Appetizers
May 12, 2009
A champion cocktail: "Paint it Black"

Midtown's Lounge on 20 recently held a cocktail competition featuring local mixologists. And after all the shaking and stirring, one bartender reigned supreme: Chris Tucker from L Wine Lounge & Urban Kitchen (and no relation to the guy avoiding a beat down by Deebo in "Friday"). Broker's London Dry Gin was the theme ingredient, and Tucker concocted a cocktail called "Paint It Black" that ranked tops with the judging panel. I'd been trying to get this recipe from Tucker since his win, and finally got it locked down. The recipe comes in three parts: one for the charged water, another for the tonic jelly and the final instructions of how to put it all together.

Here's what Tucker says about his champion cocktail, followed by the recipe. Bottom's up!

"My idea for the drink is basically just a playful turn on the ol' reliable - but often boring - gin and tonic. I love housemade tonics and particularly creating flavored tonics that complement the flavor profile for specific spirits. For gins like Brokers, Bombay Saphire and Plymouth, the flavors of blackberry, ginger and star anise work well. In jelly form, it allows the flavor of the tonic to slowly leach into the drink, so that as the ice melts and the drink dillutes down, the flavor of the drink remains true. This is aided by the natural stirring that occurs by people playing with their drinks."

Paint It Black

2 oz Brokers Gin
2 Tablespoons *Blackberry Ginger Star Anise Tonic Jelly
3 oz **Mint Blackberry charged water

Paint the inside of a 12 oz Collins glass with 1 tablespoon of jelly and fill glass with ice. In a mixing glass, combine gin with remaining tablespoon of jelly. Add ice and shake well. Double strain and pour over ice filled Collins glass. Top with mint blackberry charged water and garnish with lime zest.

*Blackberry Ginger Star Anise Tonic Jelly

15 oz Blackberries
1 cup sliced Ginger
5 Star Anise pods
½ cup boiling water
1 Tablespoon Citric Acid powder
1 Tablespoon Quinine powder(cinchona bark powder)

In a 6 qt sauce pot, combine blackberries, ginger and star anise and sweat over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent scalding on the bottom. In a small pot, combine boiling water, citric acid and quinine. Whisk to break up clumps. Add to blackberry pot and continue stirring over medium heat. Once bubbling, add sugar and continue stirring until dissolved. Continue cooking over medium heat reducing fluid by 1/3 (30 min) stirring occasionally. Strain and pour into sterile preserve jars. Yields 16-20 oz

**Mint Blackberry Charged Water

1 cup Blackberries
1 small bunch of fresh Mint
36 oz fresh cold water

Combine in sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 90 seconds. Strain and refrigerate. Once cold, add to soda siphon or seltzer charger and charge. Keep cold.


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