One of the big differences between wine and cocktails is that cocktails allow you to improvise, adapt and expand your repertoire quickly, based on the ingredients and tools you have on hand. With wine, you can be stuck with what you have, and only time or a new bottle will give you something new. With cocktails, a simple change of ingredient or technique and you have a different drink, preferably (hopefully) a good one. Also unlike wine, if you don’t like the cocktail, you can pour it out and try again (and it is not likely to have cost you a fortune).
This week’s bonus cocktail, The Gauguin, is an example of how buying a new ingredient for one drink suddenly gets you another good recipe. In this case we’ve used passion fruit syrup as an ingredient in last week’s exploration of tiki drinks. Passion fruit syrup has a pronounced sweet/tart flavor, and is a key ingredient in famous tropical drinks like the Zombie and the Hurricane (some versions). We have played with making Zombies, which is a challenge to do well (we suffer for our cocktails, really), so while we are working on the Zombie we started to look for other cocktails using passion fruit syrup.
Now we would like to tell you a story of how we discovered the Gauguin from an antique cocktail book, or how it was inspired by his works, or that this drink has been rescued from time by a master mixologist. But we can’t. Truth is, we went to cocktailDB (a great resource) and searched on drinks with passion fruit syrup. We found the Gauguin and made it because we had all the ingredients. But it turned out to be a great drink- nothing like a little good cocktail karma as we go into the weekend.
As for ingredients, the Gauguin is a simple drink of white rum, lime juice, lemon juice and passion fruit syrup. As you may have noticed, the Gauguin is basically a daiquiri variant, but the passion fruit and lemon add new dimensions to the drink. Even with a small amount of passion fruit syrup the Gauguin is a sweet drink, but it is well-balanced by the lemon and lime. The white rum adds a bit of heat, but the citrus and passion fruit are the major players. Even with the sweetness, the Gauguin ends up being a very refreshing drink, it would be an excellent choice in warm weather. Try one this weekend and share in our good cocktail karma.