By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
The Swinging Cat, a small bar in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, has created its own cold-pressed spirits with dried fruits, nuts and spices, to create a custom spirit offering.
Pete Fischer, owner of The Swinging Cat, was inspired by the health and café trend of cold-pressed juices, and also by the methods of world-renowned chef, Heston Blumenthal, who both dehydrates and rehydrates ingredients to increase the intensity of flavour.
Fischer had to look as far as the United States to find an industrial cold-press machine that would withstand constant use with various fruits and nuts. He and his team now infuses various dried fruits and nuts with complementary spirits for periods of between three and ten days, until most of the alcohol has been absorbed, before they are then cold-pressed to create unique spirits.
Currently on the menu at The Swinging Cat are the following cold-pressed spirits, that have enjoyed a warm reception from patrons: an apricot gin, a banana dark rum, a peach bourbon, a cocoa nib vodka, a fig and walnut bourbon and tropical fruits rum.
“We wanted to offer our guests a completely unique drinking experience, like no other,” said Fischer.
While the cold-pressed spirits work well as simple serves – such as an apricot gin and tonic – they are also very popular served within cocktails.
“One of the cocktails that we have on the cold-pressed menu is the ‘Elysian Fields Ave’, which is our modern twist on the classic Mai Tai. We use tropical dried fruits like pawpaw, papaya, pineapple and mango and soak them in Pampero Anejo dark rum. After soaking the fruits for a few days they are cold-pressed to produce an amazing alcoholic tropical nectar,” said Fischer.
“We then make our own version of an alcoholic almond milk from almonds soaked in Pampero blanco white rum, which are then also cold-pressed. From there we shake these ingredients with lime juice and a dash of fresh orange juice and serve over crushed ice.”
The team at The Swinging Cat will be revealing a new cocktail menu next week, which features these cold-pressed spirits, and will continue to experiment with new flavours and spirits to cold press.