Who’s up for a little game of “would you rather”?
You have two margaritas on the table in front of you. One is made with tequila, fresh lime juice, pureed local heirloom melons, and freshly picked mint.
The other is made with tequila and bottled margarita mix which is made with the typical combination of water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate, cellulose gum, gum acacia, polysorbate 60, natural flavors, glycerol ester of wood rosin, sodium metabisulfate, yellow 5, and blue 1.
Which margarita would you rather drink? If you’re like us, you will choose the farm-to-cocktail marg every single time. It’s a totally different experience.
The Farm-to-Cocktail Trend
The farm-to-table movement changed the way chefs cook at restaurants. Now the farm-to-cocktail movement is changing the way we make cocktails. Rather than opening up a can or bottle of juice and mixer, restaurants are using fresh produce from local farmers. The result is a seasonal bar menu with unexpected combinations and fresh flavors.
This IS the new cocktail trend.
How FDR Does Farm-to-Cocktail
Chef Katie recently picked passion fruit from the vine, limes from her tree, and mint from her garden to make passion fruit margaritas. She also cans her own tomatoes and combines them with fresh jalapenos, onions, and garlic for Bloody Marys. Chef Richard loves to use heirloom produce for Watermelon Vodka Coolers, Cantaloupe Ginger Ale Cocktails, and Grapefruit “Brown Derbys.”
Farm-to-Cocktail Tips and Ideas
- Puree fruit and vegetables. Set aside some of those juicy, late-summer peaches and puree them. Strain for a smoother texture and freeze the puree in ice cube trays for later. This works well with berries and melon.
- Freeze herbs in ice. If you can’t garnish with fresh herbs, try freezing them in ice cubes to use when they’re out of season.
- Make simple syrups. This is a must for amazing flavor. Try using lavender, citrus zest, ginger, or cucumber. Here’s how to do it.
- Try a shrub a/k/a drinking vinegars. All you need is fruit, sugar, and vinegar. This is a great way to use up your bruised and ugly fruit. Learn how to make a shrub here.
- Infuse some booze. You can use almost anything. Let your imagination go wild (and give us a call when you’re ready to serve it up). Here are a few tips.
- Create a garnish people actually want to eat. Think outside the box with fruit salsa or pickled vegetables.
Need some more direction on new cocktail trends? Give Chef Richard’s Kimchi Bloody Mary a try.