Thursday, January 23, 2014

The East Asian Pond Water Cocktail

I recently got a hold of this book called called Park Avenue Potluck: Recipes from New York's Savviest Hostesses by Florence Fabricant. In the libation section there's a recipe for a cocktail called Pond Water by Miss Anne Grouse. She describes a cocktail as such:
I love to serve my guests a fun cocktail at the start of a party. My husband, Mario, and I created this one doing a long hot summer in Millbrook, New York, at our house, Frog Pond. My sisters also had a hand in it. But this time that word not "too many cooks, or bartenders!"

Since the vodka is the base for this cocktail, do not skimp on quality. A premium vodka is what you should use.
Here is the original recipe:
Pond Water (Original for four servings)
1/3 of a cup of sugar
1 cup of vodka
1/2 of Limoncello
1/2 cup of lime juice
five sprigs of fresh thyme
four slices of lime

Place the sugar and 1/3 cup of water in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, and cook just until the sugar dissolves. Alternately, combine the sugar and water in a glass measuring cup. Microwave for one minute, just until the sugar dissolves. This is simple syrup. Set it aside.

In a large cocktail shaker or a 1 quart canning jar, mixed of vodka, Limoncello, and lime juice. Pour in the simple syrup, fill the jar with ice, and shake.

Rub the rims of 4 martini glasses or wine goblets with one of the thyme sprigs. String a cocktails into the glasses and serve each garnished with the spring of time and a slice of lime.
I didn't have any fresh thyme so I decided to forgo it and I chose to follow the author's suggestion to use a premium Vodka. I decided to use Grey Goose vodka. This is what I came up with:
Pond Water (Scaled down to one serving)
.75 ounces of simple syrup
2 ounces of Grey Goose vodka
1 ounce of the Limoncello
1 ounce of fresh lime juice

Build a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The original recipe called for four servings I scaled-down the dimensions for four to make it for one. I find this cocktail to be light but it's very tart. It is very unbalanced. Since the vodka is the base, it doesn't add anything to the cocktail aside from just being an alcohol content. The author notes that when made with a good gin instead of vodka it's herbaceous flavor is delightfully intensified. With that in mind I decided to use the bottle of Bombay Sapphire East Asia Gin that I have yet to crack open. I decided to use the same dimensions to see how much of a difference the gin made in comparison to the vodka.
East Asian Pond Water
.75 ounces of simple syrup
2 ounces of Bombay Sapphire East Asia Gin
1 ounce of the Limoncello
1 ounce of fresh lime juice

Build a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The addition of the gin made a BIG difference in the cocktail. I may have added just a smidgen more of simple syrup than what the recipe called for, but I find that it helps to bring everything together. The tartness seems to be balanced in this version of the cocktail. It doesn't overpower the taste buds on each sip. I much preferred this cocktail with the Bombay Sapphire East Asia Gin. Other Gins that might be higher on the florals similar too a Hendricks gin or a Dorothy Parker Gin would compliment the lemon and lime flavors.

If you happen to have the ingredients, please feel free to make yourself one. Let me know what you think.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla
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