El Restaurante Mexicano May/June 2011 : Page 15

at the bar MUDDLING MANIA Muddled Ingredients = Fresh Profi ts A BY ROBERT PLOTKIN can better tolerate the bitter component so enthusiastic muddling is encouraged. Maximizing The Muddled Difference The Mojito is likely the fi rst drink most bartenders encounter that requires muddling, a process essential to recreat-ing the cocktail’s true character and depth of fl avor. The fl at of the muddler is used to gently compress the mint leaves to release their fl avor-laden es-sential oils. The lime wedges are lightly crushed to express the fresh juice while not bruising the bitter white pith. Drinks such as the Old Fashioned, trace of fl otsam makes its way into the fi nished cocktail. Muddling is altering the contempo-rary landscape. The Sangre de Fresa is an award-winning Margarita found at Amaranta Cocina Mexicana in Canoga Park, Calif. The cocktail is concocted on a base of muddled strawberries, basil leaves and balsamic syrup, an in-house product consisting of balsamic vinegar and a small amount of sugar reduced to a syrupy consistency. Coin-treau and premium tequila round out the cast of ingredients. The Blue Velvet in downtown Los Angeles has developed a following for their Market Martinis, which feature fresh ingredients sourced from the local farmers’ market. Among the restaurant’s repertoire is the Kumquat Marmalade Martini. Fortifi ed with Absolut Man-darin and Cointreau, the drink is made with muddled kumquats, vanilla bean, cinnamon, honey, Champagne vinegar, and freshly squeezed orange juice. And then there’s the Adult Film Starr, a delectable little number star-ring nightly at Manhattan’s highly celebrated Pegu Club. The cocktail is a blend of Starr African Rum, Licor 43, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and cucumbers slices muddled together in a shaker, then strained over cracked ice in a double rocks glass. Finished with a cucumber slice and sprinkle of nutmeg, the drink is a work of art. t a time when success is often determined one drink at a time, mixologists are increasingly reaching for the muddler to elevate cocktails to fresh new heights. Muddling does for a cocktail what high defi nition does for television. In both instances the result is crisper, more brilliant, and yields a more plea-surable experience. Drinks prepared with muddled ingredients typically possess supple, satiny-textured bodies, generous bouquets, and palates imbued with enticing, tree-ripened fl avors. The technique also expands the “The Mojito is likely the fi rst drink most bartenders encounter that requires muddling, a process essential to recreating the cocktail’s true character and depth of fl avor.” products bartenders can use in cock-tails. With muddling, they can use ingredients ranging from ginger, cucumbers and peppers, to basil, mint and every type of fresh fruit imaginable. Factor in how it enhances production value and you’ll begin to appreciate why muddling has become a signifi cant beverage trend. While seemingly no more involved than smashing fruit, muddling does re-quire some technique. When muddling citrus, there are some drinks in which it would be best to only lightly muddle the fruit so as not to release too much of the pith’s bitterness. Other drinks, especially those calling for added sugar, Caipirinha and Mojito are traditionally prepared directly in the glass in which they’re presented. The muddled mé-lange enhances their appearance, and is seen as a sign of quality. Today’s top-notch bartenders have rendered the status quo passé by outfi tting their bars with handled tea strainers, which opened the creative fl oodgates. Mixologists now craft cocktails by muddling fresh products directly in shakers rather than the tra-ditional service glass. After vigorously shaking the contents—ice, muddled fruit and all—they pour the frothing cocktail through the fi ne mesh strainer en route to the chilled glass. Not a may • june 2011 15

At The Bar-Muddling Mania

Robert Plotkin

MUDDLING MANIA Muddled Ingredients = Fresh Profits<br /> <br /> At a time when success is often determined one drink at a time, mixologists are increasingly reaching for the muddler to elevate cocktails to fresh new heights.<br /> <br /> Muddling does for a cocktail what high definition does for television. In both instances the result is crisper, more brilliant, and yields a more pleasurable experience. Drinks prepared with muddled ingredients typically possess supple, satiny-textured bodies, generous bouquets, and palates imbued with enticing, tree-ripened flavors.<br /> <br /> The technique also expands the Products bartenders can use in cocktails. With muddling, they can use ingredients ranging from ginger, cucumbers and peppers, to basil, mint and every type of fresh fruit imaginable. Factor in how it enhances production value and you’ll begin to appreciate why muddling has become a significant beverage trend.<br /> <br /> While seemingly no more involved than smashing fruit, muddling does require some technique. When muddling citrus, there are some drinks in which it would be best to only lightly muddle the fruit so as not to release too much of the pith’s bitterness. Other drinks, especially those calling for added sugar, Can better tolerate the bitter component so enthusiastic muddling is encouraged.<br /> <br /> Maximizing The Muddled Difference<br /> <br /> The Mojito is likely the first drink most bartenders encounter that requires muddling, a process essential to recreating the cocktail’s true character and depth of flavor. The flat of the muddler is used to gently compress the mint leaves to release their flavor-laden essential oils. The lime wedges are lightly crushed to express the fresh juice while not bruising the bitter white pith.<br /> <br /> Drinks such as the Old Fashioned, Caipirinha and Mojito are traditionally prepared directly in the glass in which they’re presented. The muddled mélange enhances their appearance, and is seen as a sign of quality.<br /> <br /> Today’s top-notch bartenders have rendered the status quo passé by outfitting their bars with handled tea strainers, which opened the creative floodgates. Mixologists now craft cocktails by muddling fresh products directly in shakers rather than the traditional service glass. After vigorously shaking the contents—ice, muddled fruit and all—they pour the frothing cocktail through the fine mesh strainer en route to the chilled glass. Not a Trace of flotsam makes its way into the finished cocktail. <br /> <br /> Muddling is altering the contemporary landscape. The Sangre de Fresa is an award-winning Margarita found at Amaranta Cocina Mexicana in Canoga Park, Calif. The cocktail is concocted on a base of muddled strawberries, basil leaves and balsamic syrup, an inhouse product consisting of balsamic vinegar and a small amount of sugar reduced to a syrupy consistency. Cointreau and premium tequila round out the cast of ingredients. <br /> <br /> The Blue Velvet in downtown Los Angeles has developed a following for their Market Martinis, which feature fresh ingredients sourced from the local farmers’ market. Among the restaurant’s repertoire is the Kumquat Marmalade Martini. Fortified with Absolut Mandarin and Cointreau, the drink is made with muddled kumquats, vanilla bean, cinnamon, honey, Champagne vinegar, and freshly squeezed orange juice. <br /> <br /> And then there’s the Adult Film Starr, a delectable little number starring nightly at Manhattan’s highly celebrated Pegu Club. The cocktail is a blend of Starr African Rum, Licor 43, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and cucumbers slices muddled together in a shaker, then strained over cracked ice in a double rocks glass. Finished with a cucumber slice and sprinkle of nutmeg, the drink is a work of art. <br /> <br /> MACHACAMANÍA Ingredientes machacados = Beneficios frescos <br /> <br /> En momentos en los que el éxito se determina con cada bebida servida, los maestros cocteleros acuden cada vez más al machacador para elevar sus cócteles a nuevos niveles de frescura.<br /> <br /> Añadir ingredientes machacados es para un cóctel lo que la alta defi nición es para la televisión. En ambos casos el resultado es más nítido y brillante, y supone una experiencia más placentera. Las bebidas preparadas con ingredientes machacados tienen un cuerpo refi nado de textura satinada, aroma generoso y el tentador sabor de los frutos maduros del árbol.<br /> <br /> Esta técnica también aumenta el tipo de productos que se puede usar en los cócteles. Se pueden usar como ingredientes machacados productos como el jengibre, el pepino y los pimientos, la albahaca, la menta y cualquier tipo imaginable de fruta fresca. Si se tiene en cuenta que esta técnica destaca el valor de producción, pronto se dará cuenta por qué los ingredientes machacados se han puesto de moda en las bebidas.<br /> <br /> Aunque aparentemente sólo se trate de triturar fruta, el uso de ingredientes machacados requiere cierta técnica. <br /> <br /> Cuando se machacan cítricos, hay algunas bebidas en las que conviene machacarlos sólo ligeramente para que no liberen un exceso de acidez de su esencia. Otras bebidas, especialmente aquellas en las que se añade azúcar, toleran mejor el elemento ácido, por lo tanto es recomendable machacarlos con entusiasmo. <br /> <br /> Maximice La Diferencia De Los Ingredientes Machacados<br /> <br /> El mojito es probablemente lo primero en lo que se piensa cuando se habla de bebidas que requieren ingredientes machacados, y en este caso es un proceso que resulta esencial para recrear el carácter auténtico y el prolongado sabor de este cóctel. La parte plana del machacador se usa para comprimir ligeramente las hojas de menta para que liberen su aceite esencial lleno de sabor. Los trozos de lima se machacan ligeramente para que suelten el jugo fresco, pero sin magullar la médula blanca más ácida. <br /> <br /> Bebidas como los Old Fashioned, las Caipirinhas y los Mojitos se preparan normalmente en el vaso en el que se sirven. La mezcla machacada resalta su apariencia y el cliente lo percibe como una señal de calidad.<br /> <br /> En la actualidad, los expertos en cócteles han evolucionado equipando las barras de sus bares con coladores de té, lo cual ha abierto las puertas de la creatividad. Los expertos en cócteles ahora hacen sus bebidas machacando productos frescos directamente en las cocteleras, en lugar de hacerlo en el vaso de servicio tradicional. Después de sacudirlo vigorosamente —hielo, fruta machacada y todo— pasan el espumoso cóctel a través del fi no tamiz del colador antes de ponerlo en un vaso helado. Ni Un trozo de la mezcla llega al cóctel fi nal. <br /> <br /> El uso de ingredientes machacados está alterando el paisaje contemporáneo. La Sangre de Fresa es una galardonada Margarita que se sirve en el Amaranta Cocina Mexicana de Canoga Park, California. El cóctel se formula sobre una base machacada de fresas, hojas de albahaca y sirope balsámico, un producto de la casa compuesto de vinagre balsámico y una pequeña cantidad de azúcar reducido a la consistencia del sirope. Cointreau y tequila de primera calidad completan el reparto de ingredientes. <br /> <br /> The Blue Velvet, en el centro de Los Angeles, ha generado una gran atracción hacia sus Market Martinis, que contienen ingredientes frescos suministrados por el mercado De productores locales. El repertorio del restaurante incluye el Kumquat Marmalade Martini. Esta bebida, reforzada con Absolut Mandarin y Cointreau, está hecha con una mezcla machacada de kumquats, vainas de vainilla, canela, miel, vinagre de champán y jugo de naranja recién exprimido. <br /> <br /> Y también está el Adult Film Starr, una deliciosa presentación que se ofrece todas las noches en el célebre Pegu Club de Manhattan. Este cóctel es una mezcla de ron Starr African Rum, Licor 43, sirope simple, jugo fresco de lima y rodajas de pepino, todo machacado en una coctelera y colado sobre trozos de hielo en un vaso ancho para hielo. Acabado con una rodaja de pepino y un pellizco de nuez moscada, esta bebida es una auténtica obra de arte.

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