Essentially, I’ve hit a bit of a rut. Creative exhaustion? Writer’s block? Well, sort of.
I’m at a point where it’s not so much as the creative juices have stopped flowing, in fact, they’re positively gushing with flavour right now, the problem is that the streams are running on big tangents to the direction I want them to. No matter how much I try and dam the flows and direct them along the dry beds of my mind, they run their own course.
If that metaphor is just a little too obscure, then I apologise. Either that or it’s a bit too graphic (frankly, I just read it back and wasn’t entirely convinced that I was verging on the Nigella). The long and short of it is that I have competitions coming up for which I need some inspiration, and for every rum idea I need to formulate, I have six brilliant ideas for gin , four for tequila (two involving pomegranate, one which involves apricots and almonds and one which might see some of that amazing chilli and tomato jam I got in Ian Mellis today) plus two or three for whisky. None of which are any use right now. This is quite annoying.
So, to clear my mind I’m pumping out a few reps with the weights – not that it actually helps since I’m too busy thinking ‘oh-my-frakking-hell-that-hurts,’ but it does stop me thinking for a bit, which seems to mean that when I come back to it I’m on a fresh(er) slate and less likely to be obsessing over a sudden urge to use a specific ingredient.
Which brings me to my current obsession. Sherry. I’ve been trying to cram it in to the last few comps I’ve been in. Fortunately it wasn’t in my head when I was brainstorming for Jack Daniel’s, though in retrospect I actually have I few good ideas for mixing bourbon/whiskey with an Olorosso or Manzanilla Amontillada, possibly even a PX. Speaking of which, PX and rum have a good deal of potential together, not so much for white rums, but certainly for anything that’s seen a few years of oak. I’ve been playing with that idea a lot recently – my desire being to find as many ways as I can to create ‘balanced’ cocktails that do not use any sugar syrup/gomme. Agave or honey are great as a fallback, but if a liqueur or sweet ingredient can achieve the same result whilst adding to the flavour, you can potentially cut down on overall ingredients. I also hate the whole ‘if-in-doubt-add-gomme’ mentality. Yes, sweet cocktails are easy to drink, why do you think chambord-heavy French Martinis are so popular? People love Mojitos laden with sugar – and by people I mean vodka-and-coker’s who wouldn’t know a real drink if it smacked them upside the face with a bottle of quality.
Oh look at that. I’m off on a tangent.
Anyway, I’m off to read up on No.3 and King’s Ginger and get my chat together. I have comps coming up, after all.