Just this past week my husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary by treating ourselves to a fabulous lunch on the Plaza at gastropub Gram & Dun. Among the amazing food creations they offer, they also have a truly inspired cocktail list of which we partook. I chose a passion fruit and raspberry infused greyhound (because they squeeze their grapefruit juice in house and I go bananas for a fresh squeezed greyhound). My husband chose an old fashioned that was served over smoked ice created by wood fire smoking water then freezing it. We enjoyed our drinks so much and were so intrigued by the idea of smoking ice and other ice variations, we decided to experiment with their ideas a little back at home. This is what we came up with...
FRESHLY SQUEEZED GREYHOUND OVER RASPBERRY ICE
The raspberry color in the cocktail is pretty dramatic and you might think this recipe makes a sweet berry-forward cocktail, but the grapefruit flavor actually stays intact. As the raspberry ice melts it only subtly flavors the drink, if at all. They're truly a 'garnish', entirely un-interrupting the grapefruit, their flavor experienced only when the (popsicle like) chunk is eaten. It's fabulous!
- 2 small cartons of fresh raspberries
- juice from 1 large lime
- 1/4 C of sugar
- plastic ice cube trays
- 6-7 large grapefruits
Make the raspberry ice cubes: In a small saucepan combine raspberries, sugar, and lime juice. Add enough water to just cover the mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer until the raspberries begin to soften and breakdown (about 5 minutes). Carefully puree the mixture with a hand blender then pour through a strainer to eliminate seeds and other debris. Let cool slightly then pour raspberry mixture into plastic ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
Make the grapefruit juice: Squeeze juice from the grapefruit into a large bowl. Strain the juice to eliminate pulp and debris, then funnel into a clean pitcher and chill overnight.
Assemble the Greyhound: Place 2-3 raspberry ice cubes in a small glass. Add one part vodka to two parts grapefruit juice and enjoy!
BOURBON WHISKY OLD FASHIONED OVER ROSEMARY SMOKED ICE
This method for smoking water was our first try, and although successful, next time we're going to use a modified desalinator to get more smoke flavor into the water. I definitely recommend trying different techniques and flavors for smoke - it's absolutely true that experimentation is the 'spice' of life!
- 1 quart of water
- 3 springs of fresh rosemary
- wood chips (mesquite and oak work well - peach is nice too.)
- plastic ice cube trays (I used FROZ Spherical Ice Ball Makers)
- Angostura bitters (several dashes)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 orange (cut in to wheels)
- 1 Maraschino cherry
Make the rosemary smoked ice cubes: Prepare a low temperature fire in a suitable apparatus for smoking. Fill a heat safe vessel with the water and set inside the apparatus. Allow smoking for 2-3 hours or until the water has a noticeable smoke flavor. Meanwhile, prepare the ice cube trays by placing 4-5 rosemary leaves in the bottom of each compartment. Let the water cool slightly, then pour into trays and freeze overnight.
Assemble the Old Fashioned: In a highball glass muddle the bitters, sugar, orange wheel, and cherry. Remove the orange rind, add 2 oz. of Bourbon and fill with several rosemary smoked ice cubes. Garnish with fresh orange peel and enjoy!
These recipes are a wonderful addition to our repertoire of interesting things to make, serve, and enjoy. I hope you enjoyed these cocktails as much and my husband and I did!