1.5 oz. gin (Tanqueray 10)
Spoonful grenadine (homemade pomegranate)
Dash Peychaud's bitters
Top with Fentiman's Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger
This cocktail has been in the making since the attendance of the "Making Your Own Ingredients" seminar taught by Blair Reynolds and Jeff Morgenthaler. We tasted a selection of 3 grenadines, Rose's, a expensive Napa Valley Brand, and Morgenthaler's own recipe. It was remarkable how bright and fruity Jeff's recipe was when tasted against the alternatives which were syrupy, sweet, and dull. Having found the final ingredient, pomegranate molasses at a local Greek restaurant I set about making my first batch. It came out quite well, though there was a bit of of pithy taste, most likely due to juicing method (low quality electronic juicer) but still miles beyond the red dyed sugar water too often passed as grenadine today. I would have liked to try Small Hands Food grenadine along with the others for comparison sake, as many consider that the best alternative to making your own, but did not have the opportunity. The latter part of Jeff's tasting was between his homemade ginger beer and Reed's ginger brew. This was an equally remarkable difference, though perhaps not a completely fair fight as there are other higher quality ginger beer products on the market that were not included in the tasting. This point was raised by Fentiman's CEO Craig James, who was aldo in attendance for the events of the week, spreading Fentiman's joy. Jeff said that he considered Fentiman's of the highest quality, and that Clyde Common had used it prior to making his own, but distribution inconsistencies forced the mother of invention, necessity to take action. It was a treat to hear from Craig about his unique take on artisanal sodas, brew methods, infusion techniques, and we jumped at the opportunity to experiment with his "Botanically Brewed Beverages" starting with the Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger.
The nose is predominantly citrus from the Fentiman's and the gin (Tanqueray 10 has pronounced citrus notes, with grapefruit among the most notable). The sip is gin forward with the pomegranate grenadine providing the right amount of sweetness (may need to be adjusted for to taste). Like others in the portfolio, this flavor of Fentiman's is made with ginger which lends a spiciness to the swallow. All Fentimans products are naturally brewed which adds complexity to the flavors, and the unique selection of Seville and Mandarin oranges (known for their bitter and delicate flavors respectively), makes for an interesting mixer. The additional of speedwell and juniper extracts gives it the signature Fentiman's flavor and herbal complexity. My first version lacked the addition of the Peychauds and lacked balance. I selected Peychauds to remain within the same flavor profile of the Monkey Gland, as Peychauds is heavy in anise flavor that the spoon full of Pernod or Absinthe would normally add, and it greatly improved the cocktail. For future versions, I would consider adding a touch of fresh orange juice to brighten the concentrated orange marmalade flavor of the soda.