101 Best New Cocktails: Carrot Top Cocktail by Nick Caputo , City of London Distillery, London, UK
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Carrot Top Cocktail
Nick Caputo , City of London Distillery, London, UK
“I created this drink for Domaine de Canton this year. I had been experimenting with liqueurs as a dominant spirit in cocktails a fair amount in recent months, trying to do something new that wasn’t using your usual gin, rum, tequila, or latest trendy spirit.
My initial attempts, trial and error, resulted in cocktails that had flavour combinations that worked together. However something was flat, missing. I had found that many lack the alcoholic strength to carry enough flavour and depth/complexity – the mouth feel became sugar heavy and flat. Upon enough experimenting I decided that 20ml of approx 40% spirit and above to 30ml liqueur results in a balance which highlights the liqueur nicely. It helps carry the flavour – start to finish and depth to a drink. So when I began making drinks with Domaine de Canton I wanted to fashion something that resulted in a cocktail that you wanted to order over and over, that embodied the base ingredient – the Domaine de Canton, but whilst remaining different, simple to replicate but off-piste** and original.
I thought of classic food combinations, built from duo’s and trio’s of flavours that worked with the hand-sourced ingredients that go into the liqueur – of course making the ginger the center, but also trying to play on honey and vanilla that shine in the liqueur. This is why I used Yellow Chartreuse, the honey and saffron help the ginger shine and acted as a more interesting, effective sweet to the tart lime juice. The rye added the alcohol that helped with the length of the cocktails finish. It imparted a dryness, spice and mild vanilla note to the party, which is why I didn’t use vodka – it would have helped enhance the ginger without the subtle notes I wanted. When paired with the unusual ingredient of carrot juice & mint and enjoyed served over ice with full garnish – the result is a unusual savoury style drink which is drinkable on pretty much all occasions; easy to make, yet different with a nice appearance, aroma, balance.
The name itself is a little play on the use of the carrot, colour and ginger elements of the drink – the way the bright orange reminds me of how unsavoury it is to call people with ginger hair “Carrot Top” yet ironic for the drink as it is a savoury drink but uses Carrot’s & Ginger . . .” Nick Caputo
30 ml (1 oz) Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
25 ml (.85 oz) fresh lime juice
20ml (.66 oz) good rye whiskey (Rittenhouse Bottled-in-Bond, Sazerac, etc.)
15 ml (.5 oz) Yellow Chartreuse
a handful of fresh mint
2 ginger slices, a mint sprig and a twist of carrot, as garnishes
Shake all ingredients over ice, and strain into an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass. add the garnishes.
*Add sugar syrup if carrot juice isn’t sweet enough.
**Off-Piste is a skiing term meaning, more or less, to deviate from the normal, or the expected.
gaz sez: Fuckin’ brilliant. And very nicely thought out. It’s bartenders such as Nick who push the envelope, learn as they go, and teach us all to look at drinks from different angles. Well done, sir.