A while back I decided to play around with freezing edible flowers under ice. You've probably seen this on the web and Instagram, but I had never done this myself. I created my floral ice balls by placing edible flowers in an ice ball mold, then filling the mold with water. The results were so beautiful I couldn't wait to add my flower ice ball to a cocktail. But what cocktail?
Every cocktail I thought of didn't do the flower ice ball justice. I finally decided to make one of my favorite cocktails, the "Last Word". Equal parts Gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino Liqueur, and Lime, the last word is a bright and sweet cocktail perfect for spring. There was only one problem. The traditional recipe made for a cloudy cocktail. If the star was the flower ice ball, I needed to reduce the drink's cloudiness. The solution? Milk washing.
Milk washing is the process of adding milk to an acidic base. The resulting curdled milk is strained off to produce a "clear" and smooth drink removed of harsh flavors.
I had never milk washed a cocktail before so I was super nervous. In addition to making a clear cocktail, I hoped that my milk wash would result in a cocktail that still tasted like a Last Word but less acidic.
I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. The harsh acidity of the limes was muted while still maintaining that bright lime flavor. While the herbs of the chartreuse were still present, they didn't stand out over the other ingredients. Overall the beverage was sweet and smooth. Almost a little too sweet. So I decided to add more gin at the end in hopes of adding some dryness.
The only downside to the process was the tedious straining. I had to stop and change the cheesecloth a few times due to the build-up of milk solids. Still, I would be willing to try this process again with other cocktail recipes. There's something nice about relaxing with a bottled cocktail knowing that all the work has been done.
A MOTHER'S WORD
4 ounces Dry Gin
1.5 ounces Dry Gin (to be added at the time of bottling.)
4 ounces Green Chartreuse
4 ounces Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
5 ounces Lime Juice
4 ounces Whole Milk
Combine alcohol and juice. Set aside.
In a small pot, warm whole milk. Remove from heat before boiling.
In a separate container, stir alcohol and juice mix into milk. (adding the milk to the alcohol and juice mix will result in an instant curdle.)
Strain the curdled liquid through a chinois or mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
Add 1.5 ounces dry gin.
Refrigerate. Strain again if desired.