24th Apr 19 | Lifestyle
Although some of them sound more torturous than tasty, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
With mixologists continuing to push boundaries, many are skipping the usual syrups, cordials and purees and instead are combing the vegetable garden and opting for more out-there ingredients.
Indeed, the modern cocktail is at times becoming a wacky concoction some might find hard to digest.
So next time you order at the bar, look out for this lot making their way into your drink…
Yep, not content with blitzing spinach into smoothies, some are blending it up in cocktails too. Take BULLDOG Gin, they mix it with spinach and ginger and a dash of white balsamic.
2. Creepy crawlies
Not content with a wheel of lime or cucumber spiral, some high-end bars are toasting insects for garnish, which apparently brings extra flavour – and bite. Whether the crunch of a Mexican spicy worm adds more punch to your margarita is open to debate, but salt with ground-up maguey worms is a thing. Although they’re actually caterpillars.
3. Monster Munch
Who doesn’t love a pickled onion snack? What if it’s been used to infuse vermouth? Matt Whiley, author of The Modern Cocktail, Innovation + Flavour, has done it and writes: “The overall finish is strong and dry with distinctive pickled onion notes.”
4. Edible gold leaf and diamonds
It’s quite de rigeur to top drinks with gold leaf for a bit of sparkle, and the same goes for edible clear jelly diamond studs. Talk about an 18 carat cocktail.
Who would have thought sugar snap peas like to bed down with vodka, but it works, and a measure of honey sweetens up them up even further. Muddled or pureed, peas are now in season and somewhere along the line a budding bartender must have been inspired by the nursery rhyme: “I eat my peas with honey; I’ve done it all my life. It makes the peas taste funny, but it keeps them on the knife.”
6. Chilli peppers
If you can handle the heat, fresh chilli peppers are being blended, muddled and even infused in spirits. They bring a lovely warmth to fresh, citrusy cocktails, but if you’re experimenting at home, best to start with less (you can always add more), if you don’t want a real sting on the tail.
Earthy and vegetal, moss cordials and moss garnishes are in vogue – stylish Sexy Fish in London has a green and earthy ‘Under the Moss’ cocktail dedicated to the spongy plant. You could say it’s having a very fashionable moment.
© Press Association 2019