How to be your own bartender during the lockdown

“Citrus fruits offer endless options to add flavour into cocktails. Whether that be from freshly-squeezed juice to add a zesty kick to your cocktails, or using the peel or slices as garnish. Your gin and tonic will taste delightful with a slice of pink grapefruit to bring out the flavours of its citrus heart,” says Evonne Eadie, Diageo Brand Ambassador (West) through electronic mail.

As our favorite watering holes stay out of attain during the lockdown, why not recreate a few of the indulgence at residence? Evonne has a lot of concepts for at-home bartending: restricted sources no bar.

“Another one of my favourite ways to use fruit as garnish is to dehydrate thin slices. Oranges and pineapples are perfect for this. Cut thin slices, place on a baking tray and pop in the oven on low heat for several hours. The fruit will get progressively dryer over time, so keep an eye on it,” she cautions.

Frozen delights

With summer time nearing its peak, the time is ideal for frozen cocktails. Evonne’s recommendation is to “Whip out your blender.” Her staple summer time fruits are mango or watermelon, a cup of which she blitzes with 120 ml dry gin, 50 ml lime juice, 50 ml sugar syrup and a cup of ice till clean.

Bartender Avinash Kapoli likes preserving it easy. While his Bacardi Homebar collection has been showcasing contemporary mixes on Instagram, his private preferences are restricted to the mojito and the shrub and soda.

“I usually make the ‘shrub’ with fresh fruits and store it in the fridge. For a simple style, I mix white or dark rum (60 ml) with the shrub (60 ml) in a tall glass with ice and top it with soda and stir it. My favourite variant is BACARDÍ Carta Blanca rum with a pineapple shrub and soda.”

Fruit peels for your night drink

  • Avinash Kapoli’s Oleo Saccharum recipe:
  • Once the fruits are absolutely squeezed, as a substitute of throwing away the peels, put them in a glass jar, add sugar (roughly half the amount of the peels), and muddle them utilizing a rolling pin or a muddler
  • Seal the lid, refrigerate for 24 hours, after which add heat water. Stir it till the sugar dissolves, pressure and retailer in a glass bottle in the fridge.
  • This may be used to make cocktails or a easy lemonade with soda, and even blended with black tea and ice to make al citrus iced tea.

A shrub, explains Avinash, is a relaxing method of “preserving fresh fruit juice such as watermelon, orange or pineapple, by adding natural preservatives such as sugar and apple cider vinegar. A standard measure is 10 parts freshly-squeezed juice, two parts sugar and one part apple cider vinegar.”

Another approach he suggests is Oleo Saccharum: “A mix the place the peels of citrus fruits like lemon, orange or mosambi, are muddled [lightly mashed] with sugar and refrigerated, to be utilized in cocktails or lemonades.”

Evonne recommends pre-batching, “The idea is that you make multiple serves of a cocktail in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer (depending on the cocktail). Stronger cocktails like the Old Fashioned and Martini are primarily spirit, so there is no need to worry about them going off.”

The secret to syrups

“Once you have mastered the ability to make a simple sugar syrup, you can mix it up with a number of flavours,” says Evonne. “The easiest is to substitute the water for flavoured tea. I love to use hibiscus tea (steeped for five minutes), which gives you a beautiful colour in your cocktails. Earl Grey, jasmine and chamomile also work.”

The commonplace sugar syrup is a one-to-one ratio: 200 gm sugar to 200 gm water, she says, , “But if you don’t have scales, simply use 1 cup to 1 cup. For the basic sugar syrup, combine white sugar and hot water in a mixing glass, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Store in the fridge.” This, she says, can be used over two weeks.

Avinash sends throughout an intriguing ginger honey syrup recipe: “Simmer 100 gm grated ginger in 200 ml water on a low flame for 10 minutes, add in 100 gm honey and simmer for another two minutes. Strain and cool it. Store in a glass bottle.”

The potentialities are many. As Evonne says, “Think of cocktails like liquid cooking. Taste or nose the base spirit and try to isolate the flavours. Then think of what flavours will work with that.”

How to be your own bartender during the lockdown

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