The best twist on a mezcalgarita I’ve had in awhile is the Zakko Churro cocktail. I discovered it at Model Milk during their weekly Sunday Supper. It was created to reflect last week’s theme: Mexican food.
Model Milk hosts a Sunday Supper with a different theme each week. It costs $40 per person and includes starters, main and dessert.
Imagine combining a margarita with the sweet cinnamon goodness of a churro, then adding a smoky hit, and you’ve got the Zakko Churro, so named for its inventor, Zakk MacDonald, and its muse, a churro. It features mezcal instead of tequila (hence the smoky flavour), pear liqueur rather than triple sec for a fruity taste of winter, lime juice and just a dollop of cinnamon syrup. Delicious!
Smoky mezcal, lime juice, pear liqueur and cinnamon syrup turn into a liquid churro at Model Milk.
- 1.5 oz mezcal
- 0.5 oz pear liqueur
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz cinnamon syrup*
Method: Rim a rocks glass with cinnamon-sugar, set aside. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice into the rocks glass.
— Recipe courtesy Zakk MacDonald, Model Milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
Method: Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon stick and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove cinnamon stick and store syrup in the fridge.
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 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
My memories of visiting Angers in France revolve around sipping Cointreau over ice inside Chateau des Briottieres, an 18th-century chateau-turned-B&B, before sampling more Cointreau cocktails after touring the nearby Cointreau distillery the following day. Both the chateau and Cointreau are family-run enterprises, so it’s fitting that the winning cocktail from last week’s Mademoiselle Cointreau competition was a tasty drink named to commemorate family and the memories and ties that bind us together: In Memoir.
This twist on a Cointreau fizz is like a Cointreau-Ramos gin fizz hybrid.
Eight female bartenders representing various Calgary restaurants and lounges gathered at Belgo last Thursday to compete for the title of Mademoiselle Cointreau-Calgary by creating an original drink that’s a twist on a classic Cointreau fizz (1-1/2 Cointreau/1/2 lime/top soda water). Every cocktail had to include Cointreau and half a lime, as well as a fizz element such as the traditional soda water.
There were some inventive and delicious drinks mixed up, including a gorgeous ginger creation and a Raspberry Pie Sky made with raspberry sorbet, but the stand-out drink was In Memoir. Model Milk bartender Madeleine MacDonald looked to the classic Ramos Gin Fizz and then took out the cream and added in Cointreau when creating her drink. Cointreau really is a natural addition to this drink given the ingredients. It works well with gin and lime, and I have yet to meet a drink that an egg white did not enhance — it somehow just smooths out any rough edges and blends the flavours together. I doubt I’ll ever actually make gewürtz syrup, but I imagine a honey syrup would be a tasty substitution. Enjoy!
- 1 oz The Botanist gin
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 egg white
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz gewürztraminer syrup*
- Dash orange flower water
- Top soda water
- Nasturtium garnish
Method: Dry shake all ingredients, except soda water, to emulsify egg white. Add ice and shake again. Double strain into an old fashioned glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a nasturtium.
*Gewürztraminer syrup: Heat one bottle of gewürztraminer white wine with two cups sugar until sugar has dissolved. Cool, portion and refrigerate.
— Recipe by Madeleine MacDonald, Model Milk