The Blind Spot was originally created as a play on a daiquiri where I was going to take out the simple syrup and add in some pineapple shrub. Although my first attempt was not terrible it was definitely lacking some zip, so I slowly added some supporting layers of flavors that would back up what I had already used.
I also tinkered around with some different rums. My first instinct was to go with a darker rum because those often make my favorite daiquiris, but I discovered that was not the case for the Blind Spot. My final decision was to use El Dorado 3 Year which is a charcoal filtered aged rum from Guyana. It has some of the fresh clean characteristics of white rum while still having the hints of cinnamon and vanilla from its’ time in oak.
Here is some further breakdown on the ingredients…
Madeira is fortified wine produced in the Portuguese Madeira Islands off of the African coast. The winemakers there have developed unique methods of producing when using heat which results in a wine with lots of dark roasted fruit and nutty flavors. When looking for Madeira to use in cocktails don’t spend tons on expensive vintages but as usual avoid prices that seem too good to be true. I hope to one day create an extensive post on Madeira but that is yet to come. If you cannot find a Madeira try making the Blind Spot with a nice complex sherry instead.
Tinctures are used in cocktails in a similar way to bitters, but instead of adding subtle combinations of bitter background notes they add a more distinct singular flavor. It is essentially the same process as infusing flavors directly into a base spirit but done with a neutral alcohol to create a much stronger component that can be added to any drink.
The process of making tinctures is quite simple and is typically rather forgiving. You place your herbs, spices, fruit…etc. into a small sealable container and let it infuse into high proof vodka or Everclear. Each botanical you work with will have a different length of time for it to to infuse before it hit its’ sweet spot for flavor. Delicate herbs or flowers like lavender or chamomile may take 20 minutes whereas robust spices like cinnamon are best after sitting for a month or so. Take tiny tastes as the process happens to get a feel for how the tincture is coming along and treat it like an ongoing experiment.
A Shrub is tart and fruity drinking vinegar that really bring a lot of flavors to the table. Check out this post on Shrubs to learn more about them. The pineapple shrub I used in this drink was made using the cold shrub (or maceration) method with half Demerara Sugar and half regular granulated sugar. I then added apple cider vinegar until it reached a nice balance between fruity and acidic. The Demerara Sugar in the shrub will really work nicely with the baking spice notes of the El Dorado 3 Year Rum that is also made using a Demerara Sugar.
Each ingredient in The Blind Spot directly ties into the flavors of another aspect of the drink. The baking spice notes of the rum are picked up by the cinnamon, the acidity of the shrub ties into the lime juice, and the Madeira brings everything together with its’ fruit cake kind of vibe.
I hope you get the chance to make and enjoy this one!
- 1.5 Oz White Rum - (El Dorado 3 Year)
- 1/3 Oz Madeira
- 3/4 Oz Pineapple Shrub
- 1/2 Oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 3 Drops Cinnamon Tincture
- 2 Drops 20% Saline - (optional)
- Add all the ingredients to your shaker.
- Add ice and shake vigorously for 12 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Double strain if you don't want any ice chips.