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Jan 18, 2011 10:42 PM

Vodka and Vegetal: Cosmo Ideas?

maybe i should be posting this on another board, but i didn't see another. it appears that most posters are not much on mixed fruit drinks.

While I am a food and wine snob, I am not a spirits snob as, other than red wine and red wine sangria, I only drink cosmos and margaritas, never pure spirits, and only w/ dinner. Feel free to turn the snob on me, but it won't be any fun for you because i won't argue w/ you. Ice cold lime heavy is what I like all summer and whenever i eat latin or asian food(except sushi) or high citrus flavored dishes. I don't use a shaker; i don't strain it. i drink it w/ LOTS of ice in a highball glass.
unlike the pros, i make my cosmos in 'big' batches ,w/ measuring cups, and i keep a 1 liter container in the frig , which usually lasts me for 2-3 dinners , from 1 week to a month. Sitting doesn't seem to bother it.

after much experimenting, my standard cosmo is:
1/2 c. fresh lime juice 2parts
1/4 c. Patron citronge 1part
1/4 c. cranberry juice 1 part
1 1/2 c. sky citrus vodka or finlandia grapefruit vodka or absolut citron vodka 6 parts

inspired by a few cosmo versions i've had, i have done blueberry juice in place of cranberry, with added cucumber puree (i like texture, so i don't strain it). i like that alot.

i have also had cilantro muddled into a cosmo and liked it, but i prefer more cilantro flavor, so i puree a bunch and fill a container of it w/ vodka, and use some of that as part of the vodka in my master recipe.
(would the infusion be better if done in a closet rather than the frig?)

i'm wondering about other things i might try. I read another infused vodka thread and was intrigued about sliced ginger, and cardamom, as possible infusers. I guess "refreshing" is my guiding flavor profile. while i know that for straight spirits drinkers, my taste is already blasphemous, i do not like a lot of sweet in my cosmos or margs, and when i order them i usually have to ask for tons of lime wedges to doctor them, even when i request " alot of lime."

As to additions, i once tried green tea and didn't like it but also don't know if i should have infused it rather than simply adding it straight as i did. and i wonder about other teas- mango, blackberry, oolong...
I have a few special Perfect Purees in a freezer, and am wondering about passion fruit puree and litchee,,,

given the diatribe, could you share some good experiments? i do appreciate your help.

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  1. Your infusions sound like fun.

    Just a thought. You might consider using liqueurs for your flavor. You are batching your cocktail, so mixing effort seems to be an issue. You could use Canton ginger liqueur, for example, which would be a lot easier than making an infused vodka.

    Forgive a moment of evangelism: imagine if I had said to your that the only thing I eat is hamburgers, and I make a bunch at a time, and I'm experimenting with putting bacon on them. As a foodie, would you not start thinking, "well for heavens sake, how about some lamb chops or something?"

    If you like this Cosmo, perhaps a well-made Daiquiri (rum, lime, sugar)? Or a Sidecar (cognac, Cointreau (or other orange liqueur), lemon)? Or a Batida (Cachaca, liqueur or juice, lime)? These are all members of the "sour" family, along with your Cosmo.

    -- | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

    6 Replies
    1. re: EvergreenDan

      well now, this is a very perfect kind of response and i appreciate your intention and that you grok "where i'm coming from". With my aversion to sweet, a daquiri sounds like not for me. i think any rum drink would not do, given past ventures into rumfruitdrink land. i'm guessing the others
      are more sweet than sour; is that correct? sidecar sounds like it would be a nice non-meal sipping drink and if i'm at a wedding , i'd like to try one. but bars are not in our lives, and we only drink with meals. frankly, what i am doing w/ the cosmo is having an alcoholic version of a refreshing iced tea. Caf. iced tea, many many kinds, is my 24/7/365 beverage and sometimes i just need a BREAK from it!!

      that's really a neat and helpful thought about the liquer element; i'd never thought of that.
      thanks much with your help. i appreciate it.

      1. re: opinionatedchef

        Many people hear the word "Daquiri" and think of some sugary, blender concoction. This is not the case. Use a good quality rum (not Bacardi Silver et al.), fresh lime juice and simple syrup made with the sugar of your choice. More simple for sweet, less for not. Really, rum does not equal sweet automatically.

        That said, I don't find most cocktails to be especially food-friendly, whether it's the Daquiri, Sidecar (my number two favorite cocktail of all time) or the Cosmo (which sounds even worse with a meal). However, taste is subjective.

        For the latter part of the OP's question, she could omit the Triple Sec in her Cosmo and swap it with Bartender's Ketchup (aka St. Germain) and nix the cran for lemon juice. A little St. Germain goes a long way, though.

        1. re: invinotheresverde

          "Bartender's Ketchup (aka St. Germain)"

          I've never heard that! Is that a real nickname? Why?

          Personally I started getting sick of seeing St. Germain in EVERYTHING about 3 years ago, and yet it just keeps coming up. Like beet salads. But perhaps I'm too adamant in my resistance.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            You just explained the nickname yourself. It's in everything!

      2. re: EvergreenDan

        +1 for Vino's reply. There are many sweet rum drinks, just are there are many sweet vodka drinks. Ignore them all. The Daiquiri is a superb classic. It can be made with all sorts of rums, which very incredibly in flavor.

        As a food pairing, I think that the sour family generally pairs well when made balanced or somewhat tart (which is the way you like your Cosmo).

        If you're looking for something more "ice tea" like, you could try a gin and tonic. It is slightly bitter, so it will take some getting used to. But it is very refreshing and palate cleansing. Be sure to add a big squeeze of lime as it balances the sugar in the tonic water and moderates the bitter. Better quality tonic waters are less sweet, too. It is super easy to make, so you would not have to batch them.

      3. I'll throw roast chicken into the suggestion pool :-P

        If you like herby, and you like lime, you might consider a mohito. I shove large stems of mint into the bottle of rum and leave it in the fridge. If you wanted it to be ready-made, you could pour the rum out into a pitcher and add sugar and lime juice (and zest, if you dig that, but don't put in whole slices of lime, because it'll get bitter) along with the mint, then just mix it with soda water when you're ready to drink it. Or make lime simple syrup, but then you'd have to mix three things. I've always suspected that vodka would make just as good a mohito as rum, but I'm weak and timid and afraid of being judged.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jvanderh

          Vodka makes a less flavorful mojito, but is an acceptable, albiet non-traditional, substitution.

          1. re: invinotheresverde

            Maybe I'll give it a shot. Something about the long mint extraction seems to completely kill the taste of the rum anyway.

        2. Purees I would add to your batch, not to your vodka bottle.

          1. Here is a simple variation of a Kamakazi or Gimlet. Muddle and add some fresh basil leaves to your shaker, you will want a fine strainer but the effect is a lovely green and a spring fresh cocktail. your basic Cosmo prep without the cranberry juice will do fine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: budnball

              well that's a neat idea! I've been doing that with cilantro but basil sounds worth a try! th you.