This was not an easy challenge for me.
I’m a ‘give me wine‘ or ‘give me water‘ kind of drinker. I long ago gave up cocktails to avoid the sugar content and, in no small measure, the morning after headaches.
So, I went about the creation and combination as I usually do — based on what I had on hand and what I thought would pair well. Vodka and salmon was a “no-brainer” combo. I also thought Sambuca and fennel, both with a strong flavor of aniseed, would go well with salmon.
And then, having just returned from a Mexican sojourn through the Yucatan, I decided to put a south-of-the-border spin on it.
The Vodka Sambuca Margarita
The vodka replaced the Tequila and I chose Sambuca instead of Triple Sec, not only for the flavor of anise, but also for the sugariness it would add to the mix.
So we have vodka, sambuca, juice of one lime, a little water and ice in a blender with a piece of fennel to punch up that flavor profile.
The rim was decorated with a mix of salt, sugar, chili, chipotle, annatto, and zested lime.
One-Bite Smoked Salmon Taco
I trimmed a soft white corn tortilla down to one-bite size, heated it up in a hot pan and then layered it with an avocado cream (avocado, sour cream, splash of lime juice and a drop of hot sauce), a piece of smoked salmon, shaved fennel, chives and a ‘tamed’ (vinegary) jalapeño.
Finishing Touch: A light sprinkle of the rim mix on taco.
Verdict: Loved the taco! It had just the right level of smoke, salt, cream, freshness and vinegar to make it a perfect bite. I thought the cocktail worked as a drink and as a pairing, but I wouldn’t make it again. Just not a fan of mixed drinks.
I will be posting a round-up of everyone’s creations at the end of the month. Can’t wait to see what they did.