Hidden Dragon by Kris Baljak, Clement in the Peninsula Hotel, New York, NY, USA

by Gaz Regan · Monday, August 10th, 2015 · 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2015

Hidden Dragon

Kris Baljak, Clement in the Peninsula Hotel, New York, NY, USA

“When we tasted HKB we thought it had some anise notes that would blend harmoniously with absinthe, so we tried them out and it was a good start. I added Midori to give color and a touch of sweetness. When I added the lemon and egg white initially, the cocktail became too sweet and lost some of its edge. Then I came up with the idea of separating the lemon and egg white by floating the foam on top. This way, when you sip the Hidden Dragon, the edge is there but it slightly calmed with the lemon and egg foam. In terms of the name, it’s an homage to Bruce Lee. He broke racial barriers.” Kris Baljak

Hidden DragonFoam Foundation:

30 ml (1 oz) fresh lemon juice

6 dashes Lemon Oleo-Saccharum*

3 egg whites

30 ml (1 oz) simple syrup

 

37.5 ml (1.25 oz) HKB baijiu

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Jade 1901 Absinthe Supérieure

15 ml (.5 oz) Midori liqueur

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lemon juice

6 dashes Lemon Oleo-Saccharum*

3 viola flowers, as garnish

Combine the Foam Foundation ingredients in an N2O-charged ISI canister. Shake the remaining ingredients over ice. Lay the Foam Foundation on the bottom of a cocktail glass about 1.5 inches deep. Slowly pour the contents of the shaker down the side of the glass so the liquid lies under the foam. Add the garnish.

*Lemon Oleo-Saccharum: Peel 6 lemons, taking care to avoid the pith. Combine the peels with 100 g (.5 cup) granulated sugar and let stand for 30 minutes. Muddle the peels slightly to release more oils and let stand another hour before straining.

gaz sez:

Whatever happened to Gin and Tonics? How about Scotch and Soda? Now I have to make foams (thanks, Jamie Boudreau, Dave Arnold, et al), then I need to make Oleo-Saccharum (I won’t forget this, David Wondrich), and all this has to be done before I even attempt to make the [expletive deleted] drink. Oy Vey!

That said, I have an extreme fondness for baijiu, having first sampled it in China a few years ago, and although it sometimes bears that unmistakable eau-de-sweaty-socks aroma, it’s a very pleasant eau-de-sweaty-socks, if you know what I mean. Acquired taste? Maybe, but it’s a taste that, in my opinion, is well worth acquiring.

And to go back to the Hidden Dragon cocktail, let me just say this: It Rocks! And it’s worth a trip to NYC to sample it if you don’t want to fiddle with the foam or mess around with sugar and lemon zests to make something with a Latin name. Sometimes I yearn for 1973 . . .

 

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