Over the summer, one of my favorites oleo sacrum/tea syrups ended up being this Spicy Lime recipe. It isn't overly spicy in its current iteration, but it does offer waves of layered lime alongside fresh herbal/vegetal notes. The syrup wasn't developed for a specific cocktail. I just had some ingredients to use up before they went bad. So why not give it a test drive in some classics; see where it pairs best?
Part 1: Daiquiri.
Part 2: Margarita.
Part 3: Gin & Tonic
Seaweed gin wasn't supposed to be part of this series. I was messing around with it for simple dirty martini mod. However, I was heavy handed with the infusion time (20 hours) and over-spiced it with raw ginger. Somewhere between the earthy seaweed, toasted sesame, and ginger a very "fall spice" profile emerged. I enjoyed it neat, finding it much improved from the original, utilitarian gin. Still didn't play well with my dry vermouth for a martini. This build was an attempt to bridge the gap between those two ingredients.
1 ½ oz Booth's London Dry "Seaweed & Ginger"- 1991 - 45%
½ oz Citric Acid
¼ oz Lime Syrup
¼ oz House Dry Vermouth
4 vials Calamansi Vinegar
2 vials Lemon Tincture
5 oz Tonic Water
How It Plays: Seaweed front and center on the nose and palate. It's deep/full bodied with salty umami and candied vegetal notes from the syrup. Things speed up. A pop of botanicals from the gin before the lime notes brighten with citric acid and calamansi. Vermouth and tonic drive the finish, pleasantly drying/stretching out the citrus.
Verdict: Unlike the margarita build, here the lime syrup does a lot of work, adding layers of complexity up front on the palate and providing core notes for the acid and calamansi to amplify. Bonus: it didn't take much syrup to make a big impact.