When François Monti was asked to write a book on cocktail recipes, he was clear that it had to be something easy and without elitism. This is how it came about Bar Furniture: Classic and basic cocktails at homea volume, edited by Abalon Books, which boasts of simple drinks where from three or four ingredients you can reach the top of good drinking.
Monti, born in Liège 40 years ago, but settled in Madrid 13 years ago, has become one of the greatest eminences in the world of blends: elected one of the 100 most influential people by Drinks International magazine, he is, at the same time, , a careful defender of traditional bars and the history of distillates.
Gin and rum have been part of Spanish culture since time immemorial. The former has had primitive distilleries in towns such as Mataró, where there are references to “quality gin” back in 1797. Meanwhile, the latter extends its ties much further due to the relations between slavery and the sugar industry that were forged in the Caribbean. . Today everything has changed.
“Given that for many Spaniards the first step in the world of cocktails came after discovering the universe of the gin and tonic, gin is undoubtedly the spirit drink about which the most information has been given,” says Monti about the future of this drink, with which you can prepare cocktails of such interest as a Southside (gin, lime, sugar, mint), a Bees Knees (gin, lemon, honey) or a Gin Fizz (gin, lemon, sugar).
The changes that have taken place in just over a decade have made it possible to normalize what premium. “In Spain, with drinks it happens like with soccer teams or political parties, people don’t change. However, with the gin craze and the explosion of flavors and profiles, we have made a path of no return. People now want to pay a little more for something of quality”, she reflects. His recommendations range from Dutch delicacies like Old Duff Maltwijn, whose flavor is similar to that of a non-aged whiskey, to much more recognizable but just as interesting brands like Tanqueray, Bombay, Beefeater or Plymouth.
To start with rums, which are not as sweet as those consumed in Spain, it is advisable to get those that come from Cuba or Jamaica, such as Havana Club Selección de Maestros, Appleton V/X or Plantation Xaymaca Dry. “Jamaican rum is unique. It has a more intense profile, what some experts call funk”, comments Monti, in love with the islands and those daiquiris that he discovered in the Canarian Association of Havana, in 2012, when he traveled for the first time.
bar cabinet, more than a liquid guide, is an accurate map with which to travel and spot different stories and realities. A way, like any other, to learn to drink with a lot of knowledge and some measure. “In the book I recommend six bottles to start with, with whom anyone can make more than twenty cocktails, which is much more than people are likely to make,” he indicates with wise Belgian snigger.
Ramos Gin Fizz
→ Ingredients: 60 milliliters (ml) of London Dry gin, 15 ml of lemon juice, 15 ml of lime juice, 30 ml of sugar syrup, 15 ml of cream, 2 drops of orange blossom, egg white and sparkling water.
→ Decor: Lemon peel.
→ Glass: long glass
→ Ingredients: 60 ml of sweet red vermouth, 30 ml of Old Tom gin, 5 ml of maraschino liqueur, 2 shots of aromatic bitters and a shot of orange bitters.
→ Decor: Cherry.
→ Glass: Cocktail glass.
→ Ingredients: 60 ml of Cuban-style white rum, 30 ml of lime juice and 15 ml of sugar syrup.
→ Decor: Not necessary.
→ Glass: Cocktail glass.
→ Ingredients: 60 ml of Cuban-style white rum, 30 ml of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 sprig of mint and sparkling water.
→ Decor: Mint sprig and, optional, aromatic bitters.
→ Glass: Wide cane / tube.
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