Before I make an effort to resolve that puzzled expression you’re wearing after reading the description of this cocktail, I need to tell you about an exciting virtual event coming this Saturday. I’m hosting a Bourbon Cocktail Class with Chef’s Paradise Live at Home this Saturday, June 26th at 5:30 p.m. ET – you can participate from wherever you are in the world. For those in Ottawa and Toronto areas, you can buy the accompanying cocktail kit from Bar From Afar which includes all the spirits, sweeteners, modifiers, garnishes and accessories you’ll need to serve up the three unique whisky cocktails I’ve developed just for this event.
This is a great way to learn more about a spirit that is a touchstone of American cocktail culture and just so happens to be my spirit of choice. As always, the class is a 90-minute interactive workshop where I’ll walk you through the technique, history and step-by-step recipe for three different drinks, alongside my trademark humour. You’ll have an opportunity to chime in with your questions, positive feedback, and personal anecdotes. Things tend to get a little wild after the third cocktail and a good time is guaranteed.
Okay back to the question on your mind: “A Prosecco, rum and YOGURT cocktail?!” Yes, trust me. Dairy is far from unprecedented in cocktails – think of a White Russian, an Irish coffee, a Ramos Gin Fizz. Greek yogurt adds structure and tang to this tropical combination of flavours.
If you, like my friend Alyssa, couldn’t pick lemongrass out of a line-up, it looks kind of like green onions but is about 2′ long and with a woody exterior. If possible, I’d actually recommend buying just the lemongrass hearts that are often found in the produce section with the other packaged herbs. This saves time on having to break down the lemongrass to get at the tender hearts which is what you’ll use to make the delicious syrup used here.
The grapefruit liqueur I’ve used here can be a bit hard to find at the LCBO oftentimes. If you can’t get your hands on grapefruit liqueur I would suggest using limoncello in place of it and swapping the lemon for grapefruit juice – you’ll achieve the same flavour profile with this swap.
This is the first time I’ve used Greek yogurt in a cocktail but it certainly won’t be my last. I was inspired by my friend Camille Hopper-Naud who is a bartender at Supply and Demand here in Ottawa and I interviewed her on my Behind the Wood Series on Instagram Live. You can watch our interview and get the recipe for her Petit Appetit Negroni here. Camille is a self-described dairy freak and often uses yogurt and other dairy products in her creations.
I regularly find inspiration from other bartenders, either online or in real life. Now that we’ve regained access to patio dining, I’ve been getting out as much as possible to support our local hospitality scene and see what my favourite bartenders have come up with during lockdown.
So far, I’ve been out to Arlo, Riviera, Gitanes, Giulia, and will be heading out to Whalesbone and the Moonroom this week. Follow me on Instagram for food and drink porn from my ongoing patio crawl. Which patios are you hitting up this week? Let me know in the comments below.
Milky Way: Prosecco, Rum & Yogurt Cocktail
This tropical cocktail is an unexpected combination of rum, citrus, lemongrass syrup, and Greek yogurt, topped off with Prosecco.
- 1½ oz white rum
- 1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- ½ oz grapefruit liqueur
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz lemongrass syrup
- dry sparkling wine prosecco or cava
- Garnish: edible flowers
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 lemongrass stalks core only, sliced
Add all ingredients, except sparkling wine, to a cocktail shaker and shake over ice until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Top with sparkling wine.
Garnish with edible flowers.
Combine sugar, water, and lemongrass in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Remove lemongrass and store syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks.