As I introduce you to the drinks on my menu post by post you will see that they are relatively simple creations. A homemade syrup, infusion or liqueur here and there, but nothing especially complicated.
The two reasons for this being:
A. The place i have found myself in has scarcely experimented beyond Classic cocktails. To give you some idea, Elderflower as an ingredient is considered innovative. So, I had to be wary of scaring people off with ingredients they’d never heard of. At the end of the day, I had to create drinks that sell.People don’t generally spend money on something that they don’t understand.
B. The bar I have been working in, Bar en Bois (Literally ‘Wooden Bar’) also acts as a service bar to the restaurant of Le Colomba, which can seat over 100 people. Being the only Barman, I needed simple drinks that I could bash out all night. (Mis en place, Mis en place, Mis en place!!!!)
My cocktail ‘Primavera’ was, along with ‘La Pasqua’ among my first experiments with Corsican products. I did a very simple infusion of Corsican Thyme, a sprig of fresh thyme being left to macerate in a bottle of vodka for 3 days before fine straining into a clean bottle.
To pair with the thyme I used a Cedrat liqueur from the Mavela Distillery. Cedrat (Citron in English) ,is one of the 4 original citrus species, from which all other varieties that we know today have been produced by hybridisation. The original 4 being: Citron, Pomelo, Mandarin and some Papedas (Kaffir lime being one) . I can only describe Cedrat as a lemon on steroids. It’s huge, bigger than a grapefruit, has a thick skin, and is basically inedible in its natural fruit form. However, for generations people have candied the skin to produce Fruit confit. Traditionally Corsica was the worlds leading supplier of Cedrat for this purpose.
Historian Laurence Pinelli explains:
“Cedrat was a source of considerable wealth for Corsica. It shaped the landscape, added a great deal to our culinary heritage and boosted the island’s economy considerably.”
So, the Cedrat liqueur is important, both to Corsica, and to my drink. The delicate floral elements not too much unlike Kaffir lime, pairing magnificently with the Thyme. The name ‘Primavera’, Italian for Spring represents the fresh, vibrant flavours of this drink. ‘Primavera’ is also the name of the little boat that bought me to this beautiful island.
40ml Thyme infused vodka
25ml Liqueur de Cedrat (Distillerie Mavela)
20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
20ml Sugar Syrup
Shaken and served on crushed ice.
Garnished with a lemon twist and a sprig of fresh thyme.
Another VERY simple drink, but a drink that I have made hundreds of times this summer.