Saturday, July 7, 2012

I should trademark the word "Cuketail"

The latest recipe from my "From the Harvest" series in The Baltimore Sun went up last week and it has been shared a lot. And why the hell not? It's delicious AND it has booze in it! When it's really hot outside like it is at this moment heavier drinks can just make you feel even more miserable. A drink like this is refreshing and not full of sugar (the simple syrup is just a vehicle for the powerful ginger flavor) so it can be enjoyed (over and over) at your cookout of choice this week.
A little background on this drink. My wife and I were in Barcelona Spain 2 1/2 years ago and the apartment we were renting was right around the corner from Albert Adria's (Ferran's brother) Tapas bar Inopia. Giddy with excitement for our second meal at this amazing tapas bar (we went two nights before with friends), we went there early knowing that the line would be long and the patrons crazy to get in. Unfortunately, others had the same idea and we were given a 45 minute wait with the assurances that if we went over to the bar across the street for a few cocktails, a staff member would come over and get us when it was our turn to be let in to Inopia. Never ones to turn down a chance to relax and have an adult beverage or two, my wife and I skipped across the street with hopes that the 45 minutes would fly by.
Xixbar was the name of the joint and gin is what they served. Neither my wife nor I were really big fans of gin at the time but when a place is dedicated to gin, you don't order whiskey so after figuring out what the recipes on the menu said, we ordered with thoughts still of the upcoming meal across the street. What was served to us were drinks as big as fish bowls, some garnished with rose petals and chunks of smashed ginger with others garnished with cucumber and lime. To say it was eye opening is a gross understatement. Needless to say we left that place fans of the gin cocktail and while we had an incredible dinner at Inopia, we wished they could run across the street and get us a gin drink. Throughout the week and a half we were there we hit Inopia three times and hit Xixbar four times promising ourselves we would try to recreate the great drinks we had there when we got home.

The drink at Xixbar. Notice the cucumber, lime and rose petal garnishes.
©2012 John Houser III