Final Round Challenges – Punch and Glass

There was no time to rest after the final elimination. A quick pit stop at Bob’s Ketel One bar, a few interviews and then straight into the Punch and Glass  challenge.

For this challenge, we had to make one punch and one signature cocktail. The cocktail could be any cocktail you had served throughout the competition, or it could be a “new” creation.
For my Signature, I chose to use one of my drinks from the last menu at Aqua Vitae. Holy Smokes is one of my favourite self composed drinks, both flavour wise and concept. It’s very rich and moreish, and yet so simple in it’s composition with only three ingredients.

Holy Smokes
45 ml Lagavulin 16
45 ml Dubonnet
1 dash Mozart Chocolate bitters

Stir ingredients with ice, strain into prechilled old fashioned glass with ice. (During prep, wrap the glass with tissue paper, scented with your favourite perfume)

My style has always been very much about simplicity. Straightforward flavours, harmony as opposed to cacophony,  mixed up with the occasional unusual ingredient. I try to always have a logic behind the ingredients I choose, and research time is always my favourite part of creating new drinks.

For my punch I used the old Planter’s Punch reference as an inspiration

Take two of sour
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.

Punch Drunk Love (1 serving)
50 ml Tanqueray no Ten
15 ml Don Julio Blanco
30 ml Citrus mix (Equal parts lemon, grapefruit & lime juice)
20 ml Eucalyptus honey & Frankincense syrup
120 ml Kombucha (Fermented Sencha tea)
1 dash Peychauds Bitter
Lemon & Sage leaves

Throw ingredients with ice, strain into highball with ice. Garnish with lemon wheel and sage leaf.

This punch starts out quite subtile and clean with the spirits and lemon/lime, before it moves on to the richer flavours of honey, frankincense and grapefruit. It finishes off with Peychauds and kombucha. I always find that “fermented flavours” adds depth and character to drinks, giving more to the flavour experience while drinking the drink.

For those who have not tried, kombucha is fermented tea. It is made by adding culture (the scoby) in a sweetened tea and letting it ferment. Mine was made with sencha tea. ( I removed the scoby during prep time, obviously you do not want to serve it to the judges by mistake)

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