Last weekend, I taught a class of awesome people some fermenty basics. As per usual, I tried to cram the ocean into a paper cup but despite that, I had fun and I think the people taking the class did too! To my delight, the class was sold out and there was a very long waiting list, which means I get to do this again soon, specifically March 2nd and 3rd, more details coming soon.
We made kombucha, sourdough, lactopickles and milk kefir in one class, with a bonus segment on apple cider vinegar. We did this in two hours. Like I said, I have a little bit of a problem. I gave away about 40 cultures to 15 people. We tasted four kinds of kombucha, three kinds of milk kefir, a freshly baked loaf of sourdough and some burdock root pickles. Everyone made their own jar of assorted veggie pickles to take home and ferment.
The first thing we tasted, to give our class a little bit of a brunchy feel, was a simplified version of a fermented cocktail of my own design. I give you: the Bloody Carry.
The key ferment here is pickled fresh carrot juice which some call carrot kvass and others call tasty. The rusted orange color will brighten up even the greyest winter day. It tastes pickled and vinegary and somehow a little bit spicy. Depending on how long and how you ferment it, it can also be a little effervescent. I adore that texture, but if you don’t just make sure you don’t seal your container.
The Bloody Carry
Serves 2, easily scalable
For the carrot juice:
- Big bag of juicing carrots (you’ll need 1 1/4 cups of juice)
- 3-5 T or more of your ginger bug
For the cocktail:
- 1 1/4 c fermented carrot juice
- 1/4 c vodka, freezer chilled
- juice of 1/2 a blood orange
- Large dash cranberry bitters (optional)
- Small dash celery bitters (optional)
For the juice:
- Juice about 2 lbs of carrots*. I used the 5 lb. bag of organics from Whole Foods
- You can stop once you get a cup and a quarter, or juice them all and drink the extra or have a little extra fermented juice for those who like a less strong cocktail
- Put your fresh juice and ginger bug into a bowl or jar and cover it. Stir or shake when you think of it
- If you are going for an effervescent beverage, transfer your juice to a swingtop or plastic 2-liter bottle after a day or two
- Total fermentation time should not exceed 3 days. If you want it sweeter, stick it in the fridge sooner. It’s ready to use as soon as it tastes how you want it to
For the cocktail:
- Once the juice has reached the desired level of fermentation, you are ready to prepare your drink
- Combine fermented juice, and vodka over ice
- Squeeze in the orange juice
- Top with bitters
- Garnish with an orange slice and a carrot stick stirrer
- Enjoy with brunch!
*If you don’t have a juicer, you can thoroughly process and drain the carrots in a food processor or blender, this will have a lower yield and will be more time consuming. If you can find unpasteurized carrot juice at the store, that is also a viable option.