For my first blog/rant I started with the Starlight, a delicate little sipping drink ideal for almost any occasion. This week I've decided to jump right to the other end of the spectrum with the 1449, a drink which I often refer to as an espresso martini on steroids.
When talking with guests about drinks, I more often than not ask them their preference on spirits in order to get an idea of what base to use. More often than not one thing I get in return is "anything, just NO TEQUILA". Now I like you would probably be willing to bet my shoes that this reaction has come about based on some bad frat house hazing experience suffered many years prior causing said drinker to hold a grudge on Tequila until the end of days. How unfair on Tequila I say, its a fantastic spirit if treated properly. So I go to thinking, how do I get inside the mind of such a drinker and convert them into believers? Well for me I decided to follow in this thought process and take something that I really don't like and try to convert myself at the same time, a flavour which for me is coffee. Yes correct, I do not like coffee, at least not the taste. So with the same mindset I got to work looking to create a drink that would change perceptions, highlighting the Tequilas versatility and of course be a bit of fun at the same time. Now as I'm sure you may be aware Tequila has a certain unmistakable quality to it, its big bold nose and peppery finish making it fantastic at handling strong supporting flavours such as sweet spices and yes.......COFFEE! Ok thats not really a shocker, i mean look at the success of Patron's XO Cafe if you need any further proof, but at least I had my link, yes I would create a tequila cocktail for tequila doubters using coffee for a coffee hater....FUN! So without any more background lets get on with making the 1449.
60ml Don Julio Blanco Tequila
20ml spiced mocha paste (home made)
10ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Topped with agave & ginger foam (home made)
garnished with shaved coffee scented dark chocolate
Cocktail Mixing glass and strainer
Jigger for measuring the liquid.
Blender for making the vanilla and chilli sugar for the mocha paste.
ISI canister (AKA cream whipper) and nitrogen gas bullets.
Good quality espresso coffee.
Good quality extra cold ice.
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Step 1: Make the spiced mocha paste.
There are going to be a couple of stages to this part, but before I break it down lets take a look at the final recipe.
120ml espresso (approx 4 shots)
400g chocolate powder. (I use XXX Extreme)
200g Vanilla & chilli sugar
6-8 chilli seeds (to taste)
As you can see before mixing this up we need to prep the vanilla & chilli sugar. Its really quite simple, just place the following ingredients into a blender, wiz up until everything is well blended the allow to sit. Be careful though not to put too much into the blender at any one time as it tends to get very hot and can burn out the motor of your machine if too full. My advice, fill no more than one eighth full and prepare in batches.
1000g caster sugar
20g crushed dried chilli flakes
5g chilli powder (approx 2 tbsp)
1 whole vanilla pod
Once ready just store in a secure container or bag until needed. From here pour the fresh espresso into container followed by the chocolate powder and sugar in stages, making sure to keep stirring as you go. Lastly place the chilli seeds in and leave. At this time it should look like some nice thick chocolaty mess (which it is, all be it a very tasty one), but you need to keep tasting every 5 minutes. The chilli seeds will continue to impart heat to the mix and you need to ensure it doesn't become over spices. Ideally you need to taste the spice at the end of the palate without being overly dominant. When you feel you have it perfectly made pass everything through a strainer to remove the seeds and any sediment and store. By now it should be velvety smooth. If by any chance its too think (i.e. you can't pour it) just add more espresso on small doses. Remember it is meant to be thick!
Step 2: Make the Agave & ginger foam.
Much like step one you should do this ahead of time as part of your mis en place (preparation to the everyday joe or joe-ette). You will need an ISI canister to do this along with some nitrogen gas, which you can buy from any good cookery store. Simply place the following ingredients into the ISI can, securely seal the top, charge with gas and allow to sit in a cold place.
100ml Fresh egg white (pasteurised)
50ml Organic agave syrup
50ml mineral water
25ml freshly pressed ginger juice
5ml lemon juice
The above mis is good for a 0.5L ISI canister, if you get a 1 litre version just double the mix. A few notes here, before using make sure and shake the canister well, it should feel like there is no liquid swishing around as it should have thickened. Next never use more than 2 gas bullets on these cans and lastly when empty be sure to discharge all of the gas before opening top the canister, otherwise your roof and you will need a makeover.
Step 3: Make the drink.
Now that the hard part is over the rest is simple as the main body of the drink only consists of three ingredients (thank god i hear you sigh). Take your mixing glass (chilled in the freezer works best), add 10ml of grapefruit juice, 20ml of the spiced mocha paste and 60ml of a high quality blanco style tequila, in this case I use Don Julio then fill to the top with ice. Now unlike many stirred drinks which take ages to prepare as you have to reach the correct dilution, with the 1449 we are not looking for this, intact quite the contrary. The key to this drink is the bringing together the base ingredients whilst maintaining all the bold flavours and the viscosity which will provide mouthfeel. We DO NOT want it to taste watered down! With this 40 seconds of stirring is enough. Once ready strain into a chilled glass such as a coupette and prepare for stage 4.
Stage 4: Add the Foam.
Ah the fun part that everyone loves! The foam in this drink acts as a contrasting yet complimentary element, both in terms of flavour and texture giving the all the lovely people who try it more than just one thing to think about. The nitrogen we use helps create the velvety texture thanks to its fine bubbled it doesn't distort the taste like C02 would. When decanting the foam into the glass start at the outside by the rim and work your way around and inwards to the middle. Keep the ISI tilted slightly aiming at the side of the glass, this way if the foam does come out with a bit of extra gusto it won't end up covering you with half of the drink. Just be gentle with the trigger I would say is the key advise here! Be generous too, the ratio should almost be even between the liquid section of the drink and the foam so go nuts and fill the glass!
Stage 5: Garnish and Serve.
The last touch is nice and simple. Using a knife, peeler or whatever else you see fit to use, shave some dark chocolate over the surface of the drink. Here you can add some creative licence and choose your flavour. When I created this drink I chose coffee scented chocolate but you're welcome to experiment and choose something more exotic if you wish!
And now your drink! YAY!!!!!
Please let me have some feedback, and i'll post the next one next week! Cheers!!!!