Now Serving – Domo Arigato

By The Lady

Domo Arigato

The Gentleman has pretty gash darn lovely relatives. For his birthday this year, he received a bottle of Suntory Hibiki Whiskey direct from Japan. That’s right … 17 year old fancy Japanese Whiskey. How lucky is he? Iggy Azalea would be proud! As we hadn’t used this one yet, we figured the time was right to crack this beauty open. But the dilemma …  what to mix it with? Well, have we got a surprise in store for you! We have been a little creative these past few weeks, and we figured ‘Why stop being daring when we are having SO MUCH FUN?!’. So, let us throw some FENNEL & CUCUMBER into a cocktail. You heard me … FENNEL & CUCUMBER!

Hibiki Whiskey

Ingredients

60mL Suntory Hibiki 17yo Whiskey
10mL Fennel Syrup (See instructions below)
10mL Cucumber Juniper Shrub
3 dashes of Bitter Tears Lucille Blood Orange Bitters
Cucumber slice to garnish

Fennel Syrup 

In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, stirring so it doesn’t burn. After the sugar has completely dissolved, remove from the heat and stir briefly. Allow to cool.
Add 3 teaspoons of ground fennel seeds to your mixture and leave overnight in the refrigerator. Finely strain to remove the fennel. You can keep it refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Domo Arigato
Combine the whiskey, fennel syrup, shrub and bitters in a large glass. Add ice, and stir for approximately ten seconds. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with fresh ice (one big ass cube if available). Garnish with a cucumber slice.

 Domo Arigato

Once you have done all your prep work in making the Fennel Syrup, it is actually a really quick and easy drink to make. The Domo Arigato has a delightful sweetness to it whilst still holding the alcoholic warmth from the whiskey. The Domo Arigato has an interesting smell with the fennel and the cucumber combining perfectly. As you sip away and catch wafts of the drink, you can catch a hint of each of these unique flavours. While this whiskey was a gift, it would otherwise be an expensive little drink. You might be a purist and think expensive whiskey should only be drunk straight, but we prefer to think it adds class and damn fine flavour to a fancy cocktail. We suspect that you may be able to substitute the whiskey for an inferior liquor, but it really was rather lovely and we recommend splashing out on this one. Personally, as somebody who usually dislikes brown spirits, I found this whiskey to be smooth and delightful. Plus this drink also helped us realise that big ass ice cubes are the bomb. They look impressive, provide a nice platform for garnishes, and melt slow to keep your drink cold but not diluted. Drinking trifecta!

Domo Arigato

My brother is a huge fan of whiskey and has force fed me a variety of them over the years. As we have both aged and matured, so too has the quality of the whiskey that he drinks. I believe both my brother, as well as The Gentleman’s brothers would appreciate this drink and its damn fine, oh-so-fancy contents. So, let us say “Domo Arigato” to all the awesome brothers out there!

 

 

Domo Arigato

(PS we don’t speak Japanese. At all. Can you tell?)

 

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Now Serving – Tangy Tatiana

By The Gentleman

Tangy Tatiana

Hey there readers, after the success of our Ballsy Berry you didn’t think we’d stop at just one crazy concoction with balsamic syrup did you. That would just be crazy talk. No we went there again and were just as happy with the Tangy Tatiana.

Tangy Tatiana

Tangy Tatiana

45ml Four Pillars Gunpowder Gin

15ml Balsamic Syrup

2 Blood Orange Bitters Sugar Cubes

4 Mint Leaves + 3 for Garnish

Fentiman’s Ginger Beer

Ice

 

Using your leftover bitters sugar cubes (check the Ballsy Berry for a refresh on how to make them), muddle 1 sugar cube and mint leaves in balsamic syrup in a cocktail shaker. Mash it up real good so the sugar is all dissolved and the mint is, well, minty. Add gin and ice then shake like crazy. Grab a large wine glass, chuck in some ice and the other sugar cube then pour in the goodness. Top with about 100ml ginger beer and garnish with mint leaves.

Tangy Tatiana

The Ballsy Berry was a bit of a savoury Susan, but this is all Tangy Tatina (wow, so that just happened…moving along). Seriously though, the ginger beer and the balsamic syrup pair really well together. The Fentiman’s Ginger Beer gives the drink a lovely ginger smell and also has a really nice spiciness that makes great friends with the bitters sugar cube. The tang and the spice combined create a very pleasant sensation on your tongue.  It gives you a nice warming feeling that just gets all in and around you and you will like it! Like the Ballsy Berry the balsamic syrup gives the drink a really dark, interesting colour, that is actually even darker because the Fentiman’s Ginger Beer is a deep brown. Also be warned, we whipped up the Ballsy Berry and Tangy Tatiana at the same time and after essentially drinking 3 shots of Gunpowder Gin we were ready to partaaaay. That Gunpowder Gin, it’ll knock you for six in short order but damn is it good (seriously though, no driving or operating heavy machinery after a few of these).

Tangy Tatiana

After a few drinks made with the balsamic syrup we can definitely say that we are fans of this tangy little addition. Next time you’re looking for something to shake up your usual libations don’t be too quick to dismiss the simple yet flavourful balsamic syrup. It certainly made the Tangy Tatiana something we thoroughly enjoyed.

Tangy Tatiana

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Now Serving – Ballsy Berry

By The Gentleman

Ballsy Berry

I have to warn you, dear reader, that if you continue on things may get a little weird here. Don’t worry I don’t mean emotional weird…that would be too weird. THERE WILL BE NO BREAKDOWNS OR TEARS! Okay? Okay. Good. Things are going to get weird because we straight up put balsamic vinegar in our drink…and we liked it. Now we’ve shrubbed before and we will shrub again, but this was different. We didn’t mix any fruits or herbs, we just syruped together some balsamic vinegar and simple syrup. Then we got liquored up, a sugar cube or two may have been involved. It was an experience and one we are happy to share with you, the Ballsy Berry.

 

Ballsy Berry

60ml Four Pillars Gunpowder Gin

15ml Balsamic Syrup

2 Blood Orange Bitters Sugar Cubes

4 Basil Leaves + 3 for Garnish

2 strawberries halved + 1 for garnish

Black peppercorns

Fever Tree Club Soda

Ice

Ballsy Berry

Make your balsamic syrup by bringing together a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar with a 1/4 cup of simple syrup. Bring to the boil then turn down to a medium heat for about a minute. It should get thick and syrupy. Take off the heat and leave to cool before bottling. Whip up your sugar cubes by mixing caster sugar with bitters on a ratio of 1 cup sugar to 1 tablespoon bitters. This will make a lot of cubes so you can halve or even quarter the mix to your needs. Mix the sugar and bitters until the liquid has combined with the sugar then pack the sugar into a mini ice cube tray. If you are super prepared you can leave the sugar in the tray overnight to harden, but if you need them in a flash place the tray in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Check to see how firm before turning them out because they may need a touch longer to harden up. You’re now ready to cocktail.

 

Muddle strawberries, 1 sugar cube, a few grinds of pepper, and basil leaves in balsamic syrup. Mash it up real good. Add gin and ice then shake like crazy. Grab a large wine glass and ice and the other sugar cube then pour in the goodness. Top with about 100ml club soda and garnish with a strawberry and basil leaves.

Ballsy Berry

We warned you things would get weird and they did. The balsamic syrup and pepper make this one of the most savoury cocktails, outside of a Bloody Mary, we’ve ever tried. It’s maybe not everyone’s cup of tea (there really needs to be a better cocktail equivalent), but we definitely think you owe it to yourself to be a little adventurous and try it out. It smells amazing. Anyone who has ever had some strawberries tossed with a little balsamic vinegar will know what we’re talking about.  The balsamic is quite noticeable, giving it a savoury, tangy vinegary flavour, and the strawberries just give it a touch of sweetness.  The sugar cubes, apart from smelling divine in your kitchen, add needed sweetness  to help balance the savoury flavour. Also the Gunpowder Gin earns its stripes here, providing a necessary punch to cut through the other bold flavours. The balsamic syrup gives the Ballsy Berry a dark, interesting colour which makes it quite impressive when serving to guests. They’ll try to puzzle out what gives it the colour. On a personal note I really need to get a proper cocktail strainer, but hey all those extra bits of strawberry and basil just give it extra character right?

Ballsy Berry

This is definitely a drink to engage your more adventurous side, throwing up some flavour combinations and aromas you may not normally associate with cocktails. We liked it though and look forward to adding the interesting flavour of balsamic syrup to more drinks in the future.

Ballsy Berry

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