Friday, May 11, 2012

Curious name of cocktail puzzles me,
but delicious taste is definite

Pepino’s Revenge.
   It’s the puzzling name of a delicious cocktail comprised of cucumber, basil, lime juice and tequila I made recently.
   I don’t know who Pepino is and why he wants revenge, but according to the issue Food & Wine magazine in which I found the Pepino's Revenge recipe (click for it) that’s the cocktail is called at a restaurant and bar in London owned by Wolfgang Puck.
   Should I understand the name of the cocktail? I wondered this to myself as I took a sip of it. When I tasted it, the name became even more curious, because a drink this good isn’t much revenge on anyone.
   Upon further investigation, I found that pepino might be a thing, not a person. A pepino is the fruit of an evergreen shrub native to South America. Apparently the fruit resembles a melon, and its flavor recalls a mixture of honeydew and cucumber.
   OK, so there’s cucumber in the cocktail. But that's still not a pepino, and why would a pepino want revenge?
   I just have to shake my head and hope someone might provide me with an answer.
   At any rate, this cocktail is a definite winner, perfect for pre-barbecue sipping on the patio.
   Cucumber once again showed me its capacity to lend an unusual but definitely pleasant freshness to a drink. (I discovered this last year when making Cucumber, Mint and Basil Soda).
   Part of the cocktails can be made in advance: The simple syrup, which is made by simmering water and sugar (I used Splenda instead) together for a few minutes. It’s nice if the simple syrup can chill in the fridge before the cocktails are made.
   For each cocktail, ½-inch thick slices of cucumber (the recipe says to use Japanese cucumber; I used an English cucumber) are combined with fresh basil leaves in a cocktail shaker, and are muddled well with a wooden spoon. I made sure all the pieces of cucumber had been crushed before moving on to the next step.
   Tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and ice are added and the mixture shaken well. It’s strained into an ice-filled glass.
   I skipped the basil and cucumber garnishes when serving the drinks, but they may provide a nice touch.

No comments: