Green Leek Salt Dust
Now I know what you might be thinking. Why should I be using leeks in my cocktails?
Well, it's similar to why we use Celery and Celery Salt in drinks.
Lately, we've been seeing more savory and umami flavors in drinks which clearly work well!
We already drink classic cocktails that use these types of flavors. Think Gibsons and Bloody Mary's.
These drinks are very common, but there is still a whole world to explore.
Leeks are commonly used by chefs, so if you work with one, tell him/her to save the green part for your Bloody Mary's!
Kitchen & Bar Coming Together
When we in the industry talk about 'cross-pollination,' we are referring to chefs and bartenders coming together in the workplace to share and exchange their ingredients.
A typical example of this is a bartender who uses egg whites or aquafaba (chickpea water) for his or her cocktails and gives the restaurants chef the yolks or the chickpeas.
By doing this, the Bar and Kitchen work alongside one other to reduce the venue's amount of waste while making a profit.
The same can be done with certain vegetables.
Although vegetables are not entirely common in cocktails, they can play a unique role in cocktail and mocktail making.
Normally when we use leeks, we use just the white and slightly light green parts. What is commonly leftover is the dark green part that chefs typically use for making soups.
But we can do better than that. We can make a powdered salt out of it to go on our Margaritas, Bloody Marys, and much more!
Leeks (just the green part)
Sea Salt (good quality)
Pot of Boiling Water
Bowl of Ice Water
Dehydrator or Oven
After you've used the white and light green part of your leek, you will be left with the slightly tough green leaves.
Peel, separate and give them a good wash underwater to get rid of the dirt.
Have a pot of boiling water alongside a bowl of ice water ready to go.
You will be blanching the leaves by dunking them in the hot water (to make your leaves even greener) and then into the ice bath to retain that bright green color.
This step is not necessary, but it will make your leek salt dust look very bright green! It will help your cocktails stand out even more!
Place your leaves into the hot water for 30 seconds to 1-minute MAX!
Retrieve them with some tongues and place them in the ice bath for a few minutes.
Once they are nice and cold, you can spread them out on an oven tray and put them in the oven at 75-100°C for about 3 hours, checking on them regularly. You can leave them in for a bit longer, but make sure that they don't get overcooked.
If you have a dehydrator, lucky you, you don't need to use an oven.
Once dehydrated, the leaves should be crisp and super easy to break by hand.
Put them in a spice grinder with some salt and blitz them up into a fine powder.
You can put as much salt as you desire, but always start with a small amount and add as needed.
The measurements are up to you! Just make sure that it's salty enough that the taste of the leek comes through.
For one green leek head, I used about 1 and a half teaspoons of very salty Sea Salt.
After you've blitzed your dried leek leaves with salt, you will end up with a nice green powder.
In the photo below you will notice two different dusts.
The bright green dust on the left had their leaves blanched, while the dust on the right didn't.
As you can see, the leeks that were blanched created a brighter green powder rather than those that didn't.
Leek Salt Dust can be used for many things.
If you're cooking with it, it works well with fish.
For cocktails, you can use it in recipes where you would normally use celery salt.
The recipe below is a twist on a twist of a Bloody Mary.
The twist on the Bloody Mary is called a 'Pink Me Up' which is the cocktail that won the 2019 Bacardi Legacy Competition.
The cocktail was created by the champion, Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn from Thailand.
The only difference in my twist is:
Celery Leaves instead of Basil Leaves,
Avocado Pit Orgeat instead of regular Orgeat,
and the addition of Leek Salt on the rim.
Pink & Green
3 Cherry Tomatoes
45ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
20ml Lemon Juice
15ml Avocado Pit Orgeat
5ml Olive Brine
6 Celery Leaves
Leek Salt Rim
How to Make
Start by rimming your glass with the leek salt.
In a shaker, MUDDLE the cherry tomatoes.
Add the rest of the ingredients into the shaker and shake with ice.
Strain out without double filtering into your coupe glass.
And there you have it! Now it's time to enjoy this rare Rum pick me up cocktail!