Acrylic afternoons

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 with Buffalo Trace bourbon, gum syrup, Angostura bitters, lemon peel

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The Milano Swizzle, Bitter Giuseppe, and the Search for Delicious

Most nights I make cocktails for two, but when my husband is out of town I almost always reach for the amari (he is not a bitter lover and that is an understatement). Campari, Cynar, Fernet-Branca – it’s all fair game, and the more bitter the better as far as I am concerned (I wonder, is there such a thing as a bitterness scale for amari, similar to IBUs for beer?).

Last night, I decided to try a riff on a Cynar + sweet vermouth combination, Christian Siglin’s Milano Swizzle.

Milano Swizzle (Christian Siglin): cynar, sweet vermouth, gin, lemon juice, salt
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