Autumn at last!

Regarding the temperate climate, with broadleaf trees changing color seasonally, there is a charisma in the air, an inspiration, a profound unveiling of the inner self where breathing the cooler air and seeing the astonishing colors of the leaves reminds me of my genuine reflection.  I am not at peace.  Yet, this season brings a quiet in my heart I have waited for since last year.  Autumn is a journey of exploration, and all the realms entirely within myself.  Nature is on the move.  When it first arrives, it is as if it is an accident – that stunningly chilly morning.  Refreshing, on the other hand unnerving and disturbing, almost as if something is wrong.  Turns out it is good jacket weather, and time to eat some apples, and anything with them in it.

If you read my Apple Season cocktail from last year, I made a similar cocktail, again inspired by apples.  The first difference with this one is with the rum, using three rums instead a single rum and Applejack combination.  Not that all daiquiris require Cuban style rums, I wanted that flavor attention.  The Bajan rum spices the Matusalem, not as a spiced rum would, but in the same way salt enhances the richness in a dessert.  And the dark Coruba adds a lovely brown sugar flavor, rather than molasses.  Instead of just lime juice, I wanted to incorporate more flavor from the oils from the lime peal in the muddling, as well as the unique blending with the sweetness of the lemon peal.  Then, the amounts of cider and cider syrup** are increased to make a larger and sweeter drink.  I also wanted to change the bitters, feeling Regan’s orange bitters would give a better impression than the savory Angostura, particularly with both lemon and lime.  My first apple cocktail was a more refined drink, and needed double-straining, floating a delicately thin slice of apple to float.  The Autumn Daiquiri is a bit more playful, not only with flavors, but the unstrained salad-effect.

Autumn Daiquiri

Autumn Daiquiri
1 oz Matusalem Gran Reserva
1/2 oz Mount gay Eclipse
1/2 oz Coruba dark
1/2 lime (chopped)
1/4 lemon (chopped)
3/4 oz apple cider syrup**
2 1/2 oz apple cider
1/4 sweet apple (chopped)
2 dashes Regans' Orange Bitters No.6

Muddle lemon, lime, apple, syrup & bitters.  Add rest & shake hard with ice.  Pour unstrained into chilled old-fashioned glass (or collins glass).  Garnish with a hearty apple wedge.

**Apple Cider Syrup
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Simmer just below boil for few minutes to reduce slightly, stirring regularly.  Take off heat and let stand until room temp.  This will taste better the next day, but ready to eat right now with your pancakes…or aebleskivers…or Swedish coffee bread.

Laulima Lapu

A little after posting the Powell Point Punch, I began to wonder what was out there when it came to the three ingredients of pineapple, cranberry and grapefruit.  A funny thing happened – I found not only a drink that sported the three, but nearly had all the ingredients of another of my posted drinks as well (POG).  Reading Beachbum Berry’s book Remixed, I came across Bob Esmino’s Kijiya Lapu.  What I wanted to do was fiddle with Bob’s great drink, but still remaining devoted to his reasoning.

It comes down to a balancing act, sweet versus sour, like two teams with many members on each side of the rope playing tug-of-war, and rum is the rope.  My first thoughts before tasting it was not nervousness, but doubt.  I hoped the two drinks I liked wouldn’t ruin each other in the same glass.  Bob Esmino made a better drink, neither was his drink improved.  I simply made a different drink.  But it’s similar in many ways.  Changing the proportions altered the drink all by itself.  Also, it only made sense (to me) to add guava juice (regardless if I think the world is a better place with more guava in it).

Laulima Lapu
1 1/2 oz Myers's dark rum
1 oz Cruzan light rum
1/2 oz cranberry cocktail
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 pineapple juice
1/2 oz passionfruit juice
1/2 oz orange juice
1/2 oz guava juice
1/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz honey mix**
6 drops of absinthe
splash of orgeat
dash of Regan's No.6

Shake with lots of ice.  Pour without straining into large chilled glass, adding more ice if needed. Garnish with orange, cherry, mint, and an umbrella.

**Honey mix is simply equal portions honey to hot water, mixing until honey is dissolved.  Honey blends better this way; and you can get it all out of your jigger.

Powell Point Punch

Photo does not do the view justice from Powell Point Memorial

It all started a long time ago while I had a summer gig at the Grand Canyon National Park.  Still the best job I ever had, I worked outside, and many times a day that summer I had views like this to keep me enthusiastic, or at times rambunctious.  My favorite place to look, watch, sit, even enjoying a rare gift of silence, was at the Powell Point Memorial, a peninsula jutting out to demonstrate a near 360° panorama.  Of the many times I sat there, I did a lot of thinking and imagining.  Due to my not remembering if I came up with the idea at this spot, or anywhere else while working at the park that long ago summer, I’m still dedicating this drink to that inspiration.

It was the desert.  A place where a person can get awfully parched.  And for some reason three flavors called to me:  Grapefruit, Cranberry & Pineapple.  For years after the combination would battle and combine for my interest, at first as a non-alcoholic beverage, and then with experiments alongside spirits and liqueurs.  I am aware I did not invent this combination, and even search for drinks with these three to  continue my fascination.  Since I turned out to be a rum lover, I thought for sure that the drink would reach perfection with rum.  As it turns out, I forgot where I first realized my enlightenment.   After tasting it with tequila, I felt like I’d returned home.

Powell Point Punch
2 oz silver tequila
3/4 oz yellow grapefruit juice 
3/4 oz pineapple juice 
3/4 oz cranberry juice (cranberry cocktail) 
1/4 oz agave nectar 
dash of Regan’s No.6 bitters

Shake with lots of ice, strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.  Garnish with some pineapple leaves, a half slice of grapefruit, and a couple cherries (or however you like – what I did reminds me of a Hopi sun shield).

According to what I just said, what I just made, that is what you see as the image, was slightly different from the recipe.  The recipe is an easier, and in a way more accurate way of doing it, and quicker as well.  I muddled pineapple chunks and grapefruit to measure the amounts needed.  Also, I did not have yellow grapefruit, but the ruby red (a very mild one at that – not too ruby-y), which I think is a bit less tart and acidic.  That may have also altered the color of the drink.  Finally, I used Hornitos Reposado by Sauza.  Normally I’d make it with Sauza Silver.