For those of you not in the know, we spend our spare time (LOL) at a little bar called Dandelyan and this recipe is one taken from there. The whole team has had input on at some stage, as it's evolved a lot over time and become something of a house staple.
It's worth noting that if you're a stickler for consistency this is not the recipe for you, as the delicious and flavourful ingredients in this are made up of citrus off cuts, tropical fruit ends and mint stems you may otherwise toss out every night. So if you are such a person, we ask you kindly get the fuck over yourself, make this delicious shit anyway and stop consuming pointlessly because you're apparently "OCD".
* COLLECTIVE EXHALE *
Moving along. This recipe requires some advanced planning and breaking of bad habits. In your kitchen or bar, place a container along side your bin or in reaching distance of the chopping board and label it "Not A Bin". Next, during prep and service, when ever you have any of the following, pop them in the "Not A Bin" container for safe keeping.
- Trimmed zest of citrus
- Mint stems
- Ends and cheeks of fruit
- Squishy berries that are too bruised to use as a garnish
- Cucumber off cuts we all have because of a certain Scottish gin that's bigger than Jesus (fuck that guy anyway)
A few things we don't recommend putting in there
- Leaves (mint, basil, pineapple, etc). Sadly they contain too much chlorophyll and will go bitter and real nasty
- Whole citrus and halves that have been squeezed. Do this with them instead!
- Dried spices or chilli (a cheeky pinch won't hurt)
- Meat, dairy, eggs, etc.
- Water, ice or spirits (this isn't your slops bucket!)
- And while it may seem obvious, anything that isn't edible.
Using this cordial, it definitely falls outside the realm of "classic" cocktail ingredient, but here also in lies its beauty. It's a great way of making sure every drink you create is truly one of a kind, and where ever a classic recipe also calls for citrus, using this bad boy means you can use less citrus and thus continue to reduce your consumption. Inception level waste efficiency!
The simple recipe reads as follows:
CHOPPING BOARD CORDIAL
1kg Mixed fresh off cuts
240g Granulated sugar
24g Citric acid powder
12g Malic acid powder
- Weigh your off cuts and add the same amount of water
- Cover and leave to soak over night at room temperature
- Strain out and weigh infused liquid
- (Assuming new weight is 1.2kg) add all powders and stir till dissolved
- Bottle and store cold
A more detailed (and let's be honest, hilarious) account on the process is below for those wanting more information:
- At the end of service take the off cuts you've saved and weight the weight them out. It's worthwhile at this stage sorting through quickly to make sure everything in there fits the above parameters. Take that weight, and add the same amount of water (1kg of off cuts = 1L of water). Cover and store at room temp over night.
- Next day get your environmentally friendly, punk ass into work early, strain off and weigh the liquid into a clean container and compost or otherwise consciously discard the off cuts. Secretly stashing them in your co-workers locker, while hilarious, is plain fucking evil. You bastard.
- Say your infused liquid now weighs 1.2kg (even though it's a liquid its good to use grams at this stage), you have a decision to make. If you want a syrup, add equal parts sugar, but if you want more of a cordial, then you only want to add around 20-30% (240 - 360g) of the weight in sugar. In fact, and this is where you've got to check your OCD bullshit at the door, depending on what fruit found it's way in to your "Not A Bin" the night before, you may get away with as little as 10% sugar. It totally comes down to intended purpose and the various levels of acidity in your off cuts.
- A lot of your chopping board off cuts will likely be citrus if you're in a bar, and well, having citrus aroma and flavour with out at least a hint of acidity on the palate, is kinda like The Misfits without Danzig, a little lost and generally meh. So to help preserve flavour and give that citrus a bump, we use powdered citric and malic acid. By weight (measured before adding sugar) we tend to use 2% citric acid and 1% malic acid as a guideline. Again though, play around and create a recipe that suits the needs of the drinks you're making!
- Bottle and store cold
And that's it! Loads of words for what is a very simple recipe (sorry 'bout it) but ultimately this one is going to require a little trial and error to find something you're happy with.
So get that "Not A Bin" label done up and reduce your impact suckers!