Drink of the Week: The Fields are Burning

This week’s unusually-named cocktail comes courtesy of Model Milk’s David Bain, the winner of last week’s Mount Gay rum cocktail competition organized by Mount Gay’s Canadian distributor, Select Wines & Spirits, and held at Briggs Kitchen + Bar in Calgary. Bain’s delicious libation, basically a rum cherry sour, is named for the sugarcane field burning that takes place before harvesting the cane, to make the process easier and require less manual labour. What’s the connection? Rum is made by distilling sugarcane byproducts such as molasses and sugarcane juice. So, The Fields are Burning is, in a sense, a nod to the spirit’s storied history — and to this cocktail’s surprising, smoky taste.

This delicious drink, basically a rum cherry sour, won the Mount Gay rum cocktail competition in Calgary last week.

This delish drink, basically a rum cherry sour, won the Mount Gay rum cocktail competition in Calgary last week.

I am partial to sours — I love how the egg white smooths out a drink’s rough edges and helps combine ingredients. I am also loving cherry sours, as a recent post attests. There’s something about cherry that plays well with dark spirits, from rye to tequila, and rum is no exception. But what really makes Bain’s drink stand out is the smoky flavour. He captures this essence with his simple syrup, and also by setting the coup glass atop a smouldering stave from a bourbon barrel, to infuse the glass before pouring in the cocktail. Yes, setting the stave afire was a bit gimmicky, but trust me, this cocktail’s scrumptious taste is not all smoke and mirrors.

The Fields are Burning

  • 1-1/2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse
  • 1/2 oz Ginja D’Obidos cherry liqueur
  • 1 barspoon Pimento Dram (allspice liqueur)
  • Dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1/2 oz smoked black tea simple syrup (recipe not available)
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • Lemon grass ash garnish (chop up some lemon grass, then torch it for 40 minutes until it turns into a fine ash)

Combine all ingredients except lemon grass ash into a cocktail shaker. Dry shake to emulsify egg, then add ice and shake again. Strain into a 6 oz coup glass, or cylindrical coup glass, if available. Sprinkle lemon grass ash atop foam and serve.

— Recipe courtesy David Bain, Model Milk

4 responses to “Drink of the Week: The Fields are Burning

  1. This looks amazing. I think I have yet another reason to visit Model Milk (hoping David has everything to mix one up there). Have you found Peychaud’s bitters around Calgary? I haven’t noticed it amongst all the new bitters, but would like to add it to my collection.

  2. Good drink. Just enjoyed one last night at Model Milk and wanted to try recreating it…But don’t you mean 40 SECONDS of burning the Lemongrass? 40 minutes seems excessive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s