Saturday, July 7, 2018

Accidental Tourist


It’s summer, and that means vacations!  Following on the heels of last week’s bon bon voyage, here’s another travel themed treat to tempt your sense of adventure.  The Karakuri Creation Group’s annual theme based spring exhibition this year was on the theme of travel, which is a perfect fit for my own personal travels.  I’m even reading a book called “Less”, about a man on a journey. 

Bear gets ready by Yoh Kakuda

Yoh Kakuda makes wonderfully whimsical creations for the group, with boxes which almost always take the form of animals.  For the travel theme, Yoh chose a bear who is getting ready for a trip of his own.  Kakuda has captured the sense of anxiety we feel just before departure, as we scramble to make sure we have all the essentials – ID, ticket, keys, money, etc.  In “Bear gets ready”, our hero has his luggage all packed, his best coat and fine hat on, and is ready ….  But where is his ticket!  Where did he put his glasses?  And his pocket watch is missing – oh dear, perhaps he will miss the train!  This is an adorable puzzle box with very satisfying and humorous elements to the discovery.  I feel like he is now my own traveling good luck charm.  I’ll leave all the anxiety to him, and won’t misplace anything of my own.

All set ... now where did I place my glasses?

We will take our travels to South Africa for a change for a refreshing drink to wet the thirst for adventure.  This cocktail was a previous finalist in the prestigious Bacardi Legacy international cocktail competition.  It was created by innovative Cape Town bartender Nick Koumbarakis, who has said he enjoys the idea of “cross pollination of different sub cultures” and seeks to merge flavors and concepts in his cocktails.  Perhaps he would like the cross pollination of the puzzle and cocktail worlds as well.

The Tourist by Nick Koumbarakis

In his “The Tourist” cocktail, he starts his journey with the recognizable aroma of roasted El Salvador coffee beans, which to him evoke the memory of his father reading the morning newspaper, and lend a backbone of character and integrity to the drink.  His travels take him to Italy where he adds sweet vermouth and amaretto, then to India and Indonesia where exotic cardamom creates hints and memories, on to Greece for a tickle of saffron, and finally of course to Cuba by way of Puerto Rico with the spirit itself, Bacardi rum (no entry in the Bacardi Legacy competition is complete without it!).  I’ve recreated this delicious and fascinating cocktail to help the Bear get ready for his journey.  I suspect it will be richly rewarding.  Cheers!

World travel in a cup

The Tourist by Nick koumbarakis

7 dried cardamom pods
35 ml light white rum (I used Bacardi 8 which certainly changes the drink dramatically but was delicious)
30 ml sweet vermouth
12 ½ ml Amaretto
18 grams roasted coffee beans

Muddle cardamom in a mixing glass then add remaining ingredients and stir with ice.  Strain into a demitasse cup and garnish with an orange peel, a float of 151 rum, and a misting of saffron essence.  Sip and start a journey of your own.

This pair is set for adventure

For more about Yoh Kakuda:
What has life tortoise?
Pleasant Porters
Wizard of Awes


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