inexplicable pang of inventive genius

May 9, 2005 – 10:41 pm

yesterday: being one of those chivalric take-the-fall guys, i took a preemptory taste of the ladye’s mother’s day gift, er, on her behalf (i can truthfully report: it was not at all poisoned).

on the contrary, the native nectar gaujillo honey was most … mesquitely sophisticated (scroll down at the previous link). within minutes, of course, i’d sketched out a specialty drink. preliminary focus-group taste tests show i may have hit a flukey bullseye with this one. this blog does not exaggerate one bit in saying that there is already a substantive fan base (hi, debi!).

* coat one 3.5-oz espresso shot glass with native nectar guajillo honey (yeah. i hate it when the gold medal flour package recipes pander shamelessly by recommending that you use only Gold(tm) Medal(r) Flour(c). but this time, the strain is important.
* pull into said shot glass one underdosed ristretto shot of something rich and african — in my case the revered kenya aa karatina. (disclaimer: ristretto. i know. i am a fervent member of the purist ristrettos-are-crutches-double-shots-rule barista club. but this recipe demands it. why? because the karatina’s dark chocolate hints show up this way, and are especially useful in this drink — same logic for going lean on the dosage.)
* steam half and half, a little on the dry side. top off the shot glass — essentially, you’re building a true macchiato, with a little more milk involved.
* give yourself bonus points for some subtle, delicate latte art with such a short pour.
* throw on two twisted pinches of fresh sage.

thassit. sage seemed to be a big thing at this year’s WBC, so that’s why it occurred to me. it’s meant to augment the olfactory side of the experience instead of the strict tasted results. (hey. if troels can instruct judges how how much air to inhale with his specialty drink, i can wave the olfactory flag.)

the drink is a ‘transparent’ one — it absorbs its way into your senses and lets you figure it out instead of assaulting you with its qualities. it’s not sweet. the honey just nicely rounds out the flavor spectrum and provides a counter-ballast to the (very) potent sage. the karatina heavy on choclatey/spicy overtones fits perfectly.

today: being smitten with the mysterious five-ailments-in-one, including a confounded eye-gnawing headache, i tried the above again. sage scent up the left (unclogged) nostril, honey through the tonsils, slightly creamed karatina straight to my cerebral cortex. nice. ’twill be a staple, methinks. feedback welcome.

UPDATE: the ladye has just wondered aloud where all her texas honey went. i think i will woo her with a bit of underdosed guajillo sage…