Friday, 12 April 2013

Fabulous Friday: Cocktail Dreams

Aoife, Cambridge

A cocktail came to me in my dreams the other night and I have decided I must share it with you. I have dreamed of cocktails before of course, mainly in boring meetings, but never so lucidly while actually asleep. I spent the rest of the dream telling my dream friends about my dream cocktail so when I woke up I was convinced it was going to be good. I really had to make it.

The first difficulty I encountered was the stout. In my delightful dream, the dream bar man had insisted it had to be Murphy's stout. Sourcing Murphy's at short notice in Cambridge proved to be impossible so Guinness had to stand in. I can see my dream bar man shaking his head disapprovingly at me. I'm going to try it again with Murphy's when I get the chance, I promise. The next change I made involved the raspberry element. In the dream it was raspberry cordial but I thought some Chambord (black raspberry liqueur) would increase the alcohol content nicely. At this stage I had all the ingredients: stout, vanilla ice cream, raspberry liqueur, raspberries and mint. My next headache was the presentation. The cocktail presented to me in my reverie used a hammock of mint leaves to hold the ice cream over the stout and raspberry mixture. This was a bit beyond me so I settled for a type of Guinness & Chambord float with the mint on the side. 

The verdict? I liked it a lot but I am partial to that blasphemous creation Guinness & blackcurrant. More surprisingly, The Husband really liked it, in fact he drank the whole thing. For reference, this is a man who wouldn't normally approve of messing around with a pint of Guinness. This cocktail is creamy, surprisingly fruity and has a delightful balance of sweet and bitter notes. It's also extremely filling. I'm just not sure what kind of occasion might warrant one of these. A freakishly warm St Patrick's day?

recipe (serves one)

30mL Chambord
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
approx 350mL Guinness (or other stout)
raspberries and mint to garnish

Place the scoop of ice cream in a large glass. Add the Chambord and top up with your chosen stout. Garnish with raspberries and mint.
I didn't stop there. As I was rather overexcited at this stage, I thought that this ice cream, Guinness combination needed further exploration.

A Guinness syrup I thought! I heated 440mL of Guinness in an uncovered saucepan until it had reduced to about a quarter of its original volume and then added approx 150g of brown sugar and let it simmer for a further few minutes. I served the syrup hot so the result was quite similar to an affogato, though I also added some Chambord to the ice cream for some extra fruity flavour.

A great desert if you enjoy that delightful marriage of bitter and sweet. I'm just not sure how often I would bother to make the syrup. It might just be coffee on my ice cream from now on.

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