My event hostessing team is multitalented. Sure, they can bedazzle macarons with their eyes closed, fold macaron boxes faster than ninjas, and help anybody tap into their creativity, but they also have unique side gigs, too: competitive hula dancing, barista art (she can “draw” a puppy in your latte!), playing the bass, playing the cello, engaging with the community to reroute food waste, event planning, guiding outdoor hiking excursions, and—bartending!
I spent an entire car ride quizzing Jennifer Caballero about all the fun cocktails she makes for private events. Could you do that in a different shaped glass? What if it was more tart, less sweet? And, what’s this aquafaba stuff all about!? I asked Jennifer to come up with a specialty cocktail to share with you—and she delighted with this “PB&J” inspired recipe (that she coined “Mr. Peanut Goes to War”—scroll to the bottom for her inspo!). Peanut butter in a cocktail?! It sounds crazy I know, but it’s subtle, sophisticated. You’ll love it.
This cocktail is a fun project. If you want to make a simple version, skip the fancy steps, and muddle then shake your raspberries, plain gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and aquafaba. But, I really loved learning all these little tips from Jennifer and have since used them separately for other cocktails, too. Consider this a mini cocktailing course.
My favorite part is the aquafaba (the juice from a can of chick peas! Seriously—just strain a can of chick peas and reserve the sticky liquid) which is a vegan substitute for egg white. Whenever you order a cocktail that’s creamy and frothy (like a gin fizz) it’s typically made with egg white. Aquafaba is such a great alternative. I did end up with several cans of chick peas, so I dried them out and made crunchy and spicy chick peas (more on that later…)
When Jennifer, Erica, and I were shooting this recipe, we were inspired to do a quick impromptu video for you. Ignore the chaotic kitchen and poor lighting!
Food La La x Jennifer Caballero:
Mr. Peanut Goes to War (a specialty cocktail)
1.5 oz gin, fat washed with peanut butter - #1
.75 oz meyer lemon juice plus dehydrated lemons for garnish - #2
.25 oz demerara simple syrup (2-1 ratio) - #3
.5 oz aquafaba (chickpea juice) - #4
For garnish: dehydrated raspberries
In a cocktail shaker, muddle raspberries then add lemon juice, aquafaba, simple syrup, and gin.
Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously (this will foam the aquafaba, so shake, shake, shake!) then strain through a fine strainer into a coupe glass.
Garnish with dehydrated lemon and freeze dried raspberries.
Peanut Butter Fat Wash: Fill the bottom layer of a tupperware container with high quality peanut butter. Run a knife through it a few times to “cut slits” (this will help the gin infuse). Pour 4oz of gin over, seal container and freeze for 48 hours. Strain the gin from the peanut butter, but reserve gin in freezer until use.
Lemons Vs. Meyer Lemons (+ Dehydrated Lemon Garnish): Meyer Lemons are a hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin orange. They are sweeter and more bitter, a unique flavor profile. If preferred though, regular lemons can be used. To dehydrate, slice thinly, then arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 4 hours at 170 degrees.
Demerara Sugar Simple Syrup: This is a gritty brown colored sugar with a molasses flavor (turbinado or light brown sugar would be decent substitutes) that can be found in some grocery stores! Depending on how much simple syrup you want to make, use a 2-1 ratio. For this recipe, 2 oz sugar to 1 oz part hot water. Dissolve the sugar in hot water (on medium heat, does not need to boil), then let cool then store in refrigerator. You could also use honey simple syrup!
Aquafaba: Chickpea juice is the vegan alternative to egg whites. Egg whites can be used instead but remember to dry shake them (shake ingredients all together vigorously without ice) then add ice to shaker tin then shake.
P.S. Curious about Jennifer’s inspiration for the cocktails name? Check out this propaganda piece from post WWII (peanut butter and jelly became a “thing” shortly thereafter).