Spiced Popcorn Gin Sour
One thing you may not know about Patrick is that in a previous life he was a bartender at one of Manila’s coolest cocktail bars, The Blind Pig. We had some leftover Spiced Popcorn from our Popcorn Tacos a few weeks ago (if you haven’t made them yet, do yourself a favour and get some in your belly tonight!), so we were wondering what to do with the leftovers. Patrick thought he could do something pretty amazing with the popcorn if he soaked it in sugar syrup and created a cocktail with it. And so, the Spiced Popcorn Gin Sour was born. It’s a little bit spicy, a little bit sour, a little bit sweet and has a delicious popcorn aroma that makes you want to reach for another glass as soon as you finish the first. Make a batch for your friends and start your next dinner party with a spicy popcorn kick!
For the Spiced Popcorn Sugar Syrup:
- 300ml water
- 300g sugar
- 25g Spiced Popcorn (see recipe here)
Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the Spiced Popcorn. Allow to steep for 30 minutes, then blend with a stick blender until the popcorn is coarsely chopped. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids. Set the sugar syrup aside.
For the cocktail:
- 30ml Spiced Popcorn Sugar Syrup
- 20ml lemon juice
- 45ml gin (we used Tanqueray)
- 1 egg white
- Cayenne pepper powder
- Spiced Popcorn, to garnish
Place all ingredients in a Boston shaker (cocktail shaker) and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds, until the mixture begins to foam. Add a handful of ice cubes and continue to shake until the ice shatters and you feel the shaker has become cold. Strain the mixture through a Hawthorn strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Dust the surface of the cocktail with a pinch of cayenne pepper and garnish with 3 small pieces of Spiced Popcorn. Serve immediately.
One of our favourite cookbook authors is Anna Jones, whose vegetarian recipes are imaginative, tasty and versatile. We have cooked this recipe a few times, and it’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner, or a relaxed dinner with friends. We love the way corn is used three ways in this recipe; the spiced popcorn, caramelised corn salsa and corn tortillas. The cayenne pepper adds a nice warm glow to the dish without overpowering the flavours, and the crunch factor of the popcorn makes these tacos extra special. It’s also a fun novelty to serve and always impresses our friends, eve though it’s so easy to make.
We have adapted this recipe from Anna Jones’ “A Modern Way To Eat”. It serves 2 hungry people as a main, or 4 people if you’re serving some appetisers as well.
- olive oil
- 3 Tbsp popcorn kernels
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp honey
Caramelised Corn Salsa:
- 4 corn on the cob
- olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 red or green chilli, finely chopped
- 100ml natural yoghurt
- 2 avocados
- juice of ½ a lime
- 8 small corn or wheat tortillas, or 4 large tortillas
- 100g feta cheese, drained and crumbled
- a bunch of coriander, chopped
- For the popcorn, place a pan on low heat and add a little oil and the popcorn kernels. Put the lid on and shake the pan every now and then to stop the kernels from burning. After a few minutes, the corn will start to pop. Continue shaking the pan every minute or so until the popping stops. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while you mix together the popcorn spices and honey in a small pan. Warm and mix over a low heat. Toss the honey mixture with the popcorn until it is well coated. Set aside.
- Cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and fry the kernels over a high heat until they become charred and caramelised. Add the salt and pepper, lime zest and juice, and the cayenne and chilli. Remove from the heat and stir in a tablespoon of the yoghurt. Set aside, covering with aluminium foil to keep the corn warm.
- Remove the flesh from the avocados and place in a small bowl. Squeeze over the lime juice and mash together.
- Warm your tortillas in a dry frying pan.
- To serve, fill each tortilla with some avocado, corn kernels and a dollop of yoghurt. Top with some crumbled feta, a pinch of coriander and a scattering of popcorn. Fold up in your hand and enjoy!