Duck & Waffle launches single ingredient cocktails
Closed-loop cocktail pioneer Rich Woods has launched a menu of single ingredient cocktails at Duck & Waffle made with every part of the ingredient.
The ‘Origins’ menu features ten cocktails and explores the levels of flavour achievable from one key ingredient. Every element of the ingredient is used, from tomato skins, red pepper stalks and spent coffee grinds to lime husks and walnut shells, helping to minimise waste.
“We have amazing ingredients to work with – why bastardise them with other flavours? I want them to shine in all their glory,” Woods told db.
“I wanted to illustrate how much flavour can be extracted from a single ingredient and show the levels of complexity that can be obtained from multiple elements of a single source,”
There are resources out there on our doorstep that are being ignored but could be used to great effect,” he added.
Each of the cocktails has a one-word title based on its key ingredient, meaning the list reads more like a food menu offering the likes of ‘Olive’, ‘Tomato’, ‘Avocado’ and ‘Red Pepper’.
Such a transparent approach to cocktail making is risky, as the margin for error is tiny, but Woods believes there is beauty and purity in the simplicity of a single ingredient cocktail.
“The trickiest thing is ensuring that each batch of the produce we use tastes as good, flavourful and fresh as the last one, if not you’ll be able to taste the difference in the cocktail.
“It has been surprisingly hard to achieve consistency and uniformity of flavour in the cocktails,” he revealed.
To get around the problem, he’s taken to making large batches of each cocktail and has developed a solera-like system where he blends a small percentage of an old batch with a new batch to ensure consistency of flavour.
The Origins menu will be available this summer at Duck & Waffle in the Heron Tower. Click through for pictures of the cocktails and their recipes.
An in-depth look at the latest cocktail innovations in London will appear in the July issue of The Drinks Business, out next week.
A blend of Fords gin, green tomato distillate, blanched tomato skin and cordial, this straight-up vegetal Gimlet is both savoury and distinctively bright.
Created with roasted coffee bean Jack Daniel’s, spent coffee grinds and toasted coconut shell liqueur, various elements of coffee are used to enrich this riff on a Piña Colada.
Marrying lime leaf Bombay Sapphire gin, discarded lime husk cordial, lime juice, egg white and lime ash, the good old lime serves as not just the sour or citrus but as the star of the show in its own drink.
Muddling toasted Walnut Monkey Shoulder whisky with spent walnut shell, pickled walnut dry vermouth and walnut maple, this is a short and robust sipping cocktail with nutty and dried fruit notes.
This savoury spritz blends blanched red pepper skin Russian Standard Platinum vodka, Noilly Prat Dry vermouth, leftover-red pepper stalk and seed cordial, and red pepper vinegar topped up with Prosecco.
This rich, tropical riff on an Old Fashioned blends coconut washed Monkey Shoulder whisky, a coconut reduction and toasted coconut husk bitters.
This dangerously drinkable juicy summer sip combines preserved strawberry leaf concentrate, discarded strawberry cordial, a pickled strawberry distillate and fermented wine.
Perhaps the most daring and different cocktail on the list, Earth features a ‘damp’ distillate, moss cordial, oak bark and bubbles and smells like a freshly rained on forest with its mossy, woodland notes.