COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK: Hapi Cocktail at The Consulate in Midtown
A well-made daiquiri is a beautiful thing. And, that’s just what I got during a recent visit to the bar at The Consulate. But this was no ordinary daiquiri. This was a masterful riff on the classic using the rum-like Brazilian spirit cachaça , rainwater Madeira and collard green shrub made by Mr. Mike Jones, the restaurant’s gallant, and quite dapper, beverage director.
The travel-inspired themes of the food and beverage menus at The Consulate are chosen by chance each quarter when a guest spins the globe, points and waits for the orb to stop on its next destination. Chef Mei Lin and Jones must then develop their respective menus around the chosen country. Jones says he was excited to learn he would be immersed this quarter in the flavors of Ethiopia and knew instantly he wanted to work with collard greens.
Most cocktail drinkers know the daiquiri as a shaken, three-ingredient classic sour comprised of white rum, sugar and lime juice. Its roots date back to turn-of-the-century Cuba. The simple cocktail is tart, slightly sweet and deceptively invigorating. The daiquiri cloaks itself in those satisfying flavors which so often aid in the concoction going down a little too easily, ultimately leading to another round. And, so it goes.
The Hapi Cocktail consists of cachaça (ka-sha-sa), rainwater Madeira, collard green shrub, brown butter tincture and lemon. While the ingredients listed for the drink are unrecognizable to those of the classic daiquiri, upon first sip, there is little doubt it is indeed a daiquiri.
Jones uses Avuá Cachaça Amburana which is aged for two years in casks crafted from Amburana, a Brazilian hardwood. This rum-like, distilled spirit carries notes of sweet grass with floral undertones and a hint of allspice. Avuá is made by one of Brazil's few female distillers.
Then, there's the unsual but crucial ingredient, the collard green shrub. Jones creates the shrub with collard green stock, sugar and apple cider vinegar and spices the potlikker with coriander, cardamom, black peppercorn and allspice. This blend of sweet and sour, paired with a potent brown butter tincture, binds the flavors of the cocktail together. A quarter ounce of rainwater Madiera (lighter, more subtle style,) brings warmth to the drink. Lemon juice gives the Hapi that last bit of daiquiri zing.
The Hapi Cocktail is a cool weather daiquiri and blends the influences of East Africa with those of the Caribbean and Brazil. It is neither overwrought or full of pretense but skillfully crafted, especially on a busy Saturday evening, by Mr. Jones.
The Consulate’s passport is stamped for the east African nation of Ethiopia until Jan. 1 before the food and cocktails head to Latin America to explore the flavors of Colombia.
The Consulate, 10 10th St. NW, Atlanta. 404-254-5760, theconsulateatlanta.com.