Written By: Danno Landon
September is truly a great month for cocktails. It signifies the switch of seasons and starts the fall lineup of flavors for most restaurants and bars. To be honest, it is my favorite time of the year, but I am a touch biased because my birthday is in this month. Now you may be wondering, “Danno, why are you not doing fall drinks for this month, did you not get the message that summer is over?” Don’t you worry reader, just wait until October for my fall cocktail work, I promise to not disappoint. This topic didn’t really work as well with fall flavors, so we are going to extend the summer just a little bit longer.
The inspiration behind the Sunchang Sipper came about because my girlfriend had never had a Moscow Mule until recently. When I made them at home I wanted a spicy note that the ginger beer didn’t provide. Plus, I thought the fermented note of the gochujang would add more depth to the Moscow Mule because if we are being honest with ourselves it is a pretty one-dimensional drink. Fun Fact: Sunchang is a county in South Korea and is known for their excellent gochujang which is a very balanced and very umami rich.
The Currita was inspired by failure. The original drink that I tested was a complete nightmare. If you were wondering what a dragon fruit mojito shaken with harissa sauce tastes like I can tell you; it had quite the funky flavor. Idea number two came from leftover limes in the fridge and the trend for turmeric based drinks which led me to the Currita. The flavor profile should start off as a traditional margarita and then transition to a very spice based floral/earthy note that is common in a good curry.
The Tajín G+T came about because I love gin and tonics and was looking for a slightly different twist on the classic. Tajín paired with tropical fruits is common especially in Latin cuisine so I thought the floral notes of the gin would play well with the tropical notes of the fruit with the chili flavor of the tajin. The overall flavor starts with the nice juniper gin note that you are accustomed to and then a vibrant pop of the citrus and fruit and gets mellowed by the chili towards the end.
Sunchange Sipper (serves 2)
1 tbsp. Gochujang
4 oz Vodka
8 oz ginger beer
1 whole lime, sliced
¼ Mango, sliced
To start, whisk the vodka and gochujang in a small bowl until combined. In a high ball glass, muddle sliced lime and mango slices together, just enough to release some juice. Add Ice, then pour the vodka/gochujang over the ice and fruit and swirl once or twice. Then pour the ginger beer to finish and garnish with a lime and mango slice.
Currita (Serves 2)
2 tbsp coconut cream
4 oz reposado tequila
2 oz triple sec
2 oz lime juice
Curry powder (1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp cardamom, ½ tsp coriander, ½ tsp cinnamon)
Harissa powder (This can be found at a middle eastern grocer or a specialty food store like whole foods, or a spice store)
Add the coconut cream, tequila, triple sec, lime juice and curry powder in a blender and blast till it is all incorporated. Blend on high until there is a nice froth from the coconut on top of the mixture, about 2-3 minutes. Add ice either to glass or blender depending on if you want to serve it on the rocks or frozen. Garnish with a lime and harissa powder around the rim.
Tajin G+T (Serves 2)
2 oz gin
6 oz tonic
1 oz Lime
Rim glass with Tajín seasoning. Cut the watermelon and pineapple into strips and place in bottom of glass. Place ice over the fruit then pour the gin on top, then the lime, then the tonic to finish. Enjoy.