The April issue of Bon Appetit magazine arrived over the weekend (I was a Gourmet subscriber – and although I honestly have nothing against Bon App, I still feel a little stab of resentment every time the unasked-for substitute shows up in the mailbox). As I was leafing through, the page serendipitously fell open to a recipe for Curry-Spiced Bloody Marys.
It’s an otherwise standard recipe (tomato juice, vodka, lemon and lime juices, salt and pepper, celery-stick garnish), but it also calls for two unusual ingredients: balsamic vinegar, and “2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons” of Madras curry powder. (I’ll assume that 3 full tablespoons would have overpowered.)
I seem to be all but stumbling over curry-spiked cocktails lately! At the Cocktail All-Stars event, I was handed a Delhi Daisy, made with tequila, elderflower, lemon, curry simple syrup, and aromatic bitters. (I later learned it was the brainchild of Misty Kalkofen, of Boston’s Drink).
Just days later, I was sent a press release for AGAINN, in Washington D.C. And tucked in among a number of innovative drinks was The Bare-Knuckle Boxer, described as follows: “house-blended madras curry powder infused into John L. Sullivan Irish Whisky, R&W Orchard Apricot liqueur, Dolin Dry, and Peychaud’s Bitters.”
Hmm, I thought: here’s someone mixing up their own spices, and then infusing them into a base spirit. Very different approach from Misty’s simple syrup approach. But wait…why did it sound so familiar? And then it hit me: a few months back, I interviewed Justin Guthrie of Central Michel Richard, also in D.C. He was all kinds of fired up about a recent experiment utilizing sous-vide technology from the kitchen, which he’d used to concoct a curry powder “super-infused” bourbon. The end result: an exotic whiskey sour.
Though I’m not exactly a sous-vide expert, what I do know is that it’s a method of slow-cooking. In other words, not exactly curry in a hurry.