Summer Spirits

My Studio Guest, Warren Bobrow, grew up on an organic/certified biodynamic farm in Morristown, NJ.  And his creativity appears to be as abundant as the mint he describes below.  We also grow mint in the summer, but it nearly always gets way ahead of us — turning into a tangled array of overgrown plants that have gone to seed.  But Warren has figured out how to capture the loveliness of mint, and I know you will enjoy meeting him here in SunnyRoomStudio.

  • Warren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey.  He has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews to travel articles.  Warren also writes for Williams-Sonoma on their Blender Blog and is a Ministry of Rum judge.  Warren will be presenting at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon on the topic of cocktails.  He also loves to write about his unique creations.

Welcome, Warren, to this sunny space for kindred spirits!  And thank you for sharing your creative light — it’s always wonderful to have new voices in SunnyRoomStudio. 

Wine is sunlight, held together by water.  ~Galileo

Summer Spirits
by
Warren Bobrow

The early mint is just gorgeous this year.  I hadn’t been out to the mint patch since the rain the other day.  Then it rained again this morning – the clouds parted and the sun warmed the patch.  A couple of minutes ago I wandered out to see what had become of the mint in a day or so.

There is a plethora of mint! A veritable tangle of it, all in a couple of hours!

In keeping with my twisted sensibility and on target taste treats, I decided to pick some mint and conjure up a tropical inspired cocktail.

Why not go full-bore?   Absinthe is a treat to the senses.  When combined with mint, this spirit absolutely shines.  Then if the mint is not inspiring enough, I add coconut water ice cubes and get this Almond Water!

Almond Water?  Well it’s like drinking the most delicious almond croissant in liquid form.

But what about the predominant liquor, what would taste good with these ingredients of Almond Water, coconut water ice and freshly crushed mint?

What about some grilled, then crushed or muddled pineapple?

How about rum?

I love rum.  Dark rum, light rum, each has its own place in my drink making skills. Denizen Rum is a brand of light rum that has real flavor; I also like Atlántico Rum and of course Siesta Key Rum.

Sometimes I craft cocktails with a bit of Sailor Jerry.  This spiced rum packs a serious kick.

All have their own unique flavor profiles.

Then of course there is the New Jersey Maple syrup that my friend Hunter Stagg tapped on his own farm.  For anyone who loves Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine Maple Syrup, the New Jersey variety is truly scrumptious!

So what is this cocktail called?  In my estimation as a cocktail whisperer, it’s abundantly clear that this drink should be based in a classic, yet somehow twisted in keeping with my passion for flavor.

Fresh mint, dark rum, an absinthe wash, dark maple syrup- some grilled pineapple to go in a muddle with the mint.  Yes.  Here we go.  A liquid treat.

South Floyd Street Cocktail

Ingredients:

Coconut water frozen in ice cube trays

Grilled pineapple chunks (just grill them over wood or sear them in a steel pan until charred)

Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water

Denizen Rum or your choice

Fresh mint

Grade B. Maple Syrup

Lucid Absinthe for the wash

Spray of fresh seltzer

Preparation:

Muddle mint and a couple of grilled pineapple chunks in a cocktail shaker with a bit of the maple syrup (about 2 tablespoons full of the syrup)

Meanwhile, add ice, water and a ½ shot of Absinthe to the short rocks glasses and let chill

Add 2 Shots of Rum per person to cocktail shaker with muddled mint and pineapple

Shake

Pour out absinthe water ice mixture from the short cocktail glasses

Add a couple of coconut water ice cubes the glasses

Strain the cocktail shaker’s contents over the coconut water ice

Top with a splash (2-3 tablespoons) of Almond Water

Garnish with a mint sprig and a spray of fresh seltzer

You can also find Warren on twitter, on facebook or on his site: Cocktail Whisperer.

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