I was approached by the guys at Kitchen Play to be the cocktail maker for the June dinner! Here’s how Kitchen Play works:
Each month Kitchen Play hosts a unique Progressive Party with six talented food bloggers assigned one of the following courses: cocktail, amuse bouche, salad, appetizer/soup, entrée (main course) and dessert. All six bloggers are challenged to incorporate the same product or kitchen tool into six wildly different courses.
Trust me, mine is wildly different. I’m absolutely positive that my recipe took longer to make than any of the other June recipes. How can I be so sure? Well, my recipe took more than a month to make; I made Kiwi Mead. I want to say it was kiwi beer, because I fermented it, and I also run a popular beer blog called I Taste Your Beer, so I was looking for a tie in. It’s not wine because the grapes ferment themselves, and it’s not beer because it has no malt or hops, so the closest thing that it’s kin to is mead (also known as honey wine).
So, here’s how I fermented the kiwis:
1) Peel and mash up the Kiwis
2) Thoroughly clean a 2 liter soda bottle with soap and hot water. It’s very important that the bottle is completely sanitized
3) Put the mashed up kiwis into the soda bottle
4) Add yeast and cap the bottle, refrigerate
5) Check on the bottle every two days to release the pressure in the bottle
6) If the pressure decreases or doesn’t reach the same pressure over the course of the two days, add a small amount of simple syrup to help reactivate the yeast.
7) After thirty days, remove from the bottle and strain with cheesecloth (I used a men’s shirt)
8) Bottle condition the kiwi mead for another week to let the rest of the yeast settle
9) Pour into a separate container and cap for safekeeping
It wasn’t that hard to do, but it did take up a lot of space. If you use any more kiwis for this in a smaller bottle, you’re going to have to check the pressure every few hours to make sure the bottle doesn’t explode in your fridge. There are valves that you can buy that automatically regulate the pressure of the fermenter, but I didn’t have one of those.
Really, I thought that fermenting stuff was going to be a lot easier than it was. There are a few things I would have done differently:
1) I have NO idea what the alcohol content of my kiwi mead was. I would run some calculations to determine this next time.
2) I’m sure the alcohol content couldn’t have been above 12%, because the yeast I used wasn’t professional brewer’s yeast. Brewer’s yeasts typically have a higher tolerance to thriving in alcohol. I would stay away from the bread yeast and use a Belgian yeast that you could get at your local brewshop.
3) I would get a self regulating valve to release the pressure automatically
4) I wouldn’t ferment in a 2 liter bottle
Without further ado, here’s the recipe (that I used):
To ferment the yeast:
6 Zespri Kiwis
1/2 packet of Fleischmann’s Yeast
Simple Syrup as needed.
Follow the steps above to ferment properly.
For the recipe
2 oz. Kiwi Mead
1 oz. St. Germain
6 oz. Sparkling water
Thai Basil and Lime to garnish
Pour all ingredients over ice into a tall glass. Stir. Garnish.
Each month Kitchen Play also features a contest to involve as many additional bloggers as possible. Visit the Contest page at Kitchen PLAY for more details on how you could win $100 for trying this recipe and posting about it.