Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pump up the Jam with Bathtub Gin Fruit Spreads (and Booze)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 8:07 AM

Two of my favorite vendors at the monthly Night Market are Amy Lorber and Erin Ackley, a pair of sisters who run their own small artisan fruit spread business called "Bathtub Gin." You can usually find them stationed right next to another favorite purveyor, Kathleen Cotter of The Bloomy Rind, because their products complement each other so exquisitely.

As charming a duo as you could ask for to pitch their own product, Amy and Erin grew up making jams with their mother using fresh ingredients from their own garden. Now they have expanded these efforts into a line of jams that use fruit in the same way that speakeasies did — by combining them with a perfect match with a spirit or liqueur to enhance the flavors. They use organic and local ingredients whenever possible and have released several intriguing and flavorful varieties.

The first that I ever tasted and purchased was their Limoncello-Strawberry melange. While it's delicious on a crunchy piece of Melba toast or on top of a croissant, the sisters also suggest using it as a flavoring for smoothies or with a fruit salad. Of course, I immediately started thinking of a way to use it in a cocktail.

One of the favorite discoveries I made at this year's Tales of the Cocktail is that there is nothing wrong with enjoying a well-made cocktail with breakfast. Don't just limit yourself to bloody marys and mimosas; if you keep the alcohol levels manageable for morning consumption and look for flavor profiles that pair well with breakfast items, there's something damned civilized about sipping a highball with your eggs Benedict.

But the big surprise was that my favorite morning bracer was a drink made out of scotch. The thought of drinking blended scotch while the sun is shining had never crossed my mind before I tried a Monkey Jam Sour made from Monkey Shoulder Whisky, a triple malt made from three of Speyside's finest malts. Unfortunately, since Monkey Shoulder is not yet available in the U.S., it could be a long time before we can buy it in Tennessee.

Being the industrious (and cheap) lad that I am, I decided to substitute Dewar's and Bathtub Gin Limoncello-Strawberry in the original recipe to create a version of the Monkey Jam Sour that I strongly encourage you to try out some Sunday morning soon, perhaps before a Titans game. It's crisp, refreshing and will turn haters into Scotch lovers. It does contain a small bit of raw egg as do most fizzes, so as always drink at your own risk if you are concerned about that sort of thing.

Bathtub Scotch

(adapted from the Monkey Jam Sour)

2 oz. Dewar's Scotch Whisky
1 lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
a dash of egg white
1 1/2 tablespoons Bathtub Gin Limoncello-Strawberry

In a shaker add the whiskey. Cut a wedge out of the lemon and set aside for garnish, then squeeze the rest of the lemon into the shaker. Add the sugar, egg white, jam and ice. The egg white will serve as a binder.

Shake vigorously. Seriously, shake the hell out of it like the guys at The Patterson House. You want to make sure to blend the thick jam with the thin alcohol and lemon juice, and you're trying to froth up the egg whites a bit so:

Shake it, shake, shake it, shake it (OHH OH)
Shake it, shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake it (OHH OH)
Shake it, shake it like a Polaroid Picture, shake it, shake it
Shh you got to, shake it, shh shake it, shake it, got to shake it
(Shake it Suga') shake it like a Polaroid Picture.

It helps to think of Outkast while you're doing this.

Strain over a new set of rocks in a double highball glass and garnish with the lemon wedge. Then start thinking about making another one for yourself or for someone else so you can shake off that plate of eggs Benedict.

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