Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

Zubrowka and ginger-cinnamon-infused simple syrup

June 26, 2012
A few months ago, I had a drink at the nearby Wherever Bar called a Capibrowka The name was a play on Caipirinha and Zubrowka, or bison grass vodka. The vodka has a spicy flavor, and the drink was excellent, so I bought a bottle and it became our favorite drink for a while.

In the U.S., Zubrowka was banned for many years because it contains coumarin, a natural substance (also found in cinnamon, chamomile tea, and strawberries) which can be "potentially toxic" in quantities larger than we'd ever drink at one time. In 2011, however, a coumarin-free brand called Zu was introduced into the market. (So go buy a bottle!)

In Buenos Aires, Zubrowka comes in 2 versions, a regular bottle for ~130 pesos (around US$25, pictured) and a gift version, which is the same bottle in a furry green "buffalo" holder, for ~180. I only saw the latter at first, and didn't realize how much I was paying for the stuffed animal around the bottle, but have since seen the simpler bottle available.

According to the menu, the Capibrowka at Wherever included ginger, cinnamon, sugar, grapefruit, and lime. I don't know how they made it, but I created my own way. The main ingredient other than the Zubrowka is the syrup:

Ginger-Cinnamon-Infused Simple Syrup
  1. Cut up a bunch of fresh ginger into slices.
  2. In a sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water to boil.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of sugar. (This is a basic 1:2 simple syrup, you can make it 1:1 or any other ratio that will dissolve.) It's easiest to add the sugar gradually while stirring.
  4. Add a bunch of cinnamon. (Cinnamon sticks are probably best, but I couldn't find that, so I used powder.) Note that the cinnamon will not dissolve.
  5. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved, the turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for a while.
  6. When the ginger seems to have infused the liquid very well, pour it through a cheese cloth into a jar and refrigerate. You want to leave the ginger slices and un-dissolved cinnamon behind. (It should last several months like that.)

Now that the syrup is available on a whim, you can make the drink:

  1. 20ml Zubrowka (bison grass vodka)
  2. 20ml ginger-cinnamon simple syrup
  3. 10ml lime juice
  4. 20ml grapefruit juice
  5. Stir and pour over ice.

- Ben

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated before publishing. Comments with links (unless directly relevant to the post) will not be approved. No spam, please.