Monday, June 13, 2011

Mixology Monday: The Hiding Quetzal

This week's Mixology Monday, hosted by Adventures in Cocktails, challenges participants to create a cocktail highlighting a niche spirit.  I've been recently playing around with a bottle of guaro, a Costa Rican spirit, which I picked up on vacation.  Guaro, as I've described before, is sugar cane-based and very mild, perhaps closer to vodka in flavor than to rum.

My recent attempts to accompany the spirit with mild secondary ingredients to highlight it have led to weak and muddled cocktails - in part because of a misguided foray into watermelon juice.  Here, I've decided to flip things rather violently with the Hiding Quetzal Cocktail, named after the famous but elusive Costa Rican bird, surrounding the spirit with very strong and opposing flavors. 

The Hiding Quetzal

1 ounces of guaro
0.2 ounce of Benedictine
0.25 ounce of Campari 
0.25 ounce of lemon juice

Shake ingredients with ice and garnish with a lemon peal.

I enjoyed this drink quite a bit.  The guaro provides a background flavor and texture.  You can taste the guaro initially but it quickly gives way to a surprisingly good interplay between the Campari (maybe the most bitter spirit I have) and the Benedictine (perhaps the sweetest).  The lemon juice brings the flavors together and keeps the drink on the savory side.   

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