Monday, February 21, 2011

Failed whisky sorbet which became an Icy Mint Julep!

 Mr J hosted his first single malt whisky (or whiskey - we are all about the equal opportunity) tasting night at our apartment over the weekend.  To be fair the event has happened before, but it's the first time Mr J has had the event at his place.  It's a boys only affair, apparently, so I went out for a romantic dinner instead with the lovely Ms MC of Life Personal Fitness - who introduced Mr J & myself - as I had been requested to make myself scarce.  Each of Mr J's friends brought around a reasonably priced (around $70-80 I am reliably informed) bottle of single malt to share, and his ex-chef friend Mr S provided a wonderful three course meal to match the scotch.  Makes me wish I had stuck around.

The whole thing (actually mostly Mr S doing all the cooking) left me feeling a little bit extraneous, and hence I decided to contribute by making a whisky-inspired sorbet for the evening.  I loved the recipe for "Hot Toddy Sorbet" on the Murphy's Ice Cream Store blog .  I have also fallen in love with this blog, which features ice cream recipes for sea salt ice cream and blue cheese & shallot ice cream, amongst many I want to try.  If I ever go back to Ireland, this ice creamery is definitely on my "must visit" list.  Unfortunately, due to the failure of the recipe, I will probably not attempt another of their sorbet recipes.

That's right, it just plain would not solidify into sorbet, even though I used the right measurements for sugar, water and whisky - it's a gloriously delicious, whisky-flavoured slush, but not nearly a sorbet.  It's also so intensely flavoured that it would be a bit too much as a stand-alone dessert in my opinion.  I think by adding a little more water, though, it might just set properly and, given how delicious it is, I will definitely try again.

Unfortunately, I can't really give you a recipe for sorbet out of this entire debacle!  So I will simply give you the recipe as I made it and then explain how I added mint and a little more whisky to turn it into the most delicious Icy Mint Julep I have ever enjoyed!

Whisky "Hot Toddy" Sorbet which became Icy Mint Julep


-  350 grams white sugar
-  1 cinnamon quill
-  8 cloves
-  1 tablespoon fine grade marmalade (especially one which was cooked with whisky!)
-  100 ml whisky
-  75 ml fresh lemon juice
-  1 tablespoon honey
-  500 ml water

And to mix the drink:
-  1 bunch mint (washed)
-  a small amount of water to taste

This is actually ridiculously easy, so long as you don't expect it to turn out perfect sorbet!  Pour the water into a saucepan, add the cinnamon and cloves.  Boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add in your sugar, honey and marmalade, stirring until combined.  Set aside to cool a bit, then strain into a pyrex bowl (so the cloves and cinnamon are removed) and refrigerate until completely chilled (overnight is best, but a few hours should do the trick).  When it's cold and thickened a bit, remove it from the fridge and add the lemon juice and whisky.

Put this mix into your ice cream maker (yes, Snowy got another work out), the bowl from which has been freezing overnight.  Churn.  This will never come to that slushy-like consistency you will expect, at least not in a domestic ice cream maker.  My theory is that the recipe from Murphy's probably used an industrial freezer, which freezes pretty much anything you care to experiment with.

My poor Snowy worked really hard... but alas, no sorbet!
I think you can probably just put the super chilled liquid straight into a plastic container if you leave it overnight in the fridge and then freeze it overnight, without having to go to the effort of hooking up the ice cream machine.  Then you get this slushiesque, margarita-style texture and thickness that is really super delicious!

To turn this into your final drink just rip up around 6 mint leaves roughly and add to the bottom of a tumbler. Pop in a couple of ice cubes, then spoon the slushy mix over the top.  Add a nip of whisky (and a tablespoon of chilled water if you don't like it too strong) and serve, preferably with a couple of whole mint leaves on top as a garnish.  It's absolutely delicious and quite a find!

So there you have it.  I do make mistakes in the kitchen (quite frequently, in fact), but this one turned out to be a pretty tasty one, as mistakes go.

Sip.  Enjoy.  Repeat!

No comments:

Post a Comment