by Natalie Valenzuela woman of the world, natural wine lover, currently residing in Pucon, Chile.
Sometimes the most unpredictable ingredients when mixed together make mouth-watering flavours, like sea salt, peanuts, rosemary & chocolate (for me this is a mind-blowing experience, every time). Ducksoup a restaurant and wine bar on London’s Dean St is a place that does this – they mix unique ingredients & serve dishes with amazing aromas & flavours.
Ducksoup is a special place, when you enter & retreat into the space you feel like you’ve teleported to an underground bar from the 50s, possibly Californian or Greek, the record player forever spinning sweet tunes to up the ante on the already mid-century modern vibes.
Back to the food & wine, they’re known for their use of fresh sustainably-sourced ingredients, aromatic flavours, instagramable beauty-filled food & of course their selection of natural wine (more on this in a future post). When in London we definitely recommend heading there…some of the best food and drinks around, no faff, just top quality offerings.
(Image via @Ducksoupsoho instagram.)
Rory McCoy (co-owner & all round legend) has invented a cocktail using a most unusual ingredient, our very own Agraz – enter The Dry Ginger cocktail: Mezcal, fresh ginger & Agraz. Mmmm, got you thinking. Rory has described our Agraz as “Its own thing. It goes so far to the extreme that you can’t actually drink it neat but you can recognise it’s going to bring equilibrium to whatever it’s used in”.
Co-founder Rory McCoy & Clare Lattin, Tom Hill executive chef. Images via @Ducksoupsoho instagram.
Agraz or verjus, French for green juice, is used as a healthy and delicious alternative to vinegar or lemon. Ours is made from unripened Pais grapes handpicked in early Spring at our farm Fundo Meza, as Rory mentioned it’s got the right kind of acidity & minimal sweetness. It’s grape-based, but not fermented & alcoholic, & therefore the flavors complement whatever it’s being served with. In this case, Mezcal & ginger.
Mezcal is native to Oaxaca, Mexico, made from 100% Agave, it is one of the oldest distilled spirits in the Americas. Artisanally distilled it has a smokey, sweet & floral flavor. Like wine, the soil & growing conditions are important not only for quality but for its naturality, meaning it’s one of the cleanest spirits on the market.
Fresh ginger as we all know is a healing spice, an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, a natural gem.
Rory mixed these 3 together and The Dry Ginger cocktail was born. A peachy coloured drink, tarty & smokey, he describes it as “a total new dimension in your mouth, you have to adjust your palette. Tart and sharp to that extreme are not normally eaten, nor drank — almost an inversion of how you normally approach drinks”.
The Dry Ginger cocktail is available at Ducksoup, try it there and get the whole experience. Or try it at home with friends, Ducksoup said we can share the secret with you all 🙂 – recipe below. Shop Vidacycle Agraz on our online store.
THE DRY GINGER
25 ml Mezcal
50 ml Agraz
few grams of fresh ginger
In a cocktail shaker, smash or muddle the ginger, release the fire and liquid from within it, quickly chuck in the mezcal and agraz, then fast shake it with lots of ice. Double strain into the glass ‘ you don’t want bits of ice it in nor do you want it to water down.
Serve in a stemmed fancy cocktail fine glass.