Created at home during lockdown, this cocktail is an ode to local produce and the creatures that help create it. The drink and it’s ingredients embody everything I love: fermentation, local, seasonal produce, minimal waste and culinary techniques.
40ml Bourbon (or rye)
20ml Homemade Xtabentún* (anise mead liqueur)
15ml Mandarin and Pink Pepper Verjus**
5ml Banana Vinegar***
4 drops Tarragon oil
Garnish: Mandarin peel sherbet coated “butterfly”
Add first four ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir down and strain into a rocks glass over a large ice block. Carefully add drops of Tarragon oil. Place dried mandarin butterfly on top of ice block and sprinkle with sherbet.
*Homemade Xtabentún: Mix good quality honey with de-chlorinated or filtered water at a ratio of 1:2. (1500ml honey: 3000ml water). Add whole, fresh, chopped fennel and 3-5 toasted star anise pods. Place in a clean jar covered with a cloth, or carboy under airlock to ferment for about a month. If using jar, be sure to stir every single day. Strain off and add 20% of the weight in white rum. Then add a further 15% of that weight in fresh honey. Bottle and refrigerate.
**Mandarin and Pink Pepper Verjus: Add the peel of 5 mandarins plus 10g of toasted pink peppercorn to 1 litre of verjus. Add everything to a vac bag. Seal and cook sous vide at 60 degrees celsius for 4 hours. Strain off, bottle and refrigerate.
***Banana Vinegar: Mash 5 bananas until smooth. transfer to a clean, wide mouth jar and cover with a clean cloth, chux or cheesecloth and a rubber band. Stir 2-3 times a day everyday for 5-7 days until bananas have become liquidy and acidic enough for your tastes. Strain, bottle and refrigerate.