During this period when staying inside and social distancing have become the new norm, bars are momentarily taking a break as well. While customers are pining for a fun night out at their favourite establishments, some have taken to creating cocktails of their own right at home. Dubbed quarantinis, these drinks have gone far beyond the classic two-ingredient cocktail, and now consist of ingredients that can easily be found in pantries.
REIMAGINING THE REGULAR
As a visit to the supermarket is no longer a simple task, repurposing pantry ingredients can be an unconventional but creative way to flavour cocktails. While leftover drip coffee or cold-brewed coffee is great for adding bitter notes to cocktails, instant coffee crystals can also be repurposed to create a boozy version of the famed Dalgona coffee. If teas are a preferred option, tea-infused cocktails such as hot toddies and spiked ice tea can be easily mixed by incorporating brewed tea into recipes. To make your tea-infused treat visually appealing, try whipping up a fluffy foam topping with aquafaba, the starchy liquid in a can of chickpeas commonly used as a replacement for egg whites. Even pantry staples like cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks give a smoky warmth to cocktails too.
UNCOVER SWEET AND SALTY FLAVOURS
Your pantry is home to lots of complex and strong flavours to experiment with. Known for putting the “dirty” in a Dirty Martini, olive brine lends the drink its quintessential cloudy appearance. This salty ingredient provides a tangy aftertaste that punctuates drinks, in a fashion reminiscent to the tart chasers consumed after liquor shots. On the other end of the scale, regular jams ranging from marmalade to berry preserves are versatile alternatives to heighten a drink’s sweetness. In following the golden cocktail rule, jam-infused beverages are shaken to ensure uniform dispersion. The end result is a well-layered, creamier cocktail infused with floral notes and fragrances. Get creative with your pantry staples and try out these recipes for an extra homely touch.