The book doesn't merely call for fresh juices and herbs, it instructs readers on how to use fresh ingredients to make jams, jellies, syrups, infusions, liqueurs, and other mixers, and then use them in fresh-forward cocktails.
Most drink recipes in the book include sub-recipes for homemade ingredients from items found in the garden or farmer's market. To crafty Fine Cooking readers with experience making all sorts of preserves the book will guide with recipes in which to use them, and for cooking-challenged mixologists (self included) the book is full of ideas on how to turn all those fresh fruits and herbs into drinkable liquid ingredients. I think it's the best garden-to-glass cocktail book out there and I'm looking forward to working my way through all the drinks.
A great example from the book is the Brazilian Breakfast. The drink and marmalade were created by Jacob Briars, who is a brand ambassador for Leblon cachaca. It is a variation on the modern classic the Breakfast Martini. Enjoy.
This cocktail is an homage to the famed gin-and-orange marmalade “Breakfast Martini” popularized in London, where it was created by a famous Italian barman Salvatore Calabrese, a forerunner in the trend of using jam in cocktails. Marmalade, often served on crumpets with tea for breakfast in England, is a highlighted ingredient in that drink, hence the name. This Brazilian twist suggests a homemade lime marmalade (limes grow well in Brazil) and cachaça (Brazilian sugarcane rum) and includes an egg white option for luscious texture. Finish by grating a little lime zest on the surface of the drink for a really aromatic note.
1.5 fl. oz. Leblon Cachaça
.5 fl. oz. Cointreau Orange Liqueur
.5 fl. oz. Simple Syrup
1 fl. oz. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 barspoons Lime Marmalade (See below)
.5 fl. oz. Free-Range Egg White (optional)
Lime Zest for Garnish
Combine all except garnish and egg white in a cocktail shaker, and stir quickly to mix the marmalade. Add egg white, if using, and then add ice. Shake very hard, and fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish with grated lime zest.
Making marmalade is a lot easier than it seems. This marmalade is perfect to spread on pound cake or fluffy toast and it’s an integral ingredient in the Brazilian Breakfast.
2.5 pounds limes
1 medium-sized orange
1 medium-sized lemon
8½ cups water
5 pounds white sugar
The seeds of two vanilla pods (Heilala from Tonga is the most fragrant vanilla on earth)
Peel the zest of the limes, lemon, and orange, then slice thinly and place the peels in a large saucepan with the water to soften them.
Juice all the citrus, and strain the juice through a strainer to remove all the seeds and any pith, and add to the pan.
Chop half the juiced fruit, and tie into a cheesecloth bag, and put in the pan with the zests and juice, over a low heat, until all the zests are very soft.
Strain all the liquid from the cheesecloth bag into the pan, and discard the bag.
Bring the fruit/juice to the boil, turn down to a simmer and add the sugar and vanilla seeds, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
Bring to the boil again, and cook for 10–15 minutes until the mixture reaches setting point. The best way to test is to put a little on a chilled saucer or spoon, and run your finger through. If it leaves a trail, it’s set.
Let stand until thickened. Remove the vanilla beans, and stir the mixture well. Ladle it into sterilized jars, and seal until ready to use.