Learning to TWITCH: Tales of the Cocktail 2012

Tales of the Cocktail 2012 left me inspired!  Inspired to learn more, inspired to experiment more, and inspired to share with you the passion, brilliant cocktails, and accomplished personalities that circulate through this quirky industry.

The clever Lauren Mote, co-owner of Kale and Nori*, is a name to know when talking about culinary cocktails in Vancouver, B.C.  She is a talented mixologist who adventurously shapes the way Vancouver consumes cocktails through innovative bartender training programs, consulting programs, ever changing cocktail programs, and cocktail competitions.  Mote originated the longest running Vancouver cocktail competition: Bittered Sling Bistro, a biweekly food and cocktail pairing competition that expands the boundaries of craft cocktails and culinary art!  Recently, Mote, with her partner Chef Johnathan Chovancek, took their creativity one step further to formulate Bittered Sling Extract, an artisanal retail line, perfect for novice and experienced cocktail/culinary chefs alike.

Lauren Mote’s Cocktail:  Twitch

Twitch is a stunning creation that challenges the taste buds and soothes the senses by blending the calming elements of Chamomile tea with the spices of peppercorn and Cardamom.  This crafty creation is extremely well balanced; leaving you pleased before, during, or after a meal.

Components:

1 oz Vya Extra Dry Vermouth, infused with Chamomile Flowers

1oz Beefeater 24 Gin

½ oz Lemon Juice

½ oz Salted Black Pepper and Cardamom Syrup

Dash of Bittered Sling Extracts Grapefruit and Hops**

How:

Start with the infusion.

Place 16 teaspoons of whole Chamomile Flowers in a sealable glass jar or pitcher.  Add 750 ml of Vya Extra Dry Vermouth.  Allow the mixture to steep for 3 hours.  Adjust to taste (If you are only making enough for one cocktail the Chamomile to Vya proportion is 4 tsp/6oz).

Now, start the Salted Black Pepper and Cardamom Syrup.

Ingredients:

¼ cup Sea salt

½ cup Whole Black Peppercorns

2 Tbls Whole Cardamom Seeds

1 Cup Water

1 Cup Sugar

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sea salt, whole black peppercorns, and whole cardamom seed, and toast for 1 minute, avoid burning ingredients by shaking often.  Cautiously add the water and sugar.  Stir.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for a few minutes until the sugar has fully dissolved, then remove for the heat.  Allow to cool at room temperature.  Once cooled, strain the syrup using a small mess strainer.

Place all ingredients together over ice in a cocktail shaker.  Shake vigorously.  Strain.  Finish with a Lemon twist.  Enjoy!

What are your thoughts?  Do you prefer recreating an intricately crafted cocktail or a simple classic?

*For more information about Lauren Mote or Kale and Nori Culinary arts check out their website at www.kaleandnori.com

**Bittered Sling Extracts is available for purchase at www.thecraftybartender.com

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