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Isaac Grillo of Repour invites Shawn on a hunt for the best seasonal produce in Miami. Together they discover exotic ingredients in neighborhoods around the city and bring the ripest picks back to the bar for a truly local cocktail.

Tamarind Jam Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Grey Goose Le Melon

  • 1 ounce yuzu

  • 3/4 ounces basil scented melon syrup

  • 1-2 spoonfuls of tamarind, watermelon, Grey Goose Le Melon jam

Instructions

  1. Shake and strain all ingredients into chilled coupe glass

  2. Garnish with basil flower

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Transcript

- I'm Sean Thomas, and this is Local Flight. Join me as we travel across the country to discover extraordinary bartenders and purveyors. We'll share their stories as they work together to create innovative cocktails using unique local ingredients. In this episode of Local Flight, we're getting as local as can be, sourcing ingredients that grow right in the city of Miami. Miami's historic South Beach is known for sun and fun. Amidst some of the best-preserved art-deco architecture in the world. Located in the heart of it all is Isaac Grillo's recently-opened Repour. - Nice to see you. - Nice to see you as well. Tell me a little bit about your menu. - Well, it's an ever-changing menu. We like to use locally-sourced fresh ingredients, and we like to keep it very eclectic, so there's no twists on classics here, it's all just new, fresh cocktails that hopefully nobody's ever seen or heard of before. - That's awesome. So where are you drawing your inspiration from? - You know, really it comes from the land, I like it to be very organic, you know, the way I built this place is trying to be relaxed and have people be comfortable, and that's how I want my cocktails to come across. You know, I want it to be everybody involved. - That's fantastic. Well, I'd like to try one of those cocktails. - I've been working on something lately, so I'm gonna go ahead and let you be my guinea pig. - Thank you. - I'm gonna use some of this fresh mango. - [Sean] Yum. - A little bit of acidity, but a nice amount of sweetness. It's perfectly ripe, in season right now. - And I'm gonna mash it up a little bit. That's gonna be the base. I'm gonna add a little bit of citrus element, so this is fresh lime juice. - [Sean] Cool. - And then, I've been working on a little play here, so I made a citrus-honey syrup. It's basically just honey with a little grapefruit, lemon, some orange rinds. - [Sean] Nice. - It's gonna balance out the acidity from the fresh lime juice. - [Sean] That's great, man. - Now, this is Miami, so I thought I'd use a little Miami flavor. This is a black tea, it's actually mojito flavored, black tea that we smoked in-house. So it has a little mint, as well as citrus in it. - [Sean] I imagine the bitterness in the cocktail actually comes from the black tea, as well. - Correct. And it'll really come out when we balance the whole thing together. - All right. - Today I'm gonna use Grey Goose. - [Sean] A-huh. - I'm gonna use two ounces here. Peppermint is actually very rare. I grow it in the garden here at Repour. So I'm just gonna put a couple of the young leaves in there. And I want to shake it up very, very vigorously. So, I'm not even going to double-strain this, because I kind of want those little bits of mint and fresh mango to come across in the cocktail. Nice pretty color, the fresh mango really comes through. A couple cubes in there. And we're gonna top it off with a little fresh peppermint, from the garden. - [Sean] Wake it up. - Wake it up. A little South Beach tea for you, my friend. - Thank you. Cheers. Yum. The smoked tea actually adds almost like, a slight barbecue flavor to it as well. - [Isaac] Yeah, you get the little smokiness, and it brings out the mint flavors as well. - Mango is sweet and delicious. Solid, man. Solid. Yeah, it's kinda almost like a tiki meets a punch. - Yeah, we've got those fresh local fruits popping. - So, this is actually my second time in Miami. - [Isaac] All right. - Love this city. South Beach is obviously beautiful. But I was hoping you could show me a side of Miami that maybe people don't know. Something a little bit more authentic and local, and that's where we could find an ingredient. - Actually, that's awesome of you to bring that up, because Miami is full of great ingredients that grow all around us in regular neighborhoods, so there's a lot of fresh fruit going on right now, and I know the person that could take us to some local foraging spots. Wanna check 'em out? - Yes, I do. - All right, I know just the right person. - All right, cool. Before the city of Miami sprouted up, South Florida was filled with exotic tropical fruit trees, many of which remain today if one knows where to look. Tiffany Noe is a horticulturist and urban farmer who recently co-authored the stunning book "Forager: A subjective guide to Miami's edible plants." If anyone knows where to source local ingredients, it's her. What are you picking? - Uh, I'm picking fresh oregano. This is a kitchen garden for a local restaurant, so I'm picking this for tonight's specials. - Yum. That is spicy. - Delicious. - Yeah. - Really spicy. - What can we expect to find here, foraging in Miami? - We're definitely going to find mangoes. We'll also probably be able to find tamarinds. I also know of a really nice elderberry patch, so we'll be able to find berry and flower there. - I'm excited. I've never been foraging, so. - Off we go. - Adventurous. Just take it slow, no big bumps please. - All right. - Tropical fruit, here we come! Urban foraging has gained so much popularity in the last decade. You can even download an app to learn what grows in your city, and where to find it. These modern food cartographers map wild edibles that grow in public spaces all over the world. - All right, guys. Look up. - Mangoes. - Mangoes. - This is urban foraging. - This is my neighborhood. - Awesome. - Oh, nice. - That's why we're here. I have my trusty mango picker, and basically you find your victim, and then you use the little razor, and down it comes. - Simple. - Look at that. - Simple, simple. - Oh, alright. - Wow, look at that. Right off the tree. - That guy's not ripe yet, but it'll ripen on your countertop. - Oh, he's a natural. - Oh, man, so gentle. - He's a natural, ladies and gentlemen. - And I was saying that this is what they look like when they're ripe. - [Sean] That's amazing. - Shall we snack on it? - Yeah, let's try it out. - Yeah, I'd love that. - Man, that looks so good. Thank you. I'll save you two pieces. Mm. I mean, forget about it. That's a great mango. - Not bad, right? - Yeah, it's a neighborhood, locally foraged, delicious tropical fruit. - [Sean] Why go to the store when you can just pick 'em right off the tree? - Let's go visit the tamarind trees. - All right, tamarind trees! - I'm so excited. - See the tamarinds? They're like dreadlocks. - Oh, yeah. - [Isaac] Oh, look at them. There's tons of them. - [Sean] There's a ton. - This is just a tree pruner, a telescoping one. So we're gonna use this little beak. When we pull this, look. Mm. - [Isaac] Ooh, it's like tack-print stuff. - There you go. Find yourself a nice little cluster. - And then just, snip snip? - Snip. - Come on down, Mr. Tamarind. - [Tiffany] More snipping. - Oh! Nice catch, Isaac. Look at that. We're like professional tamarind pickers now. - Okay, snack time. Crack them open. - So this is actually it, right here, the shell just pulls off. - I see. Mm. It's like, sweet and sour. - [Tiffany] Yeah, it's sour. Let's get a few more for the bar. - All right! - All right, okay. I'll get the next one. - Hey, there it is. All right. - On to our next destination, then. - Yes. What's next? - Elderflower. - Ooh. Does that have elderberries on it? - We're gonna find out. - Let's go look. - So let's check out this elderflower tree. - Oh, all right. - So this is the flower, go ahead and give it a sniff. - Yeah. - Mm. Very subtle. - [Tiffany] Yes, very subtle. It's best to pick these right in the beginning of the day, before the sun burns off a lot of their like, very delicate flavors, but because it was overcast today, it should be a nice blossom. - Snip. Well, there you go. - [Isaac] Oh, wow, that's really pretty. - Now, I mean, right off the get-go, I'm thinking garnish for that. - Initially, for garnish, it just looks really beautiful. Otherwise, I think you would have to give it a little love. You could make it into some sort of syrup. - You could even just let it sit in honey for a while. And we've also got, look at this. - [Isaac] Oh, look at that! - I've seen these before. - Berries. - Berries. - Yeah, those are the elderberries. - If you leave the flowers on the tree, you get the berries. - A-huh. You're coming with us! - [Isaac] Wow, this has been really awesome, Tiffany. - Yeah, Tiffany. Seriously. - [Tiffany] Thanks, guys. - [Sean] Who knew this much grew in the neighborhoods of Miami? Armed with the freshest ingredients the city has to offer, Isaac and I are heading back to Repour to see if we can make a cocktail worthy of Miami's natural bounty. That is a cornucopia of Miami foraged goods. - Yeah, all from local neighborhoods. The elderberries and elderflower, these are gonna take a little longer to do something with. - Okay. - I'm thinking we do something with this tamarind. I think we should make a jam. - Okay. - Gonna grab a pot for you. - So basically, we're gonna shell all this tamarind. - Can I give you a hand? - Yeah, please, man. - Yeah, once you get the fruit out, just like that, just throw it in the pot. - [Sean] You've done jams before? - [Isaac] Yeah, I make liquor-infused jams, and they're on my cocktail menu right now, and we change them every month. - In addition to the tamarind, Isaac adds watermelon and Grey Goose le milon, and sets it to simmer. While that cooks, we head to his rooftop herb garden. Isaac's bar is located in one of South Beach's iconic deco hotels, and on the deck above the pool, he's growing an array of fresh herbs. - We've kind of come full-circle with this, considering we're doing a little urban foraging, this is urban gardening. - Yeah, you know, we're in the middle of the city, so there's not a great place to get a garden, so we kind of just made our own. - And here, I think we'll be using this basil. - Those beautiful basil flowers would work out perfectly. - Awesome. Let's do it. - All right, buddy. - [Sean] Back in the bar, Isaac strains the fruit, adds a bit more Grey Goose, pectin and sugar, and finishes the tamarind jam by boil-sealing it in Mason jars. - Thinking this one's good to go, my friend. - Cool. - So we're gonna pop it open, I'm gonna start making a cocktail for you. - [Sean] Fantastic. This is your tamarind-watermelon jam. - With Grey Goose. What do you think? - That's insanely good. - Yep, so it's nice and citrusy, it's not too sweet. - Yeah, and the watermelon and the melon, both of those melons, showing up in a big way. - All right. - Yum, yum, yum. - We're gonna start with a little bit of acid again, so we're gonna use one ounce of yuzu, which is a nice, soft, floral Japanese citrus. It'll balance really well with this jam. Now, I'm gonna balance that acidic flavor with a little bit of sweetness again. I basically made a simple syrup, but I made a lot of watermelon juice, and hint of the fresh basil we picked in the garden. - [Sean] How much of that? - I'm gonna use actually three-quarters of an ounce. - [Sean] Cool. - [Isaac] Then, we'll move into our jam. - [Sean] Ooh, look at that. - And we're gonna take a nice healthy scoop. Maybe two. So we're gonna make sure our base tastes really good. - Nice. - You want that sweet-sour vibe going on, and then the star of the show today is the Grey Goose le milon. So I'm gonna use two ounces of this, again, we want to taste the spirit, it's a really quality spirit, and you don't want it to be overpowered by the ingredients. - [Sean] No. - [Isaac] And then, we're gonna give this a very vigorous shake. Emulsify all those ingredients. - [Sean] I like your rhythm. - Thanks, man. - [Sean] Like you know ice. - It's like a song. - [Sean] Yes, sir. - And strain it right out, and serve it in one of these beautiful coupes. - [Sean] Classic. - [Isaac] And it has those floral notes from the yuzu, and the hints of the basil, so I think we're gonna garnish this with that really beautiful basil flower that we got out of the garden. There you go, brother. - That's beautiful. Cheers. I can smell the basil from here. Yum. Mm. That's like a classic cooler. The acidity is actually not as pronounced as you'd think. You get more of that melon, the watermelon, the cavaillon melon in the vodka, mm. And nice touch with the aromatics. The basil really highlights the yuzu, actually. Take a sip. - [Isaac] I'm gonna take a little sip. - Yeah. Those things kind of come together. - That's a pretty good drink, my friend. - [Sean] Right? It's good, for sure. - Let's see this. - So, last order of business, we have to name this cocktail. - Ooh. - [Sean] So, I'm thinking we saw the neighborhoods here in Miami, we did it right, we went to the authentic, like, that's where the locals are. We got all that great produce. - Definitely a neighborhood cocktail. - It is, for sure, a neighborhood cocktail. You've made this great jelly for it. - I think you might have just named it. Neighborhood Jam. - Neighborhood Jam? - Yeah, that's the jam, man. - Dude, that's the name. That is the jam. Neighborhood Jam. - [Isaac] Cheers to that. - Cheers to the neighborhood jam. Mm. Isaac, my friend. - Always a pleasure. - The pleasure was all mine, I hope you had a good time, and uh, the Neighborhood Jam is the jam.

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