Do you work with your kitchen? I know, asking for them to order lemons and limes, grabbing some grapefruits, begging them to freeze some large cubes? No, that’s not what I’m leading to. I mean putting your kitchen to work for your bar. What? There is a little secret that makes all chefs happy. It’s named food cost. When it’s too high, your chef is angry. He’s not making any money and whatever little money he does make for the owners is being thrown away. Not good for you, nor the restaurant.
Enter the oven roasted orange juice.
If your cooks are throwing out perfectly delicious fruits instead of roasting them, cooling them and then juicing- well they are missing out on some really incredible flavors. Once the fruits are cooked they become lithe and exciting. They lose their ‘pretty’ looks and gain rich, succulent flavors that are just screaming to be heard behind the stick. If they are cooks that are worth their salt, they’ll want to help you. The flavors of oven roasted orange juice are that good. And why not work with these ingredients? They will lower the food cost for the entire establishment by using fruits that may usually just get thrown out. See some oranges that are not quite good enough to peel, but contain tons of good juice? Slice them in half, sprinkle them with Angostura Bitters, preheat your oven to 300 and roast them for an hour.
Try to ensure that your cooks are not roasting garlic in the same oven. Or fish heads for bouillabaisse. This will make your oven roasted orange juice taste off. Really now, you didn’t know that?
After some gentle roasting in that clean, medium oven, as if by osmosis, the natural citrus sugars emerge, and a new flavor profile jumps forward into the cocktail glass. This is the part that is most exciting for me. When we take current day ingredients, do some really simple techniques to them and as if by enchanted mysticism, a new dialogue takes place. This is the language of master-mixology.
Now, grab some of this oven roasted orange juice and mix some of that expensive Rhum Agricole that has been languishing on the back shelf of your bar. Add a couple cubes of coconut water ice- yes, that’s ice made from just about the purest water known. This is coconut water! Top that coconut water ice with a good drenching of the Rhum Agricole about two or three ounces is all you need. Float the roasted orange juice over the top and garnish with a lime pinwheel. Sure, you can add bitters, I do. Angostura is already in the juice, roasted of course- and it changes the depth of the cocktail drastically. You may want to use a flavor on the other side of the wheel. I’d pick something like chocolate mole’ bitters. Rhum Agricole, a dehydrated lime pinwheel, roasted orange and Angostura bitters with coconut water ice? What did this drink cost? A buck or two? And you charged fifteen or more? Good work. Good Job. And use those chocolate bitters to finish off this delicious little cocktail. Yummy.
Do You Work With Your Kitchen?
- 2-3 oz. Rhum Agricole – it usually comes from Martinique, but the ebullient Cachaças from Brazil work really well in a pinch.
- 4 oz. Oven Roasted Orange Juice – ½’d oranges, sprinkled with Angostura and roasted for an hour at 300 degrees, cool and juice. Refrigerate this juice- it’s pretty fragile stuff, so make it daily if possible. Whatever you don’t use makes an amazing marinade for chicken cooked over hard-wood charcoal. Keeping the food cost down even lower!
- Coconut Water Ice Cubes-freeze overnight in a silicone ice tray
- Lime Pinwheel- oven dehydrated a plus!
- Chocolate Mole’ Bitters
- Add the Coconut Water ice to a Double Old-Fashioned glass
- Top with the two ounces of Rhum Agricole
- Float the Oven Roasted Orange Juice on top
- Top with the dehydrated lime pinwheel
- Dot with the mole’ bitters and serve with a paper straw. Sip up from the bottom!