Another post with photography from veteran Anvil bartender Matt Tanner.

When making a cocktail, sometimes the simplest perspective is an ideal starting point – what do I feel like eating or drinking right freakin’ now??? Don’t force the issue – just give in to those inner cravings. I’m not exactly sure how my most recent cocktail obsession got started, but over the past six or so months, I’ve been treating my cocktails like a hefty portion of bratwurst. I’m a mustard freak, and through even those who profess to hate mustard are liking some of these odd combinations.

Cassis de Dijon

1 oz. Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
¾ oz. Crème de Cassis
½ oz. Lemon Juice
1 Barspoon of Turbinado-Based Simple Syrup
½ Barspoon Dijon Mustard

Shake and strain into a highball glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge and blackberry.

As the cocktail movement has grown over recent years, interest in atypical ingredients has accelerated. Fat washing, vinegars, and other uncommon cocktails ingredients have teetered carefully on the wall standing boldy between “trendy pr wet dream gimmicks” and “passionate line cook gone bartender” madness. Some have staying power; others are likely to be oddball footnotes in out of print cocktail books…er…blogs. Mustard is certainly no different, but when considering unusual cocktail ingredients, it is always important to consider what classic components an ingredient can offer to a cocktail.

La Mostarda

1 ½ oz. Mustard Seed-Infused Gin
¾ oz. Lime Juice
½ oz. House Grenadine
½ oz. Pomegranate Molasses

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Mustard has a spicy, acidic, vinegar quality that actually shares so much with more common cocktail ingredients like bitters, shrubs, and citrus. Apparently, I’m not the first to think of this either, as there is even a french mustard liqueur already in production. I’ve never had this, but hell, that sure is encouraging!

In all of my experimenting, I’ve found that two major approaches work: infusions and using mustard itself. Infusions that use whole mustard seed are quick and extremely flavorful and typically only take about twenty-four hours to take hold of a spirit. These infusions also play nicely with herbs and other spices, resulting in a more dynamic base for your cocktails. Fresh mustard (we’re talking a bold spicy Dijon here, not French’s) is a little more precarious.

As you might have guessed, there aren’t any ounce proportions in any of my mustard cocktails. Instead, think of the similarities mustard shares with bitters – small amounts with constant attention to balance my friends. Think of making mostarda, an Italian condiment made from candied and mustard syrup. Herbs such as sage, thyme, and basil with lime, lemon, grapefruit juice or peach and apple all work seamlessly.

The Garden Variety

1 ½ oz. Coriander-Infused Tequila
¾ oz. Lime Juice
¾ oz. Honey Syrup
¼ Inch Thick Cucumber Slice
½ Barspoon Spicy Dijon Mustard

Muddle cucumber and with shake other ingredients. Fine strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

This post has probably left you either very curious or doubting the sanity of the staff behind the bar at Anvil. Trust me some of us are definitely insane, but none of that is mustard-related. Nevertheless, I hope you’ll give in to that first curious instinct and try one of these out. To be clear, I’m not saying this is going replace the iconic American hotdog anytime soon, but at the very least, maybe it is a good example of how thinking about ingredients at their core – acidity, spice, etc. – can lead to new cocktail experiences.

5 Responses to “MUSTARD COCKTAILS”

  1. drinksnob says:

    Is the first cocktail meant to include a dollop of mustard? I’ve been messing around with mustard bitters, and it’s nice to see some other cool ideas for a flavor I’m very fond of!

  2. Bobby Heugel says:

    My mistake – I fixed that…

  3. I’ve never thought to combine mustard and rum. All those recipes sound really interesting. I can’t wait to give them a try.

  4. Hello Bobby,

    We’ve selected you as our Foodista Drink Blog of the Day for this March 10, 2011! Your blog (regarding Mustard Cocktails) will be featured on the Foodista homepage for 24 hours. Besides posting your link on the homepage, we will also post a couple shout outs on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

    Since you are now a part of the Foodista Featured Drink Blogger of The Day Community, we’ve created a special badge for you to display proudly on your blog sidebar. I couldn’t find your email on your blog to send you the access code for the special badge, but I want to make sure you get it if you are interested. Please send me an email and I’ll send it right away.

    We are really enjoying your blog and look forward to seeing your recipes, tips and techniques on Foodista! If you would not like to be recognized on Foodista please let me know and I will remove your blog from our queue.



  5. Kahuna Kevin says:

    I have a drink in my second cocktail book called “Ron Poupon”. Amongst other ingredients, it utilizes Ron Zacapa 23 and Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard.

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