Caña Rum Bar general manager, Allan Katz was recently surprised to see fresh Meyer lemons alongside blueberries at his local Hollywood farmers’ market. “I thought they were just a winter citrus,” he says, “but apparently, some are ripe at the same time blueberry season is in full swing.” While the Meyer lemon’s tempered acidity nicely complements the acidic sweetness of the gastrique, Katz recommends shaking a bit longer than you normally would. “This one really needs dilution,” he notes.
2 oz. aged rum
2/3 oz. fresh Meyer lemon juice
3/4 oz. blueberry gastrique
2 dashes Bittermen's mole bitters
2 dashes maraschino liqueur
Tools: shaker, strainer
Garnish: fresh blueberries
Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a sour glass and garnish.
For the gastrique:
16 oz. water
4 oz. fresh berries
1/8 oz. good-quality balsamic vinegar
Combine water and berries in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Finely strain berry/water mixture through a cheesecloth-lined colander, pressing through as much liquid as you can. Measure liquid and add an equal amount of white sugar to still-hot berry juice. Stir. Add 1/8 oz. balsamic vinegar per quart of liquid. Will keep refrigerated for up to four days.
Allan Katz, Cana, Los Angeles
For more on LA's cocktail scene, check out "A Star Is Re-Born" in the July/August 2010 issue.