Saturday, April 22, 2017

Drinking your meal -- an introduction to food in cocktails

Milestones dipped its hands into the "Caesar
with a whole lot of crap on it," market.
Sadly, it is already off the menu!
The "Caesar with a whole bunch of crap on it" trend is beginning to wane -- the novelty is wearing off, and the competition to pair a Caesar up with the most ridiculous garnishes is not as trendy as it once was. Nevertheless, Caesars are still Canada's staple cocktail (although, I have complained about that at length.) One of the takeaways from this trend could perhaps be novelty of solid food in cocktails. Without further ado, this article will be yet another vague response to novel trends!

Caesars are not the only drink to commonly feature solid food particles. There are of course, the two very obvious classics; the Martini and the Manhattan, both of which are commonly garnished with edible food. There is also a tendency to put intricate lemon, orange or lime twists on the rim, or directly into the glass. While not edible per se, they are still solid food particles which alter the quality of the drink. However, I won't discuss these zesty twists TOO much here, simply because I to focus more on edible solids in this article.
A dirty Martini. I gotta be real with you.
I'm not a fan of dirty Martinis. However,
I had a lot of fun making a little
asparagus raft on this one!

Being that I'm not really a fan of dirty Martinis, I would shy away from them in the first place. However, drinks of this quality that feature olive or pickle juice do give the opportunity to get a little bit creative in the same way that you would with a Caesar; ie. loading it up with pickled goodies. This is great for the type of people who drink dirty Martinis -- they generally aren't connoisseurs of spirit, which is why they want to mix it down with the olive juice in the first place. While they obviously do have a certain level of appreciation that falls somewhere closer to the "most interesting Man in the world" end of the spectrum, there is an indication that they would appreciate fancy garnishes.

Fruity cocktails also give a good opportunity to add edible foods; namely fruit! I've seen drinks garnished with almost any kind of fruit you can imagine. Seriously, even a lot of those esoteric ones (although, I've yet to see a durian or jackfruit cocktail....) Strawberries, lychee, and orange are all easy options to include in fruit flavored cocktails. But really, if you tend towards more exotic fruits like Dragonfruit, Starfruit, or Papaya, you can generally create a more unique cocktail, and also get practice pairing with more uncommon flavors.

Love the addition of Lychee, in this
Lychee '75.

There are quite a bit more things you can do with food in cocktails too. A common trend a few years ago was to mix foods into different syrups, which had quickly evolved into the infusion of solid foods in spirits. For the last year or so, using solid food directly in the cocktails has really taken off though. While I've only briefly touched on the topic in this article, there is really quite a bit to talk about on this subject, and there will be future articles about different ways to incorporate solid foods in your drinks.

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