For Back To Work Monday Blues: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Cocktail

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Cocktail
Photo by Shawn Soole

For your Back To Work Monday Blues – try the Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Cocktail —  Stolen from:

At Clive’s, a popular craft cocktails joint in Victoria, British Columbia, the scene is pure hotel lounge kitsch: swirling dark carpets, white leather panels on the walls, fantasia lamps, high-backed banquettes and an unavoidable marble bar. The décor may be stuck in the 1970s, but Shawn Soole, a crack bartender from Brisbane, Australia, transcends these trappings with a dedication to innovation and craft, most notably with his Cold Night In, an original creation that fuses childhood comfort food and molecular mixology. The result is what he calls a grown-up cocktail equivalent of a “toastie” (an Australianism for a grilled sandwich) and tomato soup.

Soole starts with his own batch of “grilled cheese rum” — dark, viscous Mt. Gay “washed” overnight with a real-live grilled cheese sandwich, a seeping process to extract essential flavors and infuse them into the rum, before adding fresh-muddled tomato and basil, salt, Lillet Blanc and Glenfiddich Scotch whiskey. The effect is extraordinary: the grilled cheese rum leaps off the palate with flavors of cheddar, bread and butter, mingled with a dark sweetness, while the Lillet Blanc prevents the texture from veering into Bloody Mary territory. Topping the cocktail off with a drop of Glenfiddich adds a hint of off-the-grill smoke and evokes sipping, grilling and dunking.

Soole was kind enough to share his original recipe for the Cold Night In, which starts with his signature grilled cheese rum. First you literally make yourself a sandwich — a cheesy, buttery sourdough grilled cheese sandwich “2-3 times more cheesy and buttery than usual.” Cut into slices and place in a Mason jar, top with Mt. Gay rum and let sit overnight. Strain this mixture, making sure to squeeze all the rum out of the sandwich slices, and freeze for a few hours to congeal any remaining fat. Strain once more through a cheesecloth or coffee filter and bottle.

For the cocktail, muddle 4 slightly roasted cherry tomatoes with basil and salt. Add 2 ounces of your cheese-washed rum and another 1/2 ounce of Lillet Blanc, along with a dash of celery bitters. Dry stir, then stir with ice. Then double strain your cocktail, garnish with basil or tomato section and finish with a dash of Glenfiddich.

Clive’s Classic Lounge, Chateau Victoria Hotel, 740 Burdett Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia

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Also, for another delicious recipe (they won’t let me put their video up :-(),  go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCjLM-L19-c

It’s called the “Bloody Bacon & Cheese”.  Happy Monday!!