By The Tahona Society Editorial Team
The Tahona Society Editorial Team
Dec 14, 2021
We love to decorate and embellish our food. And our drinks too! With ingredients like a cinnamon stick, a sprig of rosemary, a splash of cranberry juice, apple cider and even hot chocolate, our drinks acquire a Christmas spirit.
Since we love when Tahona Society family members participate in creating our content, we have invited some winners of the Henry Besant scholarship along with some Altos tequila Ambassadors to share their ingenious Christmas cocktail garnishes.
We are sure that these festive holiday drink garnishes will brighten your 2021 Christmas cocktails while providing the perfect final touch and flavor.
Melanie is bar supervisor at Beneath Drive Lane Bar in Melbourne and is now three weeks into her Diploma of Business Operations with Swinburn online University. Because of its flexible schedule, it is a perfect fit with her full-time bar supervisor role.
Melanie will be gaining another couple of years of management experience as she completes her studies. Then she will have the credentials to apply to more advanced studies or even apply to higher level management roles, such as operations or venue management. Step by step she is on track to reach her ultimate goal: owning her own bar!
It is the hot, summer weather of Australia’s Christmas that inspires Melanie’s choice of a fruity dessert garnish for her Tequila Mule Cocktail!
Add cubed ice in a copper mug. Add the Altos tequila, lime juice and ginger syrup. Top with ginger beer and cap with crushed ice. For the garnish, skewer the raspberries on the pick. Hit a sprig of mint several times against a hard surface to release the oils and then add to the mug. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top like snow.
The idea for a translucent candied pears garnish comes from wanting to incorporate the biznaga, a type of classic crystallized fruit-based Mexican candy. Typical of the Christmas season, David wanted to reference the biznaga and use elements with the same characteristics in his bar. The result was excellent, not just recalling the tradition but also converting it into an elegant and subtle Christmas garnish.
Regarding the inspiration behind the dark chocolate orange wheel garnish, it comes from the concept of sustainability. One of David’s business ventures is a bar agency, where he sought ways to minimize the citrics waste behind the bar. This is how he came up with the idea of dehydrating them.
The next step was to convert the traditional orange wheels into a seasonal product that would continue to be sustainable. The chocolate and spices lend a warm and familiar feeling without sacrificing shelf-life; at the same time they prepare the palate to receive more bitter and spiced cocktails, as are typical of the Christmas season.
Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Reduce the heat and add the caster sugar. Dissolve it until you have a light syrup*. Keep it on low heat.
Carefully slice the pears into thin slices and add them to the syrup.
Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the pears and use paper towels to remove excess syrup.
Dry your pear chips in a dehydrator at 50 ºC for two hours. [You can also use a regular oven at a low temperature for at least two hours.]
Use translucent candied pears to garnish Altos Reposado cocktails or a beautiful Christmas Tequila Sour.
*Do not waste the leftover syrup! This exquisite green pear syrup can be used to sweeten lemonade or tea.
Cut the oranges into thin slices, approximately 5 mm thick. Place them in a dehydrator at 60 ºC (or low temperature oven) for at least six hours or until obtaining the desired consistency. The time varies according to climate and altitude.
Once the oranges are dehydrated, melt the chocolate in a double boiler, being careful not to let it reach a boil. Cover half of each slice with chocolate. Place them on a rack or on wax paper until fully dried.
Add a pinch of salt and ground cardamom, to obtain a more flavorful Christmas garnish.
For Adrian, the experience with the Henry Besant scholarship was fantastic! Everything that he lived and learned in London—meeting great people, like Megs Miller, his “tequila mom” and Global Brand Ambassador of Altos tequila—was possible thanks to the scholarship. Adrian also learned about sustainability and caring for our planet. Now, wherever he goes, he carries all he learned with him.
But what’s the next step in his professional life? He just returned to Mexico City to his previous job at Hanky Panky, a speakeasy that occupies 12th place on the list of the 50 Best Bars in the World. For Adrian, it is a great honor to be part of one of the most important Mexican bars. For now, he will continue to work there but he also plans to open his own small coffee shop eventually.
Adrian’s 100% edible Christmas ball inspiration is based on a family trip that he made to Zacatlán de las Manzanas, in Puebla, Mexico. In this magical town, they make handcrafted crystal balls for Christmas. Adrian wanted to recreate that beautiful image and happy memory.