Ewok Elixir (MxMo XXVI)

I guess it's only fitting that the guy who loves a good, strong, sweet drink gets his Mixology Monday debut with the theme being "a sweet alcoholic beverage infused with fruits or fruit flavours" (jump to conclusions at your peril).

First, and also fittingly, this Mixology Monday (hosted this month by Anna at 'Morsels & Musings') happens to exactly coincide with - aside from my first wedding anniversary - the end of a fruit-rum infusion I started March 1st, the recipe of which came from Saveur:

44 Cordial
1 large navel orange
44 coffee beans
1 cup sugar (just over 44 tsp.)
1 liter white rum (roughly a quart)

1. Poke forty-four 1"-deep slits all over the orange with a paring knife; stuff a coffee bean into each slit.
2. Put the orange, along with the sugar and rum, into a widemouthed jar with a tight-sealing lid. Store and let steep in a cool, dark spot, swirling the jar occasionally, for 44 days.
3. Remove and discard the orange and strain the liqueur through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Transfer to a clean bottle and store in the freezer until ready to drink. Serve neat or over ice.
I carefully ran the pale yellowish-orange liquid through four wire-mesh, cheese-cloth, and coffee filter strainings and bottled it (in a repurposed Orangina bottle) before tasting. It's certainly sweet and smooth - the orange and coffee are present and balanced - it's just a little too bitter for my tastes. And it's not the expected bitterness from the coffee beans, instead it seems the orange pith (the white spongy stuff between the rind and the pulp) has added a bit too much of its flavor. Probably could have used a vanilla bean thrown in there for the last couple of days.

After spending some time resting in the freezer, the infusion became a little sweeter, smoother, and the bitterness more subdued. This is nice; definitely meant to be served chilled.

But now on to this month's cocktail...

The origin of the following drink started fairly innocently enough. Every film/TV set has a crafts services area with a variety of food and drinks available - if you keep the workers fed, they'll complain less. Among the juices available for breakfast one morning were a nice and cloudy unfiltered apple juice (not as sweet as its filtered counterpart) and a thick and syrupy mango nectar. They asked to be joined and I obliged, and after the first sip I knew the combo needed rum.

To make sure it wasn't just my default reaction to all things delicious ("this is good - put rum in it!"), I tested it at home that weekend. Both dark and white rum worked very well in the combo, but it needed... something else. I swapped out the rums for coconut rum and apple brandy. It lost some strength but it was definitely a bit more interesting. I hit it with triple sec, orgeat, a juicy lime wedge, and a few tiny drops of bitters - with a floater of Black Seal for good measure. It was tasty but maybe too much going on. I then used less orgeat, less triple sec, a little more apple juice, swapped out the lime for lemon, and swapped the bitters for some of my homemade grenadine - then floated the Black Seal.


But here I am with this 44 Cordial just begging to be used. I swapped out the triple sec with it, and the drink just went to another level. It adds a bit of bitterness to the orange and really becomes a different drink. Those of you at home who don't want to wait six weeks to make the cordial and try this drink, and are lucky enough to have a bottle of Rhum Clément Creole Shrubb handy, toss it in if you dare - but I wouldn't want to hide the Shrubb behind too many other tastes. So best to just use triple sec or curacao (a much more frugal option).

Ewok ElixirEwok Elixir
1.25 oz - unfiltered apple juice
1 oz - coconut rum
1 oz - apple brandy
1 oz - mango nectar
.5 oz - dark rum
.5 oz - 44 Cordial (or triple sec)
.25 oz - lemon (and/or lime) juice
.5 tsp - orgeat
dash - grenadine

Shake (or flash blend) all ingredients except dark rum with cracked ice and pour into a double rocks (or collins) glass. Float dark rum on top. Garnish with a lime wedge/wheel, cherry, or mint sprig.

I've made quite a few variations of this bad boy already, but the apple/mango combo definitely merits even more exploration (maybe something a bit more simple like 44 Cordial, dark rum, and blood orange bitters?).

For some reason, when thinking of a name, I felt it needed to be jungle-themed. And then little sloshed and rowdy Ewoks swinging from mango trees popped into my head. My mind is a dangerous place sometimes.

April 14, 2008


Dood said...

Wow! Now THAT is a cocktail!

Anonymous said...

I'll take 3.

"sloshed and rowdy Ewoks swinging from mango trees"


Silvio said...

Now that looks like a decent summer drink! Love the pics.

PAULA E. said...


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