|by Emily Jade, Taproom London Fields Brewery
Rich and creamy, this liquid desert in a glass is the essence of the classic Catalan desert. This cocktail won the coveted runners up position where judges commented on the balance and richness which is offset by the use of quality sparkling Cava.
Crema Catalana is made in two stages, the first being the preparation of the Clarified Crema Catalana Milk Punch which is then batched and used in stage two. All alcoholic elements are from the region of Catalan, deconstructing the Crema Catalana dessert into liquid form with a kick.
Stage 1: Add the zest of 8 Lemons and the juice of 12 with 6 Large Oranges cut to 500g of muscovado sugar and muddle with 3 vanilla pods and a large cinnamon stick: add 500ml dilute orange blossom and bergamot then leave overnight. Strain the solids out and add 500ml Mascaro XO Brandy. Let this sit for another 24 hours.
After the second rest period heat up half and half milk until simmering then add the cocktail to the hot milk allowing to curdle: rest for another 24 hours.
After the third rest period strain the milk solids until clarified to complete the clarified Milk punch.
Garnish Preparation: Heat sugar with water and vanilla in a pan and boil until liquid and golden brown- create a caramelised vanilla sugar brittle cage.
Stage 2: Add 40ml of Crema Catalana to a chilled footed rocks glass and top with Cava Gran Reserva.
Place the vanilla sugar cage over the glass and lightly cover with Mascaro XO Brandy, dash with Orange bitters and light carefully to allow the sugar to drip into the drink, the garnish serving to mimicking the caramelised layer on the classic Crema Catalana dessert itself.