Saturday, September 17, 2016

Not Quite Perfect

I had a wonderful day today. I have to admit; my day was not set up for success. I barely slept last night. Three hours after I finally dozed, my alarm nagged me awake. Some would say awake is a relative term if you saw me this morning. Needless to say, I was dragging.

Several things I needed to prepare for – it was supposed to be busy plus we had a rehearsal dinner for 35 this evening at the restaurant. We really wanted that to be perfect. It would all be followed by a four-hour drive home to my love. Long day on little sleep is far from setting myself up for success.
Remember those drinks that I told you about yesterday? Well, I started creating today with The Botanist Gin. I felt inspired. I didn’t want to share it with you until I had the recipe down perfectly with great pictures ready to go. What can I say? I am a perfectionist. Instead, I think I will share with you my process. I haven’t decided on the perfect drink, yet. I have some favorites, but it really isn’t about me. Instead, I thought I would let you choose which one I should keep working on.

A little background:

This drink is for a group of 40 beverage executives who would like to see their product used in our interpretation. The event will be smackdab in ‘Pumpkin Spice Everything’ season… so I want to capitalize on fall flavors but want to avoid pumpkin like the plague. Also, we are in the Florida Keys and there are certainly some distinct flavors here.

The Gin:

The Botanist really lends to its name. It capitalizes on the trend of using local ingredients and staying authentic to the region. Hence why I want to go that route in the flavors. It also has a very complex set of aromas. This limited run gin is made with 31 botanicals, 22 of which come from where it is made: Islay, Scotland.

At first I thought an infusion might be good, then I sipped it and realized that would be a waste of a wonderfully complex spirit. So then I thought, I will make one that is traditional and play around with two other versions.

The 1st drink:
We all know that classic drinks are making a comeback. Enter the Manhattan’s and Old Fashioned’s of the world. So I thought simply of a basil gimlet.
The Botanist Gin
Key Lime Juice
Simple Syrup

The 2nd drink:
Now I am going to some fall like flavors. I thought this drink could be a little sweet with some aromatics.
The Botanist Gin
Apricot Jam
Key Lime Juice
Angostura Bitters

The 3rd drink:
I looked around the restaurant and stumbled upon some currant jam. I though this could really be the wild card. Since I was using jam, I also wanted to add some spice to it. I am still not sure what that will be.
The Botanist Gin
Currant Jam
Florida Grapefruit Juice, maybe
Spice or Herb (maybe some all spice or even fried sage)

What do you think? Is there one in particular that you would want to try? Don’t be put off by the jam, I melt it down a little so that it mixes very well with the gin and other ingredients. I would love to hear your thoughts.

I know you are curious about the rehearsal dinner: it was a success. Just before the group arrived, I was graced with a beautiful sunset. While working at the bar earlier in the day, I may have made a new friend. I look forward to grabbing lunch with her. I much enjoyed her input as we worked together on the basil gimlet. My drive home was wonderful and full of great conversation. And now, I am home and all the love a home can have awaits… 

None of this has been perfect. There were struggles today, moments I could have napped standing, many drinks to try and some terrible versions, 3 plates that fell for that rehearsal dinner. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful day. 

So for now, Love Strangers. You never know if they might become a lifelong friend.  

1 comment:

  1. I'll just leave this here:

    I do think using fall flavors is lovely as is local flavors. I do like avoiding pumpkin spice as it is everywhere; how about maple instead? And lime is everywhere; how about mango or blood orange?