HOW I MAKE THAT DRINK (AND WHY IT'S SO GOOD)
The Juicy Fruit is made with probably one of the strangest ingredients for a cocktail you’ll ever experience
Colin is the “Barologist” — his term, not ours — at Laut Singapura and Wau, two Southeast Asian restaurant concepts in New York City from chef/owner Salil Mehta. The Juicy Fruit — and yes, it does involve chewing gum, but, as you will see, brilliantly — can be had at Wau on New York’s Upper West Side.
I spend a lot of time thinking about and exploring the flavors of southeast Asia, and one of the most interesting fruits that is rarely used here in the US is jackfruit. It is as versatile as it is flavorful, and can be enjoyed as everything from a sweet treat to a savory barbeque griller.
I knew I wanted to do something with this unusual ingredient, and when introducing ingredients that many drinkers may be unfamiliar with I love to do it through the lens of a familiar flavor. I realized that, for many people, their only experience is with the popular jackfruit flavored gum: Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit! Using chewing gum as a flavoring agent was a new challenge for me, as any infusions with it yielded an unpleasant mouthfeel in the final cocktail. I settled on a culinary foam, thereby keeping the gum component separated from the liquid cocktail and allowing a miniscule amount of the infusion to be amplified in aroma and flavor.
For the liquid cocktail, I reached for the experiences that are commonly paired with jackfruit: mezcal to hold the smoke from the barbeque, passionfruit as an adjacent flavor pairing, lime to reintroduce the tartness, and Aperol for a touch of cloying bitterness that reminds me of the natural latex that forms within fresh cut jackfruit. The cocktail draws you in through the strikingly familiar Juicy Fruit aroma, and as the sips lower the washline the flavors blend and the idea of snacking on fresh cut, barbecued jackfruit sets in.
1 oz mezcal (smokier the better)
1 oz Chinola passion fruit liqueur
1/4 oz Aperol
1/2 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz lime juice
Juicy Fruit Foam
1 egg white
5 oz water
3 oz Juicy Fruit vodka
1 oz lime juice
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
Shake with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass.
Top with Juicy Fruit foam. For this, whisk all the foam ingredients together, then add to a whipped cream canister and charge with an N₂0 cartridge. Shake and chill in an icebox before using.
To make Juicy Fruit Vodka, add 9 sticks of Juicy Fruit gum to 6 oz of vodka and rest for 4 hours at room temperature. Strain out the gum using a coffee filter.