The deadline for submissions for the Luxardo cocktail competition was fast approaching and I had no idea what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to use their Bitter Bianco but that was about it. I was making dinner one night and had some Ontario asparagus. As often happens, I ended up with a salad with a honey vinaigrette and it just seemed to me that it would make a good cocktail. The rosemary and citrus notes in the Bitter Bianco just might perfectly complement the honey and asparagus.
I had just attended a talk by Nick Kosevich, the guy behind Bittercube bitters and he had been talking about citrates. I was really interested in having a sour element in my cocktail but I didn’t want to use lemon juice. At Mrs. Robinson, we go through quite a bit of citrus and I decided to repurpose all of the scraps into a citrate using a lemon oleo. I was going to roast the asparagus and smoke the syrup but eventually decided that would add too many components in my cocktail and I wanted it to be simple. So I ended up simmering and blanching the asparagus, then letting it sit in my honey and lemon oleo over night. It worked out pretty well, although the asparagus flavour was completely gone in a week.
A lot of people thought asparagus wouldn’t work in a cocktail but I’ve always been drawn to difficult ingredients. My feeling is, give it a try. You might be surprised by the results. And bonus: I ended up winning the competition with this cocktail!
1.5 oz Dillon’s No. 7 Gin
0.5 oz Luxardo Bitter Bianco
0.5 oz honey asparagus citrate<
Stir and strain into coupe. Garnish with rosemary.