Before the lockdown, we would waltz into a café or a bar to order beautifully made and delicious beverages. Those things we have taken granted for when we could go out are now left only to be reminisced on our social media memories.
Apart from the pretty garnish, clear ice, beautifully presented decorations, we too miss the hospitality of bartender and waiters, as well as the environment to mingle with other human beings.
While all these are now unavailable during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown, we can give it a try to experience the life of a bartender making the drinks that we thought impossible. They are, however, does take a bit of time (which you have aplenty at this point) and patience.
1. Make clear ice
Wonder how they make those beautiful, crystal-like clear ice in cocktail bars? It’s time-consuming to make but not as difficult as you think. Now it’s time to experiment how to make it and up your home bar game a notch with this video tutorial:
2. Make a clarified milk punch
Now this would really impress your family (or the world through social media) with your clear ice. Make a batch of cocktail and then clarify it to get a clear liquid that will truly show off your ice. To clarify the cocktail, you need milk and lemon.
“Milk punch is known for their soft round flavours when other ingredients are added into, like making a cocktail. Once clarified, it opens up the cocktail which is more mellow and easy to drink,” says Surinder Virk, head bartender at Rhu Bar, Four Seasons Langkawi.
The science behind milk punch is adding citrus to milk that causes the liquid to curdle. Add your cocktail into the citrus milk, sift it through a cheese cloth and repeat until desired clarity. The result is a clear liquid with a smooth texture.
Here is a video tutorial to guide you through. This video uses a recipe that already contains lemons. If your cocktail doesn’t already contain citrus, add it to the milk.
3. Whip a Dalgona Coffee
This internet sensation is a must-try. It’s simple with only 3 ingredients, cheap and super satisfying once it’s completed. “Dalgona” is adopted from the name of a sticky toffee in South Korea, which has the same texture from whisking the 3 ingredients for 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick you want it to be. (Try the alcoholic version here.)
Here is the video tutorial:
4. Fat wash spirit
Fat washing gives the spirit an added layer of flavour and creamy texture. Use any of your favourite fatty meat (how about bak kwa in whisky or sesame oil in gin), melt the fat and mixed with any spirit of your choice, freeze it and remove the fat after. Think of the cocktail you want to make, an old fashioned would be a good cocktail to make variations from any brown spirit.
5. Dehydrate fruits
The process of dehydrating fruits and vegetables can take 30 mins to several hours depending on the thickness and types of fruit. However, dehydrated fruits have a longer shelf life and can be used in your drinks as garnish or as snacks.
Tasty has a video for dehydrating a variety of fruits with instructions:
+1 Bonus: Create an Olympic cocktail (for the real pro)
Beat this Commonwealth Cocktail created by Mal Spence at the Kelvingrove Café in Glasgow with unique ingredients from 71 participating countries in celebration of Glasgow 2014.
Since the Olympic is now postponed to next year, you now have one year to think of a recipe for the Olympic. There are 206 countries in the Olympic game. What would the unique ingredients be for these nations that can be used to make cocktails? Give it a go.
Share any of your results with us by tagging @thristmag and #thirstmag for a chance to be featured.
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