I posted a gallery from this year’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, featuring a smattering of photos from various events.
For some of my cocktail photos from this trip, I used a little LED video light to add drama and translucence to the drink. It drastically changed the look of some cocktails, which might seem pale yellow or green in natural light, and then suddenly spooky and gemlike with the spotlight. This is an example from the Bombay Sapphire gin luncheon at restaurant August.
I love taking photos of cocktails with a macro lens – for many of those close-up food and drink pix, I’m using a 105mm Nikkor. It’s one of my favorite lenses; I love the sharpness, the low depth of field and the way it brings out details, like the coriander in this pretty cocktail (below) from the Pama Popstars and Bubbles Brunch.
People’s reaction to this drink, dubbed the Captain & Tennille, was interesting; two of my friends, both with sophisticated palates, were turned off by the herbs. This may have to do with the flavor debate centered around cilantro (which is the same as coriander, before it grows flowers and leaves). I once had a friend who hated cilantro so much, he wouldn’t get near parsley, either, because it reminded him of the former. Cilantro/coriander tastes soapy to some people, perhaps because of a genetically inherited palate.
There’s always the possibility that a perfectly prepared drink or dish will turn off someone just because of the way her tongue is configured. But I loved this cocktail’s complexity, and apparently, I’m perfectly happy with coriander. The herbal flavor helped undercut the drink’s fruit-and-champagne sweetness.
Here’s the recipe for the cocktail, so you can taste for yourself:
CAPTAIN & TENNILLE
1 slice fresh ginger
10 coriander leaves
1 1/2 ounces Absolut Citron
1/2 ounce PAMA
1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
1 ounce fresh apple juice
Muddle ginger and coriander leaves in the base of a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients and shake well over ice. Add champagne. Rock gently. Fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a coriander flower.