The Green Rhum Thumb

Do not attempt this at home. This is the work of a mad genius. Do you have absolutely nothing to do for the next month and want to devote every minute of your days to concocting ONE DRINK TO RULE THEM ALL??!?

The previous sentences are ones I've brainstormed over the past few weeks, trying to figure out how the hell I'm gonna blog about Tony Galdes' entry in last month's Montreal Bar vs Chef. I'm still not sure how to explain to you what I'm about to explain to you.

Tony was bartending at LAB over the summer. Stopped to go back to school. He is 21 years old. I REPEAT: He is 21 years old. He was born in 1990. I will give you all a moment to collectively sigh, go inspect your gray hairs in the bathroom mirror, and wonder if you've ever accomplished anything as massive and brilliant as Tony's Green Rhum Thumb.

The only thing I find 21-years-old about Tony, who is really outgoing and funny, is that he chose to infuse his cocktail's contest-mandated one ounce of Appleton Estate Reserve rum with weed. Is this illegal? I mean, probably, but in Quebec it's also illegal to infuse alcohol with, like, a fucking lemon peel, so fuck it. (Contestants were allowed to infuse anything they wanted for their recipes, as these drinks were not being sold to the public.)

The only thing I can think of to reference the Green Rhum Thumb's degree of multilayered difficulty (perhaps even its Rube Goldberg-ishness? A quality I'd tried to avoid in my Bar vs. Chef cocktail and yes I do feel a little sheepish about that now) is the St. Louis Arch, which was architecturally so unheard-of in its day that it couldn't be built until new types of construction equipment were first invented to make its construction possible. In order to make a Green Rhum Thumb, you first have to make all five ingredients that go into making a Green Rhum Thumb.

Oh yeah, you also need a CO2 cartridge, which you're gonna load into your Perlini shaker, which is designed to instantly carbonate beverages. This is a shaker that didn't even exist until this past summer and costs $100 -- just for the shaker. It's $200 for the deluxe start-up kit that comes with a bunch of cartridges, a pressurizer that allows you to reuse the cartridges, and for fuck's sake, a flash drive. I have no idea what the flash drive is for.

The Green Rhum Thumb

1 ounce orange-infused Appleton Reserve Rum

1 ounce weed-infused Appleton Reserve Rum

1/4 ounce Allspice gastric

1/2 ounce caramelized banana syrup

2 barspoons Blue Mountain Coffee bitters

Pour all ingredients in a Perlini Shaker, add ice, close the shaker, put in CO2 cartridge, shake, let rest for 30 seconds then pour into a champagne flute. Garnish with a slice of banana and a weed leaf.

Tasting Notes

Sounds simple, the above does, n'est-ce pas? You can read up on orange infusions here. I am not going to tell you how to infuse rum with weed because my mom reads this blog sometimes. As for the final three ingredients...

Allspice gastric:

1 1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/4 cup water

2 1/2 cups cane sugar

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup allspice

1 cup pink grapefruit juice

Melt the sugar on medium temperature with the water and lemon juice. Once melted, add the vinegar and allspice and gradually put in the grapefruit juice. Keep heat on until most of the bubbles disappear. Chill and filter twice, once with a regular strainer to take out the big chunks, and then with a Brita filter to keep the small particles out.

Caramelized banana syrup :

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

6 bananas, sliced

1 cup cane sugar

1 cup water

Put the butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a pan until it starts caramelizing. Add the bananas until they get a nice roast, then add the rest of the sugar along with the water. Let simmer until the bananas start to fall apart, then chill. Once cold, strain through a cheesecloth to get a nice clear syrup. (Says Tony: "You can keep the rest of the bananas to put on your toasts in the morning!")

Blue Mountain Coffee Bitters:

1 750ml bottle Appleton Estate V/X

3 teaspoons white cardamom

3 teaspoons coriander seeds

2 teaspoons angelic leaves

1 cinnamon stick, crushed

2 cloves, crushed

1 nutmeg, crushed

1 star anise, crushed

1 wormwood stick

1 Tonka bean, crushed

3 teaspoons Allspice

6 teaspoons Blue Mountain Coffee, crushed

6 teaspoons Blue Mountain Coffee, uncrushed

Dried peels from one Mandarin, one orange, one lemon, one lime

3/4 cup simple syrup, made with equal parts sugar and water

Dry the peels of the citrus for 4-5 days in the sun then put it with the rest of the dry ingredients in a Mason jar with the Appleton Estate V/X. Shake at least once a day for 10-15 seconds and keep at room temperature in a dark place (or put black tape around the Mason jar). After 3 weeks, add the simple syrup then refrigerate for a week, always shaking at least once a day.

2 Comments
Print Friendly and PDF

The I'll Fake Manhattan

Did you know you can make a Manhattan* with aged rum instead of bourbon? Because you totally can and it's really pretty good!

I happened upon this discovery of sorts while toying with recipes for that Montreal Bar vs. Chef competition I clearly can't stop talking about. My original idea was to do a flip, but after many, many attempts to make even a halfway-decent one, it was clear that what I had on my hands was actually a flop. (Rim shot!)

This left me stuck in a cocktail-intellectual vacuum, not knowing where to go next. (My swizzle idea, which I ultimately went with, hadn't yet come to me. ) I thought maybe a way to go would be to start with a classic cocktail recipe as a template and work my way forward from there. And voila -- the I'll Fake Manhattan!

The I'll Fake Manhattan 

1 ounce aged rum

1/2 ounce Cinzano Sweet Vermouth

1/4 ounce Cinzano Dry Vermouth

1/4 ounce Luxardo

2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters

Splash of orange-infused gin, optional

Brandied cherry, to garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in an ice-filled mixing  glass. Stir vigorously with a bar spoon, strain into chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a brandied cherry.

Tasting Notes

Usually I tell you exactly which brands of liquor I use when making a cocktail; above, I just said "aged rum" because I actually mixed two together, for purely practical reasons; I didn't have a full ounce of Appleton Reserve left after all the experimenting I did with it for Montreal Bar vs. Chef. I made up the difference with Rhum Barbancourt. Appleton has a more piquant flavor profile, methinks, whereas I find Barbancourt to be more smooth, rounded and bourbon-like. What you will.

Note that, with my use of both sweet and dry vermouths, what we have here is a perfect Manhattan, and that I have indeed strayed from a classic Manhattan recipe by using Peychaud's instead of Angostura bitters.

My splash of orange-infused gin, I just like. Rounds things out a bit more. Makes it go down a little quicker. No biggie if you don't have it, although you can make it super simply.

*Did you also know that the Rodgers and Hart tune you probably remember as "I'll Take Manhattan" is actually just called "Manhattan," which makes it really hard to Google? Well, at least now you get why I called this drink what I called it.

1 Comment
Print Friendly and PDF