I had pretty much given up on this month’s MxMo and its resinaceous theme. For some reason, I did not feel especially inspired and could not see myself buying a special ingredient to be able to fit with the theme.
Like Monsieur Jourdain who eventually realized that he had been speaking in prose his entire life, unbeknownst to me I had actually been playing with resin for a few weeks. And I came to the realization that I had three cocktails that were perfect for this month’s challenge.
Gum syrup is made from gum Arabic, a resin that is obtained from the sap of the acacia tree. Also known as gomme (French for gum), it used to be a common ingredient in cocktails in the late 1800s. It can be used in place of simple syrup and, as an added bonus, its high viscosity changes the texture of the cocktail. The gum syrup that I use is made by Small Hands Foods in San Francisco.
First I tried it in a Whiskey Old Fashioned with Buffalo Trace bourbon. The resulting cocktail had a rich texture that made it very approachable and dangerously smooth.
Whiskey Old Fashioned | 2 oz bourbon | 1 barspoon gomme | 2 dashes Angostura bitters | stir | strain | rocks | lemon peel garnish
Then I continued with the Old Fashioned inspiration and tried gomme in a Rye Gin Old-Fashioned with St. George dry rye gin, which was exceptionally good. In both of these cocktails, the gum acts as a supporting character by enhancing how the other ingredients are experienced, rather than altering the taste of the cocktail.
Rye Gin Old Fashioned (Thad Vogler) | 1.5 oz St. George dry rye gin | 2 barspoons gomme | 1 barspoon maraschino liqueur | 2 dashes Fee’s old fashioned bitters | 2 dashes Angostura bitters | stir | rocks | orange and lemon zest garnish
For the third cocktail, I tried something where resin was the central flavor element. The resin component was contributed by a sprig of fresh rosemary. In Muse of Doom’s Doe’s Path, the simple act of adding a garnish transforms the drink. The rosemary sprig with its strong herbaceous nature, combined with the Cynar, produces the illusion of sweet caramelized sap, and this cocktail evokes a long walk in the woods.
The Doe’s Path (Muse of Doom) | 1 oz rye | 1 oz dry vermouth | 3/4 oz Cynar | 1/4 oz Benedictine | stir | strain | coupe | rosemary garnish
Thank you to Christa and Shaun from boozenerds for hosting MxMo and choosing an original and challenging theme this month.