strawberry-basil soda - to die for
I have had today a small promotion in the Ritz Carlton Club Lounge.
We offered a couple of special drinks for our club guests.
While it is a nice thing to do - you have to be very carefully what kind of drinks your offering - on one hand you have no proper bar set up. On the other hand, you might need to do a lot of drinks - so don't put yourself into the shit.
I took the opportunity to promote La Baie Lounge styled drinks - and also I have proven the point, that with quite some mis en place, you can serve very fast, very good drinks - and this was also very important for me.
One drink was a reconstructed pina colada - fresh pineapple juice, Matusalem platino and a hint of coconut [in La baie I thought to clarify the pineapple juice] topped with coconut espuma [made with coconut milk, lime and xanthan gum]. A lot of guest liked it and drink several of those.
But the real triumph was a strawberry-basil soda. I served it as Gin & Tonic [added tonic at last] and guests really liked it. Well - its preparation was definitely not that easy.
- Blanch basil, put it directly into ice water and press it out.
- Clean ripe strawberries and cut them into brunoise.
- Prepare an acidified rich syrup [put together water, citric acid & sugar and stir until dissolved].
- Add strawberry brunoise into the syrup and let macerate for a couple of minutes.
- Strain the syrup.
- Keep strawberry brunoise as garnish.
- Blend blanched basil in the strawberry syrup.
- Fine strain [through cheese cloth or similar].
- Add the syrup to the soda plus [or cream siphon].
- Add ice cubes and water.
- Close and charge with 2 CO2 cartridges.
- Shake minimum 2 minutes.
- Let it rest at least a minutes [the longer the better].
- Depressurize the Soda plus.
- Pour strawberry-basil soda into an empty bottle and close properly to avoid CO2 loss.
As you can see, it is not the easiest recipe ever - but it is also not a difficult one.
Please see below the video of Chefsteps, about macerated strawberries. They use malic acid - however citric acid is just working fine - also the heated up the mixture, which is not a must [it is just easier to dissolve the sugar and acid in hot water - but then you have to chill it down again, which takes almost as long as just starting with room temperature water]. They also made a simple syrup, and I am more a fan of rich syrup, which speeds up the maceration.
Like said - the soda is just phenomenal! Super delicious. And it would even better work without tonic [though then I would have to do the double amount, which was not "convenient" in my situation.