Wednesday, 20 June 2007

mxmo crème de la crème: round-up

Hosting this event was an interesting experience for me. I knew this theme would be a challenge – I’ve read from various industry sources that a serious mixologist wouldn’t touch cream liqueurs – which is why I provided the cream escape clause, but I was kind of surprised to learn two things:
1. that people don’t realise quite how many cream liqueurs there are out there
2. that people don’t reconcile cream liqueurs with summer drinks

Most of the MxMo gang are from the northern hemisphere, currently experiencing summer, and I noticed that many commented on a reluctance to use dairy in the heat. Fair enough.

So this theme probably wasn’t the most seasonally thought out: apologies for that!

Those of us in the southern hemisphere are only too painfully aware how frustrating it is to have sorbet and outdoor dining themes when it’s 15’C (59’F) and raining! I hope I didn't inflict dairy overload on those in sweltering heat.

Oh the woes of globalisation!

Despite the seasonal complexities, I was pleasantly surprised to see such a great turnout and some really imaginative drinks. Cream was by far the most popular theme ingredient, but soy cream, coconut cream and creamy condensed milk all made an appearance alongside a variety of creamy liqueurs.

So without further ado:

Coconut Margaritas
Mia from Nosh (Munich, Germany) was inspired by a recent book about paddling through the Pacific so she decided to recreate her own deserted Tongan beach with this delicious cocktail. Roasted shredded coconut garnished the rim while Coco Lopez (coconut cream and sugar cane), lime juice, tequila and Cointreau blended perfectly in the margarita bowl.

The Chasian Orgasm
With a name like this, Robert from Explore the Pour was always going to turn heads. His feature ingredient was Voyant Chai Cream Liqueur. He describes the flavour as quite sweet with an initial rum entry and a spicy chai palate. His orgasmic cocktail included Voyant Chai Cream Liqueur, Kahlua and Amaretto. The ingredients are shaken then poured over ice into an old fashioned glass and garnished with a cinnamon quill.

Vanilla Nut Rumtini
Chelsea from Bon Vivant (Colorado, USA) set out to make a summer cream-based drink that would entice the drinker back for seconds. The results saw Dooley’s Toffee Liqueur (yay, another cream liqueur), Frangelico and Jamaican rum shaken with ice and served up in a martini glass.

Crème Brûlée Cocktail
Darcy from The Art of Drink (Ontario, Canada) liquefies one of the world’s favourite desserts. Vanilla rum, heavy cream and Advocaat are shaken vigorously then strained into a martini glass. Dark caramel syrup is drizzled on the surface, satisfying both tradition and the drinker’s desire for pure indulgence.

Deep and Dark
Mysterious Mr H. from Paragraph One (Virginia, USA) overcame his aversion to sweet drinks and chocolate in this MxMo challenge. Carolan's Irish Cream, white Crème de Cacao and chilled espresso were stirred then strained into a lowball before being topped with Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. That’s one dark horse.

Lady Rebel Cocktail
Craig aka Dr Bamboo recently acquired a 1959 edition bartending guide that contained this classy drink with a kick. Bourbon, apricot brandy, white crème de cacao, heavy cream and grenadine are shaken with ice and strained to produce a frothy, pink cocktail.

Coco Blanco Dave from Dave’s Drinks came up with the clever name and this tasty cocktail. It’s based on Barceló, a new cream liqueur made from Dominican aged rum aged. The cocktail blends Barceló ice and coconut cream which is then served in a wide glass with an Amaretto float. This white (blanco) drink containing coconut (coco), is also the name of a native bird in Santo Domingo, where Barceló is made. Much too clever Dave.

Fizz a la Violette
Paul from The Cocktail Chronicles (Seattle, USA) created his own floral fizzy concoction. Gin, lime and lemon juices, crème de violette, cream, egg white and sugar syrup are shaken strenuously until gorgeous foam appears. Although Paul claims the drink was more gray than violet, his initial apprehension eased when the cream balanced out the potentially dominate flavour of violet.

Orange Chocolate Ball
Gabriel from Cocktail Nerd (Tulsa, OK, USA), took this challenge head on since he’s not too keen on cream liqueurs. For someone uninspired by the theme, Gabriel turned a Terry’s Chocolate Orange into a delectable cocktail using espresso, Gran Gala, Amarula and Godiva chocolate liqueur. These are shaken on ice then strained into a chilled glass. And don’t forget the orange twist as a garnish!

Rose Fizz
Seamus from bunnyhugs (Auckland, New Zealand) aimed for a “refreshing palate cleanser” to balance out the sweeter drinks he knew would grace this months MxMo. He used rose flavoured Hendricks gin, rosewater and grenadine in a traditional Ramos Gin Fizz recipe that involved a whole lot of scientifically measured shaking. Check his post which also includes a Ramos Gin Fizz as well as promises of an orgeat based Almond Fizz to come.

The Straight B
The Bottle Gang (Twin Cities, USA) put their heads together to come up with this yummy cocktail that resonates with “mellow blackberry”. The ingredients are simple Bs: B&B (mixture of Benedictine and Brandy), Bailey's Irish Cream and blackberry brandy. The combination is served in a lowball over ice and sounds dreamy.

White Russian
Anita from Married With Dinner (San Francisco, USA) paid homage to the biggest lazy bum in celluloid, the Big Lebowski, with her indulgent take on the White Russian. The Dude was seen sipping these beauties throughout the film and Anita’s version uses cream with the traditional Kahlua and vodka mix.

White Mink
Marleigh from Sloshed! (Los Angeles, USA) is a vegan, so this theme just sucked. Despite the set back, she forged ahead using brandy, Galliano, white crème de cacao, soy cream and vanilla rice cream to make a creamy dessert drink that vegans can indulge. Unfortunately she wasn’t thrilled with the results and felt like it needed something more. Work in progress.

Ramos Rye Fizz
Sarah from Avenue Food (Queens, NY, USA) wanted to make a traditional Ramos Gin Fizz but discovered she was out of gin. Hubby Brian came to the rescue with his improvised cocktail using rye instead. They used powdered sugar, orange bitters and the usual egg white, cream, soda, acidic lemon juice and a whole lot of shaking. Sarah declared it a triumph “mellow and rich with a pronounced rye flavour”.

Carrot Punch
Sarina Nicole from TriniGourmet (Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago) brings a unique angle with condensed milk, carrot juice, bitters (Angostura of course!) and beer. She recommends serving this punch ice cold over cracked ice and describes the flavour as light and fruity. I must say I am intrigued!

Morganthaler’s Irish Cream
Jeffrey from the self titled Jeffrey Morganthaler (Eugene, Oregon, USA) gets extra points for planning and dedication when he made his very own Irish Cream. He amalgamated a variety of online sources to suit his tastes then charged ahead without fear. So what goes into Morganthaler’s Irish Cream? Why half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, Irish whiskey (of course!), espresso, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract and almond extract. This is chilled and “should” keep itself together for a month (although please don’t hold Jeffrey liable).

White Winter
Haalo from Cook Almost Anything At Least Once (Melbourne, Australia) used this cream theme to find a cocktail suitable for the chilly winter weather. Drambuie Cream, vodka and Kahlua are shaken vigorously then served up a martini glass.

And if the above contributions weren’t enough, the team over at eGullet came up with their own creamy inventions:
* bostonapothecary made two: the Maillard Fizz (chocolate cream liqueur, rye and egg white) and the Kingston Snake Charmer (Irish moss cream, applejack and apry/creole shrub)
* Leo Engal came up with the Kalidoor which, like Advocaat, gets its creaminess from egg yolks, Benedictine, raspberry syrup and champagne.
* Dan Ryan created a grasshopper variation called The Cavalletta using Branca Mint instead of crème de menthe.
* eje revamped the Barbary Coast Cocktail using gin, whisky, crème de cacao and cream on ice.

Creamsicle Martini
Gwen from Intoxicated Zodiac was running a little late with her entry for MxMo. Better late than never! Her Leo inspired cocktail uses freshly squeezed orange, soy cream, sugar syrup and vanilla infused whiskey. Hear the lion roar!

And last is my own cocktail, The Scottish Elephant. I used African fruit based Amarula cream and Shetland’s very own Jago Vanilla Vodka Cream. These were blended with milk, banana and ice to make a decadent dessert shake.

Phew! That’s the round-up!

Thanks for letting me host this week and thanks to everyone for their contributions. I hope some of you have been inspired to try something new. Isn’t that what MxMo is all about?

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7 comments:

  1. The theme didn't suck! I love a good challenge.

    Thanks for hosting, Anna!

    ReplyDelete
  2. gwen sutherland kaiserSaturday, 23 June, 2007

    hello cocktail cohorts,

    i thought i had entered the Mx Monday competition, but i realize now that my email was never sent! talk about mercury retrograde : (

    you can view my creme de la creme entry at intoxicatedzodiac.com/blog. it's called "creamsicle martini."

    cheers, gwen

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a fun event!
    I had no idea there would be/could be so many.
    I used to love White Russians! Probably still would!

    ReplyDelete
  4. A Grandiose BlogTuesday, 26 June, 2007

    Hi, who's hosting the next one and how does one keep abreast of the competitions? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. gwen sutherland kaiserTuesday, 26 June, 2007

    i think it was a great theme anna. thank you for adding my entry in at the last minute.

    ps, grandiose up above, go to cocktailchronicles.com for the MX schedule.

    cheers, gwen

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey - Darn, sorry I missed this. I have a cream-based cocktail I would have loved to submit...

    These all look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The coconut magarita is very tasty, I really like it, it is my favourite. However, I still need have not tasted many other drinks. This must have been a very nice event to explore all these mixed drinks. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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