To most of us, Easter means come-hither chocolate, and a tonne of it, too. So if I were to bestow upon you an Easter-themed cocktail, you’d most likely anticipate something along the lines of a chocolate infused martini, or an opulent, boozy chocolate milkshake.
Then again, Easter also evokes visions of the mighty egg: so perhaps you’d reach for a light-as-air whipped gin fizz, or a custardy nog of sorts, steeped with vanilla and plenty of yolks.
Well, the folks over at London’s 155 Bar and Kitchen have sentiments beyond gluttony, and have focused on one of Easter’s more playful – and less artery-clogging – ingredients: the rabbit. No, they haven’t fomented another meaty bonanza like our friends over at Aqua Nueva; rather, they’ve upgraded the humble carrot from dip-platter fodder to impish candy, spiked with combustible ginger and peppy lime, in the vibrant and refreshing What’s Up Doc?
“Easter weekend is when daylight saving starts, and that reminds us summer is not too far away,” says 115’s Andrea Portas. “The sunshine will soon be back and the evenings become lighter. A drink this light is perfect for social summery evenings.”
Riffing on the classic daiquiri – which comprises rum, sugar and lime – Portas’ creation blends complex flavours with a deceptively easy recipe, swapping out simple sugar for a vanilla-infused syrup, and adopting a many-layered approach to ingredients.
“It’s all in the details,” says Portas. “Use raw or cold pressed carrot juice so you can be sure there’s no added sugar to upset the balance of flavours.”
And the rum? “Chairman’s Reserve is incredible: the blend of local spices from St Lucia (where the rum is distilled) – the complex clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla – complement the sweet carrot and zingy ginger perfectly.”
And, of course, you can’t forget presentation: “We serve this cocktail in a sling glass, but any tall glass will do.”
“Well, it resembles the shape of a carrot.”
What’s Up Doc? (Serves 2)
60ml Chairman’s Reserve spiced rum
150ml carrot juice
40ml lime juice
30ml vanilla syrup
10ml King’s ginger liqueur
Chilled sling glass
Crushed ice, to garnish
Caramelised carrot shavings, to garnish
- Start by making the garnish. Using a vegetable peeler, peel a handful of carrot shreds and set aside. You want them to be small and thin, but substantial enough to hold their shape after heating. Put a few tablespoons of caster sugar into a pan with a spoonful or two of water and allow the sugar to dissolve completely. Keep on the heat, without stirring, until the liquid becomes thick and syrupy. Toss the carrot shreds in the syrup, and then remove. Set the shards aside to cool and harden until needed.
- Place the rum, carrot juice, lime juice, vanilla syrup, ginger liqueur and cubed ice into a cocktail shaker and shake well until completely combined.
- Pour the drink into your glass, including the cubed ice.
- Top with crushed ice and garnish with the caramelised carrot shavings.
From delicious to stratospheric…
“To intensify the flavour, muddle fresh ginger with some carrot juice in a glass. Add the rest of the ingredients into the cocktail shaker, then add the ginger and carrot juice. Shake to combine.
“You could also make your own vanilla syrup: take a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar, and add a vanilla pod split down the middle. Cook on the stove top until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has become syrupy. Pour the contents into a sealable glass bottle when cooled and the vanilla pods will continue to steep into the syrup as its sits.”
“King’s Ginger ginger liqueur complements the spiced notes of the rum. Chairman’s Reserve spiced rum has an amazingly complex flavour profile, with lots of spice coming through. You could use another rum, but it wouldn’t be nearly as good here.”