There is a world of great cocktail flavours beyond what is contributed by the base spirit, the sweet, the sour and the bitter. I think it’s very important to keep an open mind. Jim Meehan from PDT is perhaps the master at introducing simple flavours to otherwise classic mixed drinks. The results can be astounding.
I’m constantly playing with outside-the-box flavours either with recipes from cocktail books like the PDT and Barchef or with my own original drinks. I would encourage you to do the same. Approach cocktails like you would cooking. There really are no limitations.
The best resource on the market for flavour is the Flavor Thesaurus by Niki Segnit. I created The Howdenvale cocktail by choosing ginger as a base flavour and then matching the juniper of gin and rhubarb to it. You can’t go wrong.
The following is an intentionally incomplete list of flavours to keep in mind when mixing and creating cocktails:
|Lemongrass||Shiso Leaf (pictured)|
|Passion fruit||Coconut Milk||Pomegranate|
|Blood Orange||Roasted Fig (pictured)||Artichoke|
|Nutmeg||Black Pepper||Celery Salt|
|Cacao Nibs||Eucalyptus||Maldon Salt|
|Ginger (pictured)||Star Anise (pictured)||Cardamom|
|Sloe Berry||Chocolate||Caramelized Sugar|
|Coffee||Roasted Walnuts||Balsamic Vinegar|
|Tobacco||Earl Grey Tea||Jasmine|
|Lavender (pictured)||Dandelion Root Tea||Orange Blossom|
|Chinese Jujube||Goji Berry||Elderflower|
|Licorice Root||Pickled Onion||Angelica|
|Finger Lime||Pink Lemon||Lovage|