Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tropical Snow

Man, was it hot last Saturday. But you know my solution to that, right? Frozen cocktails!

I've mentioned the concept of a neige before (although I spelled it "nieve", because I don't know French or maybe I thought it was Spanish) - as far as I can tell, this culinary terminology was invented by me, but not the technique. Basically, you freeze a sweetened liquid, "fluffing" it to break up the ice crystals every now and then. The sugar prevents it from freezing hard as well. The results is a light, dry, fluffy cloud of goodness.

I made this batch by mixing 1/2 pineapple, 1/2 mango juice, filling a clean plastic yogurt container about 1/2 full. I stuck it in the freezer and every now and then stirred it with a fork. The first time, there was barely any ice. The next time, it was about 1/3 frozen. Then left it overnight and in the morning it was pretty frozen. So I dug the fork in and stirred it all around.

I've done this before, and found a solid, un-fluffable block of ice. I think using extra-sweet juice helps - the sugar retards ice crystal formation. This time it came out perfect.

So I had some pineapple/mango snow. I spooned some into a martini glass and added:
  • Rum and a little mac nut liqueur for a kind of mai-tai
  • Tequila, triple sec and lime for a kind of margarita
  • Gin, Cherry Heering and Benedictine for a Singapore Sling
  • Malibu rum and St. Germain with a little lime for a tropical fantasy
This is a very different effect than blending with icecubes or even running frozen juice through a blender. A bit more sophisticated, and stronger. Try some next time the weather gets hot.

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