Friday, May 4, 2012

Fermented Cocktails: The Good & Plenty

There's a lot of preservation in my house right now. Finding various cool and dark spots to store jars of lemons, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower stems and the like to allow lactobacillus to work it's magic. That magic results in a complex, yet simple, fermentation process where a quick pickle or marination has no match. Complex in it's science, simple in it's preparation. I'll hopefully get into more detail on preserved vegetables and fermentation in a future post.

Though the star of fermentation is the vegetable, the workhorse and liaison is the brine or juice in which it  sits. It's a great salty addition to braised greens or in a vinaigrette. And, of course, to re-use for your next batch of preserved such and such.

 Salt and/or vinegar can play a subtle yet effective role in a cocktail. Which led me to the idea of using the fermentation brine.

The following was mixed in a cocktail shaker and served up:

red cabbage sauerkraut brine
simple syrup
Absolut vodka

First of all, it tasted exactly like a Good & Plenty. Unfortunately, I don't like Good & Plenty's, so I had a negative bias towards this drink. The most fascinating thing about it though, was the texture. It had a more viscous texture that I really enjoyed. Now, I only tried this cocktail served up, so I wonder how the dilution of ice would react with the viscosity. It might cut it back for better balance.

Also, it came out cloudier than I'd like. I worry if the brine could be clarified that it'll lose that beautiful purple hue.

All in all, fermented cocktail is not the correct term for this, as that alludes to the whole beverage being fermented (another interesting idea, on the heels of barrel-aging) but I don't know what else to call it.

So there.

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