Soju (August 2022)

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RECOMMENDED SPIRIT

CHUM CHURUM SOJO

This month’s Crafty Cocktails box, Young at Heart, was designed using Chum Churum Soju, one of the world’s largest Soju producers. Soju is a classic Korean spirit, traditionally distilled from rice or other grains and starches like sweet potato. These base ingredients give Soju an amazingly bright and drinkable profile, which explains why this spirit has been at the center of Korean drinking culture since the 13th century and is today one of the most consumed alcohols in the world. Soju was the perfect addition for this box, as its light, bright and extremely tropical profile, featuring notes of mango, pear, ginger and lime zest, along with its low ABV%, lends itself beautifully to this month’s three unique cocktails, which are inspired by some of our favourite childhood delights. Adding a subtle background flavour, yet present enough to let you know you’re drinking a real cocktail, Chum Churum Soju will provide a beautiful layer to all the cocktails found within this month’s box, Young at Heart.

Shirley Temple Sr

Perhaps the first encounter many of us had with a mixed drink came in the form of a Shirley Temple, a classic concoction of orange juice, 7up and neon red grenadine. A perfect introduction to the art of blending and balancing of flavours in drink form, the subtle tartness of orange juice offsets the pure sweetness of the grenadine, while the 7up provides effervescence and adds to the citrus profile. Aesthetics are also at work here, as this multicoloured, layered beverage with a fanciful garnish of cherry and orange is in stark opposition to a monochromatic glass of pop with, if you were lucky, a gnarly looking lime barley hanging on to the edge of the glass. To celebrate this preparatory classic, the Crafty’s team brings you an infinitely more mature version, one which is nostalgic, yet features a collection of upscale ingredients like sparkling lime water, lime bitters, small batch grenadine, 100% orange juice and neon maraschino cherry-infused orange slices. A taste of your childhood with all the sophistication of a Crafty Cocktail, what could be better?

Pirates of Pandan Bay

Arrrg me hearties, we be a rough and tumble crew that loves the life of pillage and plunder, and when the sun dips below the horizon, we’re sure to be seekin’ a good stiff grog, one that be satisfying every carouser in me band of salty sea dogs. Avast! There, in me spy-glass, something glitterin’ has caught me eye and methinks it could be the treasure we be lookin’ for. It sparkles pink like a chest full of doubloons in the briny deep and brings me hornswagglin’ mind back to me sojourns into the exotic lands of the South Pacific, when we imbibed all the Soju we could get our swashbucklin’ hands upon. Aye, all the flavours of those bountiful waters are there; fresh guava and guava nectar, nutmeg and of course, me favourite, Crafty Cocktails pandan syrup! Tis’ no better combination in all the seven seas, savvy? So drink up me matey, for tonight we toast to the gods of the sea until we be three sheets to the wind. Yo Ho Ho and a sparklin’ cocktail!

Yo-Pop

You’re in for a real treat, literally. For this trip down memory lane, we played on the classic combination of yogurt and Soju (a Korean cocktail staple), as it instantly reminded us of something many have enjoyed as a special childhood delight; delicious snack-sized tubes filled with flavoured yogurt. As tasty as these treats were on their own, they were even better after a few hours in the freezer, so we had to dip our toes into some molecular mixology in order to bring you Crafty’s first ever cocktail that can be frozen into popsicle form! With a flavour profile boasting the delicious tang of yogurt paired with the classic combination of apple and cinnamon, brought forth by ingredients such as cinnamon-infused honey, Middleton’s apple/cinnamon bitters, apple sauce, yogurt/sorbet powder and a rose water-infused dehydrated apple, you’ll find so much delight in this cocktail no matter how you enjoy it, on the rocks or frozen solid. Take your mixology game to the next level with this incredibly unique summer cocktail!

Why Soju?

Though we may not realize it at the time, our love of cocktails starts at a young age. Sure, we may not be drinking hard spirits when we are 5 years old, but our little minds are creating powerful connections to all sorts of flavours, ingredient combinations, textures and colours that persist far into adulthood. Our adult palettes are shaped by our childhood experiences with food and drink, they are what makes one person love a fruity, sweet cocktail while the next wants something sour and bitter.

              These preferences are cemented over innumerable experiences but can also be rooted in a singular episode; you may have bitten into a moldy peach or spilled a whole jar of pickle brine on your burger. Now you can’t even smell a peach or see a jar of pickles for fear that your day might be ruined. While many might see this as a negative, a good bartender will see an opportunity and attempt to change your palette’s mind with the perfect peach shrub cocktail or a delicious Caesar with pickle juice in it.

              Just as experiences create bad memories and negative associations within your palette, fond memories can have an even stronger effect, a love affair with a certain flavour or ingredient that never fades and imparts a specific feeling, content relaxation, wistful nostalgia or pure joy. This is what you’ll find inside this month’s Crafty Cocktails box Young at Heart, a collection of drinks inspired by our favourite food and drink experiences as kids, brought into the world of adult cocktails.

              While the sources of our inspiration are varied, they are very typical of many a Canadian child and their first interactions with relatively ‘complex’ flavour combinations. The Shirley Temple is an obvious candidate, as this classic drink, as ubiquitous on a kid’s menu as a Word Search or Treasure Maze, gets the fully Crafty’s treatment, upgraded to a mature, balanced version of this typically over-sweetened favourite. Gogurt also makes an appearance, as we drew inspiration from these classic summertime snacks and their ability to be enjoyed either right out of the box or frozen solid. And what kid didn’t dream of making every drink sparkle with the addition of a magic powder while pretending to be a pirate on the high seas?

To achieve these nostalgic profiles while simultaneously giving you that Crafty Cocktails flair that you expect, we curated a beautiful collection of grown-up, unique ingredients like small batch grenadine, lime bitters, Crafty Cocktails Pandan syrup, guava nectar, edible pink sparkles, yogurt/sorbet powder, apple sauce, Middleton’s Apple/Cinnamon bitters ,cinnamon-infused honey and a whole lot more.

                             To top it all off, the base spirit for this month is Soju, a classic Korean spirit that is light, refreshing, full tropical notes and has a relatively low ABV %. Soju is the perfect compliment for this box, as it provides an easy-drinking, yet flavourful background on which you can build these amazing, nostalgia inspiring cocktails, allowing you to enjoy your beautiful summer drinks without worrying about the strong presence of a high-proof spirit.

              Now that we’ve given you the drinks, its your turn to be Young at Heart. Rummage through your tickle trunk and create yourself a fun bartending outfit, put unicorn stickers on your shaker, use a crazy straw to stir and sip your drinks, flop around like a wet noddle while you shake! Have fun with it, because while you might be grown-up enough to drink alcohol, you’re never too old to act like a kid! Cheers!

Missed this box? Click here to order a one-time delivery from our shop!

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