented with Colonial Bitters, which themselves have both a bitter and a floral component, but when using the hops infusion the hops themselves added enough of both that the bitters are best skipped.
Verdant Hope
Muddle hops and lovage with other ingredients, stir with ice and double strain into glass of choice (DOF usually, but I got fancy for this one); garnish with fresh hop cone and lovage sprig.

I've been pleased with my earlier attempts to mix hops and genever, and I find that the genever's malt and the hops are happy together this time around as well. The genever is the backbone, the hops (and/or bitters) lend bitterness and aroma, the lovage add herbal notes and a slight savoriness, whilst the maraschino and Curaçao add background fruit notes, as well as body with their sugar content. I tend to prefer my cocktails on the drier side, which is why I oft reach for the dry Curaçao, but if you don't mind a slightly sweeter profile another triple sec like Cointreau should work.

The reflection of the trees in this shot remind of a tranquil, albeit quite green, lake.

UPDATE: I've finished the roundup post, check out all 37 contributors there; we got some great drinks!

2 comments:

  1. The color in that glass is gorgeous, man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I think the Lovage was especially green and juicy this time, a bit more than usual. Perhaps it was showing off for MxMo!

      Delete