Forty Two: The Question

For geeks of a certain age, the number 42 holds great significance. It is, after all, the answer to the Great Question, of Life, the Universe and Everything.

It's significant in other ways - for example, there's a particularly famous street in New York, and you'll find parts of New Zealand on the forty-second parallel where they make 42 Below vodka. I've had a bottle of their Feijoa flavoured vodka ever since I was workshopping recipes for the 2010 Cocktail World Cup but it hasn't seen a lot of use. This is mainly because feijoa is pretty odd.

The fruit of the feijoa tree - native to Brazil and parts of Columbia, Uruguay and northern Argentina, and cultivated in New Zealand, Australia, China and Azerbaijan - looks like a bit like a lime and tastes a bit like root beer. It fits firmly into the love-it/hate-it category alongside Vegemite and other antipodean delicacies. It's a tough flavour to work with because it can jar when set against some things. But when you get it right, it's absolutely phenomenal. Unfortunately, fresh feijoa are hard to come by in the autumn in the northern hemisphere, so the flavoured vodka is pretty much the only way to go.

I'm going with a flip this week, partly because I haven't posted one yet and partly because I reckon that 42 Below Feijoa has enough about it to stand out against the egg. There's a reason why flips are mainly made with dark spirits - egg tends to smooth out flavour spikes in the mixture, but darker spirits tend to have enough in them to come through even when the edges are taken off - but the flavour note should still shine through even if there's no character in the base spirit.

(One other thing: I'm often weary of using flavoured vodkas as they often lack depth of flavour, as if it brings nothing but flavour noted on the label. In this case, that's exactly why I'm using a flavoured vodka. If there is a strong influence beside the feijoa flavour, the egg kills it.)

The Question

50ml 42 Below Feijoa
30ml lime juice
25ml orgeat
25ml pressed apple juice
10ml Fernet Branca
1 whole egg

Place all ingredients in a shaker. Shake briefly without ice to emulsify the mixture; add ice and shake. Fine-strain into a chilled martini/small wine glass. Express a twist of lime zest over the top and discard. Using an atomizer, spray some Fernet Branca over the top.

Posted on October 14, 2009 and filed under Fiftytwo, Mixology, Projects.