“Winter” is upon (some of) us. I live in LA and am absurdly spoiled by the amount of fresh produce year-round, however I’m lamenting the disappearance of the berry. Berries are to fruit what St. Germain is to liqueurs. Easy to throw in everything and chicks dig it. But seriously, berries produce vivid colors and are a lovely natural garnish.
The markets are packed with citrus now. While there’s nothing like bushels of mandarins, tangerines, lemons, and oranges, it’s taken much more thought figuring out how to dress up drinks with more than the standard peel.
That’s all fine and good, but what if you live in a city that’s *actually* going through winter. Then I’m an asshole for complaining and here’s a new drink that even you can make in January.
If you have a Mexican market around you, chances are they may have frozen fruit. Great for making agua frescas and such. Some of the fruit, like mamey sapote is not so easy to find, even in SoCal. I was first introduced to this flavor in a paleta form and it is still one of my favorites. It’s creamy and sweet and tastes like a yam or a super fresh pumpkin.
I took my bag home, defrosted, and pureed it. I made a 2:1 cane sugar syrup and mixed that with equal parts of the purée. Mm, like baby food.
Inspired by the flavor of the mamey, the drink came together pretty quickly.
Angostura added some more pumpkin pie spice to the mix. Regan’s Bitters supplied a tang of orange peel. Freshly squeezed lemon juice added acidity to the fruit, triggering involuntary salivary gland action. Clement Creole Shrubb helped round out the sweetness and balance the sugar content of the cocktail. Finally, Old Grand-Dad introduced himself and blended right in with the others.
A little sprinkle of chili limon on top was all this critter needed.
Like a spiked agua fresca–fresh juices, fruit purée, and a meld of baking spices pulled together with some good ol’ whiskey.
The next time someone tells you that you can’t make delicious cocktails out of supermarket ingredients tell them, “No Mames Guey”.