Episode 066 - Bone Broth Cocktails
What’s shakin, cocktail fans?
Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast!
Bone broth might seem like a weird topic for a cocktail podcast...but it might not be as strange as you think. Back in Episode 38 with chef Ariane Resnick, we also talked about how bone broth can be used to make cocktails about healthier without sacrificing flavor.
In this episode, we give bone broth a serious look with Brainy Belly founder and head broth guru Janalee Redmond. Years ago, she broke her stomach, but bone broth helped her to heal and introduced her into a whole new world of flavor and culinary possibilities.
Some of the things we discuss in this fascinating discussion with Janalee Redmond include:
How bone broth is made, and what separates an excellent bone broth from a mediocre one.
The difference between collagen and gelatin, and how these foundational compounds play an important role in the healthy body.
How to think about and use bone broth in both cold and hot cocktails
What Janalee is doing in the cutthroat world of bone broth racing to show that it’s all downhill when you take the gelatin out of bone broth
And much, much more
Featured Cocktail: The Bloody Mary
This week’s featured cocktail, in line with the theme of this episode, will be a cocktail of the savory variety. This time around, we’re talking about bone broth of all things, and how you might incorporate this interesting ingredient into your boozy repertoire. And so, I thought it might be fun to feature one of the quintessential savory cocktails - the Bloody Mary.
There are literally thousands of Bloody Mary recipes out there on the internet, so instead of giving you a hard, fast recipe, we’ll break down the components and help you understand what a Bloody Mary is at the most basic level and how you can then tweak it to match your own personal tastes.
The two most important components, of course, are vodka and tomato, usually in the form of tomato juice, V8, Clamato, or some sort of Bloody Mary mix. In addition to the tomato, there’s usually some extra vegetable component, whether that’s blended into the mix, or perhaps in the form of a garnish, which is classically a spear of celery or some pickled vegetable.
Once you get past those foundational ingredients, you usually also encounter a bit of extra acidity (usually a bit of lemon juice, or maybe a vinegary hot sauce), and some sort of savory spice, which can be almost anything under the sun. Popular additions are Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, celery salt, cajun spice, and pretty much any hot sauce you can think of.
Bone broth is getting a lot of attention these days for its health benefits. It’s low-fat, and high in collagen, which is one of the body’s most essential building blocks for most tissues. It also complies with a number of the trendier diets these days, including the Paleo Diet and the Ketogenic Diet.
Culinary Bone Broth
Bone broth is the culinary basis for soups and sauces around the world. Whether it’s beef bones used to make your favorite Vietnamese Pho, or the chicken stock in your grandma’s feel-good chicken soup, it’s a heavily used ingredient in the food world.
In pre-modern societies, using the whole animal was an important part of most cooking traditions, and so bone broth was pretty much ubiquitous around the world. However, now that many western societies use broth that comes from a can, many of us are unfamiliar with its flavor and appearance in its natural form.
Gelatin vs. Collagen
Gelatin is a hallmark of excellent bone broth. Many people look to see if their bone broth “gels” to determine if it was a successful or unsuccessful cook. The reason why gelatin is so important is because it contains collagen, which is
Brainy Belly boils bones with both meat and marrow for added flavor and nutritional content.
Bone Broth in Cocktails
Bone broth can be used in savory cocktails and mocktails to enhance the flavor profile and (in mocktails) even replace the alcohol.
When using bone broth in a cocktail, you’re normally going to be using more bone broth than spirits. This is crucial to remember, because usually the spirit is the star of the show, but in this case, you need to find a way to strike a balance between the spirit and the broth.
A great case study for this sort of balance is the Bullshot Cocktail. To make one, you need:
3 oz Beef Bone Broth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Dash of Tabasco Sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Shake these ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with your favorite herb (rosemary, maybe?).
Bone Broth Toddy
A classic hot take on a bone broth cocktail would be to employ bone broth in a hot toddy. If you have a tea that you think will work well with bone broth (either chicken or beef here), then go ahead. But you may also want to simply swap out the tea for bone broth entirely.
To make a Bone Broth Toddy, you’ll need:
6-8 oz hot bone broth
2 oz whiskey
Bitters, Herbal Liqueurs, or amari to taste
Combine all these ingredients in a large mug, garnish with your favorite aromatic herb, and enjoy. It’s important to note that your use of bitters, liqueurs, or amari will depend on what you have on-hand and what type of bone broth you use. These ingredients all come from a medicinal tradition, so they are good to use, but you have to be careful.
None of the discussion in this episode is meant as medical advice. Everyone’s body is different, and each person should consult a licensed physician before making adjustments to their diet.