Today’s cocktail was inspired by the delicate, pleasantly bitter flavor of endives and the mellow sweetness of ripe, yellow plums.
Sometimes you’re eating a salad and find yourself wondering what would happen if you made an endive syrup…
No?…Ok, maybe it’s just me. I tend to be always thinking in terms of syrups and infusions and what flavors might work together, especially in cocktails. And I love unexpected ingredients. The endive syrup was (surprisingly) a success, with a delicate, bitter green flavor, but it needed an equally delicate sweet flavor to pair with it.
Wait, Yellow Plums Are Illegal?
While perusing my local Whole Foods, I spotted some beautiful yellow plums and had to try them. They are very similar to purple plums, perhaps a bit more tart, with a noticeable bitterness from the peel. A little googling later and I was very surprised to read that yellow plums are illegal in the US!
How could this be, since I’d just picked some up at Whole Foods? And more importantly, why would this harmless little fruit be outlawed? As it turns out, it’s the original yellow plum, the Mirabelle, that is illegal to import to the US due to trade agreements with France, where the plum hails from. The fruit is protected and can only be grown in Lorraine, France. Fortunately, there are other strains of yellow plums that were introduced and are now cultivated in the US, so no illegal produce was used in the making of this cocktail.
- 2 oz yellow plum-infused gin*
- 1 oz endive syrup**
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 egg white
Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake hard for a few minutes to develop a smooth foam. Add ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an endive leaf and micro greens.
*Yellow Plum Infused Gin
Macerate ripe, chopped yellow plums in gin, about 1 small plum per 2 oz gin, for a strong flavor. Muddle the fruit in the gin and allow to steep, covered, for at least 24 hours before straining.
Create a small batch of endive syrup by heating 50g of sugar and 50g water on low until the sugar is dissolved. Add one chopped yellow endive, stir, and turn off the heat. Allow syrup to sit for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally, then strain. This low heat method will infuse the syrup with a true endive flavor. Cooking the endive will alter the flavor of the finished product. For a larger batch, simply double or triple this recipe.