With more time than ever to experiment at home, we launched a special series on slow drinks – recipes for those DIY tinctures, tipples and ingredients that take time to create. This week it's the turn of Terrazza I Principi (a group of four Italian bartenders: Elena Urbani, Nightjar; Cristian Silenzi, The Savoy; Angelo Sparvoli, Kwānt and Iolanda Carrieri, nhow Hotel)
Why we're fermenting
We like to ferment because it is something that makes us curious. It is totally unpredictable when made it for the first time: you never know how a taste can change by adding salt or a type of bacteria and leaving it to ferment for a certain amount of time. We like to experiment and research new flavours to apply in both the bar and kitchen, while also trying to be sustainable by using every part of a product.
by Terrazza I Principi
Garnish: Lemon zest (discard)
Method: Stir on block ice in a mixing glass. Pour into frozen rocks glass.
40 ml Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof
20 ml Corte Vetusto mezcal espadin
7.5 ml Varnelli anice secco speciale
7.5 ml Fermented garlic honey syrup*
4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
* To make the fermented garlic honey syrup use one part fermented garlic honey (below), one part sugar syrup
What we're fermenting
Today we're going to ferment garlic in honey. We like to ferment pretty much anything that will give us an interesting and unusual flavour. We like to combine different ingredients and see nature doing her work, like turning sweet fruits into funky and acidic products.
Mainly we ferment fruits, vegetables, roots, spices and teas sometimes adding extra elements to obtain more pronounced and complex flavours. So far, we have been making vinegars, tepache, kombuchas, mead wine, ginger bug, lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables and sourdough starter.
What our ferment can be used in
As bartenders our main use of ferments is mixing in cocktails, but we like to go further with our experiments by also trying our products in food, often taking inspiration from restaurants like Noma, in Cophenaghen, that focuses a lot on fermentation.
It may sound extreme, but for those who like the umami and savoury notes, it could make an interesting twist on a Sazerac or Old Fashioned. It's all about being creative, playing with acidity and combining the right flavours to find the right balance.
1 whole garlic head
Honey (you can decide which type depending on your preference)
Method: Peel the garlic cloves and place them in a glass jar (the garlic should fill it all). Slowly pour the honey in, giving the time for the air to come up. In this way the honey will fill as much space as possible.
Close the jar ermetically and leave it to ferment until it stops making bubbles, remembering to open the lid daily to release the CO2.
Ferment for a further 40 days. Enjoy!