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MxMo LXXIII - Witches Garden

It is quite a while since the opinionated-alchemist joined a Mixology Monday - and this is really a pity.
The reason is, that MxMo to a certain time, was not "shooting" consistent monthly - and then after nothing really happened there, I just forgot to check back on

You could also give the blame to Apple, who stripped off its RSS reader from Safari [my preferred browser].
Anyway - I always liked MxMo's - and I am happy, that I checked back a couple of days ago to join again.

Now, May 20th the new Mixology Monday [which is here only a day or so away] is the next party happening. And instead of missing another blogging event or cheating [using the scheduled posting feature of blogger] I am just posting now my contribution. Hope you are forgiving me all…

Mark Holmes over at Cardiff Cocktail is hosting the 73rd MxMo. In his words, this time it is all about Witches Garden:

As far back as we can look, the use of fresh herbs have been prevalent in the world of mixed drinks. From the early days of the julep, through Williams Terrington’s 19th century Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, to Don the Beachcomber’s ahead of their time Tiki drinks, fresh herbs have always been at the forefront of mixology. So lets take influence from the bartenders that once ruled the world of mixology, raid your herb garden that too often gets neglected, and start mixing. I don’t want to put too many limits on this theme so get as creative as you please, want to use roots, spices or beans as well? Sure thing. Want to make your own herbal infusions or tinctures? Sounds wonderful.

Sounds good to me. 
But which drink to tackle? A basil smash? No, Joerg Meyers variation was discussed already too often; kudos to him - it is a fantastic drink; but it is clearly out of the race.
A Cilantro-Jalepeño Tommy's Margarita maybe? Yeah - this drink is also amazing - mixing in a bit heat and the herbal edge to the anyway great Tommy's Margarita. But no, this also doesn't really work with me here.

But wait - a couple of days I found some fresh jasmine flowers in the veggie section of my local supermarket. I transformed this into a beautiful floral jasmine soda. This is definitely the way to go. Is jasmine flower a herb? Please be generous!

My first notion would be, to match it with gin. The juniper flavored spirit usually works fantastically with floral ingredients. But it also tends to dominate other ingredients, which are delicate - and delicate jasmine is…

Tequila would be another distillate, which could work. But again, it usually boasts some boldness, which has the tendency to cover up light flavors.

So I went further and found… light rum.
In a world of either way rather bold flavored [whiskey, gin, dark rum, brandy, grappa - you name it] and neutral spirits [vodka] - it just takes the position in the middle - and doing a great job as such.
If you are planning to keep the character of light rum alive, you have to be carefully in choosing the right ingredients and don't add too much. This is the downfall of Cuba Libres and Fruit Daiquiris - the dominant aromas of the fruit or the coke, just covering all interesting facets of the rum and make it one dimensional.

However jasmine - just makes it. The name of the drink?

Unfortunately my reserved jasmine flowers for the garnish turned brown...
Rum n' J! 
45 ml Ron Matusalem Platino 
120 ml home-crafted jasmine soda  
This is a classic highball. 
Fill up a highball glass with ice cubes. Add the rum. Ideally serve the jasmine soda separate. Add a lemon wedge on the rim for squeezing into the concoction a la minute. 

Jasmine Soda 
20 g fresh jasmine flowers 
250 g white caster sugar
 15 g citric acid

Filtered water & Club soda
Rip the jasmine flowers from the string into your bowl of caster sugar. Massage the blossoms into the sugar. Let is sit for one hour. Add citric acid and filtered [or bottled] water and stir until  all sugar and citric acid crystals are dissolved. Taste - it needs to have a slightly sour touch - if not, add more citric acid.Mix jasmine soda syrup with club soda to taste [3:1 to 5:1 depending how much water you used].Fill into an airtight bottle and keep refrigerated.

The delicate roast aromas of the rum - the vanilla, hints of roasted coconut and toffee - a marrying perfectly with the flowery scents of jasmine. It is a very delicate drink, which works fantastically - if you like jasmine and if you like light rum.


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