The use of lacto-fermentation can transform a fruit into a creamy umami-driven ingredient that challenges what people understood that food to be, creating a memorable drinking experience.
At the renowned Connaught Bar in London, the brine from a lacto-fermented melon pairs with Rémy Martin XO cognac in a drink created by Giorgio Bargiani and Agostino Perrone. “We were looking for something to oppose the refined taste of cognac, and lacto-fermented melon was the answer,” says Bargiani, the head bartender at the Connaught Bar. “It brings freshness and a sour note, latched to yeasty biscuit-like notes that complement and complete the full body of Rémy Martin XO.”
- 1 ounce Rémy Martin XO cognac
- 1 heaping barspoon green Chartreuse
- 3/4 ounce lacto-fermented melon brine*
- 1 1/2 ounces London Essence pink pomelo tonic water (or other grapefruit tonic water)
Add the cognac, Chartreuse and fermented melon brine into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube.
Top with the tonic water and stir briefly and gently to combine.
*Lacto-fermented melon brine: Add 14 ounces honey, 14 ounces water and 1 teaspoon noniodized salt into a bowl and mix well until the liquid is runny and the salt has dissolved. Dice a 1-pound melon, keeping the skin on, and add it and the liquid to a sous-vide bag or Mason jar and seal it. Keep the container in a warm place away from direct sunlight, checking daily to see if the bag (if using) has inflated. If so, open the bag to release the excess air and reseal it. (If using a Mason jar, open it to release the excess carbon dioxide after a couple of days.) The fermentation will be ready in 5 to 7 days. Once it’s ready, keep refrigerated.