I enjoy paring cocktails with food, especially if creating a new drink. We were serving salmon and asparagus the other day. Since asparagus does not pare with any wine, this seemed the perfect opportunity for a cocktail! Cue the Flavor Bible. (If you cook, and or make cocktails, you need this book!) I simply looked up salmon and asparagus comparing them for complementary flavors in common. I chose thyme, lemon and carrots. Yes, carrots.
Fish in general tastes best with a light, dry beverage. Heavy or sweet can hide some of the subtle flavors inherent to fish. In this case, I chose a gin martini. You could substitute vodka for the gin, but you will lose the herbal notes that work so well. I selected Ki No Bi gin for its flavors of kumquat, orange oil, juniper, spice and a slight bitterness of wormwood. I used Reisetbauer Carrot Eau de Vie that has an intense bright taste of carrots. Lemon peel expressed over the drink and fresh thyme as a garnish completed the complementary flavors.
The Mad Hatter Martini
As noted above, I used Ki No Bi gin. Your favorite gin will work quite nicely in the cocktail. I would avoid the highly herbal gins as they might overpower the subtle carrot. If you find this too bitter for your taste, decrease the amount of vermouth or make it a perfect with 1/2 bianco vermouth.
The nose is thyme, lemon and citrus. First flavors are clean, herbal, with a touch of spice. Then you note subtle carrots and juniper. The finish is long and dry.
- 1 1/2 oz Gin
- 1/2 oz Premium dry vermouth (or 1/4 oz dry & 1/4 oz. bianco vermouth)
- 1/4 oz. Reisetbauer Carrot Eau de Vie
- 2-3 drops Bitter Truth Olive Bitters
- Lemon peel for expressing
- Fresh thyme for garnish
- Dried lemon wheel for garnish (optional)
- Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
- Combine the gin, vermouth, eau de vie and bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
- Double strain into the chilled cocktail glass
- Express the lemon peel over the drink and discard
- Spank the thyme and float it on the dried lemon peel