I must admit: after my latest review of two spirits and a carrot brandy from the Sauerländer Edelbrennerei, my thoughts were circling around possible cocktails to use them in. Therefore, it was important to get a little structure into my thoughts in order to systematize the whole approach. So I decided to start making a drink from the outstanding carrot brandy, but before I could start with that I had to answer two fundamental questions.
The first question was: Do I want to create a hearty drink or rather a fruity, sweet one? A question that is not so easily answered, for the carrot is located somewhere on the periphery between sweet and hearty – both in the kitchen and also behind the bar. It would accordingly also be possible to mix some kind of Bloody Mary variant or completely create another hearty drink without any trace of tomato. The second question was: Do I want the carrot to be just an accent or do I want it to be the protagonist?
However, I wanted to create a cocktail that would appeal to a larger group of people without undermining the very essence of the carrot brandy from the Sauerländer Edelbrennerei. So there should be the full load of carrot in the drink. Often it can be helpful to look around the realm of desserts and to consider whether perhaps there are inspiring taste combinations to be found there. And in fact, there is a wide range of carrot cakes or cookies, which sometimes have a little more orange, sometimes a little more with chocolate, and sometimes even both. Of course you cannot make it too easy here and just simply pour some carrot brandy into a glass of carrot juice and yell: “The carrot cocktail!”. On the contrary: a good drink is usually characterized by a complex structure, which is harmonious on the one hand but nevertheless allows various nuances to appear on the palate. And I wanted to create exactly that kind of cocktail.
The result is shown here: It offers all that I was up to: the Dr. K. Nickel’s Delight shows a clear essence of carrot, complex bitter notes of orange thanks to the excellent Mondino Amaro Bavarese, a little fruity freshness that comes from lemon juice and some freshly made carrot juice from the juicer (please do not use carrot juice from a Tetra Pak!), a nice honey sweetness with spicy hints from some forest honey syrup and a dash of Drambuie as well as a dry finish of chocolate notes thanks to the Mozart Dry Chocolate Spirit. But be careful: the Dr. K. Nickel’s Delight fields some alcoholic power, even if you do not taste it. (If you should wonder about the name: Dr. K. Nickel was a character from an old English schoolbook – Karnickel is a German word for rabbit. The name is completely ridiciolous, I know, but I’m sure Dr. K. Nickel would have loved this drink.)
4.5 cl Sauerländer premium brandy carrot brandy
2 cl Mondino Amaro Bavarese
2 cl lemon juice
2 cl forest honey syrup (see below)
1.5 cl carrot juice (fresh juice from a juicer!)
1 cl Drambuie
1 cl Mozart Dry Chocolate Spirit
Forest honey syrup: simply mix the forest honey with water in a ratio of 1.5 to 1 in a coated pan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Last allow it to cool.
Preparation: Shake all the ingredients in the shaker vigorously on ice (approx. 15 seconds). Then pour into your glass filled with fresh ice cubes.
Garnish: small, grilled carrot glazed with honey
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online.