lemongrass

Post image for Gaia Cocktail

Named after Mother Earth, this unique pecan cocktail is led by a most refreshing combination of lemongrass and Hoegaarden white beer, a sharp contrast to butterscotch and pecan’s full “buttery” notes. Together with the other elements, we create “Gaia”, like a shot of green bursting forth from the hardest rocks…

1 serving

Ingredients

1 small pecan (approximately 1 inch long)
2 inches of fresh lemongrass
½ ounce of rhum agricole blanc (e.g. Martinique)
1 teaspoon fructose sugar powder
1 teaspoon blue curaçao
1/5 teaspoon butterscotch schnapps
2 ounces Hoegaarden beer

Total: about 3 ounces (guide for glassware)

Equipment
Boston Cocktail Shaker (2-piece)
Muddler
Fine sieve strainer
Hawthorn strainer
Shooter glass (3-4 ounces), for service

[Mixologist’s notes: Hoegaarden is one of the most refreshing types of beer around, with the brand strongly representing the style of beer itself – a Belgian natural white beer. This fruity and thirst-quenching style contains living yeast and is unfiltered, with orange peels and coriander being some of its key flavoring ingredients. Its pale yellow color blends with the blue curaçao in this recipe to create a gorgeous pale green hue.

A Boston Shaker consists of two parts – a mixing stainless steel half, and a slightly smaller glass half, both of which are knocked together into a temporary seal when used. Without any built-in strainers such as the Cocktail/Cobbler 3-piece Shaker, it thus requires additional tools for straining. The Hawthorn strainer is designed with a unique wire spring encircling the edge, and fits very well (with either 2 or 4 prongs) atop the stainless steel half of the Boston Shaker.]

Preparation

Chill glassware and beer in the refrigerator.

Prepare the muddling:
Use the glass half of the Boston shaker for the muddling. Use a scissors to cut small segments of the required length of lemongrass into the shaker, and break the pecan into smaller bits with your hands. Add the rum, and with the flat side of the muddler placed into the base of the shaker, apply downward pressure using the insides of your palm. Muddle until most solid ingredients are well broken up.

Strain the liquid portion into the metal half of the shaker with the fine sieve strainer. Dispose of the solid residue.

Prepare the other ingredients:
Pour the muddled liquid back into the cleaned glass half of the shaker. Add the blue curaçao, butterscotch schnapps and fructose powder and stir till most of the sugar has dissolved. Chill the ingredients, together with the shaker, in the refrigerator.

Make the cocktail:
When ready, take out all the ingredients, shaker and glassware. Top up the metal half of the shaker (about ¾ full) with ice cubes, preferably with the largest possible ice cubes. Pour all the ingredients, except for the beer, into the metal half.

Place the mouth of the glass half over the metal half, and knock it firmly into a tight fit with your palm. Shake and chill the cocktail shaker with firm, concise and vigorous strokes until your hands can’t take the cold. Again using the base of your palm, give the side of the shaker near the metal rim a firm knock to loosen the shaker parts. Remove the glass half of the shaker, and place the hawthorn strainer over the mouth of the metal half. Strain into the glassware and top up with the beer.

[Mixologist’s notes: 1 ounce is equivalent to 30 milliliter (ml), 1 teaspoon is equivalent to 5 milliliter (ml), and 1/5 teaspoon is equivalent to 1 milliliter (ml).]

Serve immediately.

Variations

The amount of butterscotch can be varied up to 1/3 teaspoon without overpowering the recipe, while the amount of pecans could also be increased depending on preference. If a mortar and pestle is used to pound the pecans, include the lemongrass and rum directly in the mortar. If other types of sugar are used instead of fructose, kindly adjust as the latter can be up to 30% sweeter than most other sugars.

Recipe and photo by Damian Sim

INSPIRATION FOR GAIA
BY DAMIAN SIM

The choice of pecans as part of a cocktail presented some challenges due to its light flavor; but the “buttery” element offered a wonderful opportunity – a fuller mouth-feel to accompany an uplifting citrus flavor, which usually comes with a lighter body, especially in drinks.

This month’s theme, Pumpkins & Pecans, shared common Native American roots, which brought to mind cultures that revered Mother Nature. Inspired by Greek mythology, Provocachic™ selected “Gaia” (Mother Earth) as the title for the cocktail recipe and concept.

Gaia’s light facade was built with an eclectic mix of lemongrass, Heogaarden white beer, Rhum Agricole Blanc and Blue Curaçao liqueur. The choice of the blue version for the last liqueur was aimed at achieving a misty green hue, evocative of lemongrass (or bamboo) and nature, while the type of rum used added to a natural, “grassy” (sugarcane) tone. Using one of the most thirst-quenching (and floral) types of beer together with lemongrass helped to create a most refreshing concoction.

Butterscotch schnapps was used to fatten the pecan’s “buttery” feel, though with only a dash so as not to overpower the recipe. Together with the intense sweetness of natural fructose sugar, the full sensory palate was concentrated in a slim shot glass.

Gaia, like a sprout of green bursting forth from the hardest rocks…

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