TL;DR As we gain experiences on recipe development, we give a shot at tailoring our approaches towards drinks. A meal isn’t complete with out it’s drink.
Recipe: We actually developed two different cocktails in this post: Kyoto Fashioned is a Japanese-inspired Old Fashioned and Campfire Cobbler is a Peach-Infused Whiskey with other spices to bring the taste of a campfire cobbler to a cocktail.
As usual, we start off with the research which consists of acquiring a base of different alcohols and pairings. We put all this knowledge into one of our handy dandy supplement posts: here.
To recap, a bottom-up approach consists of a method of where the underlying framework is already defined (the ingredients, dish, cuisine, etc.) If I was to take a bottom-up approach to this drink I would follow a framework similar to how we approached Eggs Benedicto-San. For example, pretend I am opening a Japanese restaurant and I want to adapt a drink to tailor it to my restaurant.
So I am creating a drink for my restaurant. Before we start, let me tell you bit about my restaurant and given that this will be the “signature” cocktail for my restaurant there has to be a bit of my preference:
- Cuisine/Theme: Japanese
- Audience: Social environment, friends in there 20s, want to go out and have a drink with their meal
- Personal preference: Whiskey
I will take one of my favorite drinks, Old Fashioned, and break it down:
Original Old Fashioned
- Orange Peel
- Simple Syrup
With that understanding, we develop our “baseline” drink in which we define the integral elements.
Baseline Old Fashioned
- Citrus Taste and Aroma
- Fruit Taste
On the other hand, we can take a top-down approach similar to how we tackled Inspiration Through Nature for Cliffside. For dish approach, the pairing of the dish is very important. In Cliffside, I derived my inspiration from nature. I sat down and decided what do I think goes along (conceptually) with the cliffside and I immediately thought of a Campfire and Sunset. Given my preference for whiskey, I chose Campfire. Menu item: Cliffside + Campfire.
What does a campfire mean to me?
Campfire associations: fire, smokey, dutch oven, pine, ash, marshmallows, burnt, jambalaya, sausage, cobbler. And that’s when it came to me: a Campfire Peach Cobbler. It was one of my favorite meals to cook on the dutch oven, and it works perfectly as peaches currently are in season.
Peach Cobbler flavors: peach, sugar, cinnamon, citrus. Putting the cobbler together with the campfire I get: smokey, cinnamon, peach, sweet, citrus. To get all these flavors into the drink a infusion would be the best.
Bottom-Up: Kyoto Fashioned
- Yuzu Rind
- Saukuranbo (Japanese cherry)
- Orange or Angostura Bitters
- Splash of Cane Syrup
- A Japanese mid-range Whiskey, good to drink but not so good that you are hiding the taste from the other ingredients in the cocktail (Yamasaki is a popular brand)
Served muddled, with ice, in a highball.
- Taste: sweet, freshness, and whiskey
- Aroma: citrus from the yuzu and whiskey
- Mouthfeel: the tingle of a whiskey burn, cool from ice
- X-factor: a classic drink with a twist
Top-Down: Campfire Cobbler
- Bourbon – a good whiskey that brings a lot of additional spices that will complement the peach
- Sliced peaches
- Some spices such as cloves or cardamon
We can either infuse in a whipping siphon or infuse over a couple days in a mason jar. I didn’t overcomplicate as I wanted those peaches to shine.
Combine into shaker:
- Infusion mix (removing the peaches and spices)
- Splash of simple syrup
- Dash of bitters
I wanted clean mouthfeel so I didn’t include a soda or carbonated water.
After shaking set to the side. Light an end of cinnamon on fire and place onto a plate and invert a glass (champagne saucer or cocktail) over the cinnamon. Let it get all smokey and the fire will eventually subside due to the lack of oxygen.
Immediately pour shaker into glass. Garnish with a peach rind.
- Taste: peach sweetness, cinnamon, bourbon, hints of spices
- Aroma: cinnamon will be the predominate smell, hopefully the peaches are able to come through from the taste of the bourbon
- Mouthfeel: cool, clean, crisp
- X-factor: presentation flare with the smoke, if you were a boy scout maybe this drink will bring back memories, otherwise an inventive drink
Open ended: if we want more viscosity we can add egg whites to the shaker. Maybe we don’t want to add ice to the shaker given the warmth of a campfire.
Peaches are one of my favorite summertime fruits. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a cold Campfire Cobbler. But alas, we had to infuse for a few days. Fooey.
I started with a bottle of bourbon (375 mL), added one chopped peach, and 7-8 cloves.
Ready to infuse!
I let this mixture sit on the windowsill for 4 days, shaking it once each day.
On day 4, I strained the mixture into a mason jar. Look how the color has darkened! The infused bourbon also smells strongly of peach and cloves. Yum.
I started assembling the drink by lighting a cinnamon stick, capturing the smoke with an old fashioned glass. (The cinnamon doesn’t ever fully light, but will produce smoke).
Add a large ice cube to the smoky glass.
Add 2 oz. peach-infused bourbon.
Add 1/2 oz. simple syrup.
Add 2 dashes bitters.
Stir with a bar spoon.
Garnish with a peach rind and a cinnamon stick.
Post Game Analysis
- The drink is sweet, fruity, refreshing and great for summer. But the cinnamon-y warmth makes it suitable for other seasons as well.
- The peach taste definitely comes through the taste of the bourbon, the sweet peachy taste is made even easier to pick up by the addition of the simple syrup.
- Dangerously good. Seriously.
- Happy you chose to go with the Campfire Cobbler and it came out delish
- I think the steps that we created in this drink can easily be taken apart and replicated to create different variations
- We officially have our own signature cocktail!
- Cinnamon stick to glass height ratio is a bit off as well as a bit watery for my liking when having whiskey
- We might have taken a slight step back when it came to presentation