Normandie Old Fashioned: A Tropical Twist on a Classic
The Normandie Old Fashioned is a cocktail that stands out in the world of mixology, a testament to the creativity and skill of its creators, Alex Day and Devon Tarby. This drink takes the beloved classic Old Fashioned and infuses it with a tropical twist, thanks to the innovative use of coconut-infused bourbon.
The process begins with the sous vide technique, where bourbon is combined with toasted coconut flakes and heated at a precise temperature. This method ensures a deep and even infusion of the coconut flavor into the bourbon, creating a base that is both rich and nuanced. The choice of apple brandy as a secondary spirit adds an additional layer of complexity, with its fruity notes complementing the tropical essence of the coconut.
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Instructions - How to make it:
- Add the coconut-infused bourbon, apple brandy, spiced almond demerara syrup, and bitters to a mixing glass with ice.
- Stir until well-chilled.
- Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
- Garnish with a dried apple slice.
*Coconut-infused bourbon:Toast 3 1/2 tablespoons coconut flakes over medium heat for 5 minutes or until slightly golden. Combine the flakes with a 750-mL bottle of bourbon and place in a hot water bath at 145°F for 2 hours. Remove from hot water bath, and place in an ice bath until cooled. Strain into a quart container and freeze for 24 hours, remove all solids, and rebottle.
**Spiced almond demerara syrup:Combine 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons demerara sugar and 7 tablespoons water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons sliced almonds, 1 teaspoon cinnamon bark and 1 pinch ground cloves. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, allow to cool and strain out solids. Refrigerate between uses.
The spiced almond demerara syrup is another key component, adding a hint of sweet spice that perfectly balances the richness of the bourbon and the fruitiness of the apple brandy. The syrup is made by simmering demerara sugar with water, almonds, cinnamon, and cloves, resulting in a flavor that is both warm and inviting.
When it comes to assembly, the Normandie Old Fashioned is a study in precision and balance. The ingredients are carefully measured and stirred over ice, ensuring that each element is perfectly integrated. The cocktail is then strained into a rocks glass over fresh ice, creating a drink that is both visually appealing and deliciously complex.
The garnish, a simple dried apple slice, not only adds a touch of elegance but also serves as a nod to the apple brandy used in the cocktail. This subtle detail completes the drink, making it a true work of art.
The Normandie Old Fashioned represents the best of modern mixology, where traditional techniques are combined with innovative flavors to create something truly extraordinary. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail aficionado or a curious newcomer, this drink is sure to impress, offering a unique and unforgettable tasting experience.
- Selecting the Bourbon: Opt for a bourbon that has a smooth yet pronounced character. The bourbon should be able to carry the coconut infusion well, without overpowering its delicate nutty notes.
- Toasting the Coconut: Toast the coconut flakes until they are just golden. This step is crucial as it brings out the natural oils and flavors of the coconut, which significantly enhances the infusion.
- Sous Vide Infusion: The sous vide method ensures a consistent and thorough infusion of the coconut into the bourbon. It’s important to maintain the correct temperature and time to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
- Balancing with Apple Brandy: The apple brandy should complement, not compete with, the coconut-infused bourbon. Choose an apple brandy that is smooth and subtly fruity.
- Crafting the Spiced Almond Demerara Syrup: The syrup should be a blend of sweet and spice, adding depth to the cocktail. Ensure the spices are not overpowering but rather add a hint of warmth to the overall drink.
- Stirring to Perfection: Stir the cocktail with ice until it is well-chilled. This not only cools the drink but also dilutes it to the right consistency, ensuring each sip is smooth and harmonious.
- Garnishing Thoughtfully: The dried apple slice garnish is not just decorative but also a nod to the apple brandy in the drink. It subtly enhances the cocktail’s aroma and adds to the overall sensory experience.