Pacharan and A Cloud Over Navarra

February 1, 2010

During these past Holidays, I was fortunate enough to travel abroad and spend some needed time away from school and close to my family. We decide to take a short 2-hour plane ride to the Dominican Republic, where my aunt and uncle live. I’ve been to the Dominican Republic twice already, and every time I go back, I enjoy the trip even more. From the difference in cultures to the Mofongo (If you know what Mofongo is, you know what I’m talking about), from the merengue to the driving skills one must have to drive around Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic is a great holiday getaway for me.

Whenever I’m abroad, I like to go to the local or nearest liquor store to find some spirits that I haven’t heard of. But, if you go to a liquor store in Santo Domingo on a Friday night, you are in for a culture shock. In Miami, whenever I’m low on some liquor from my home bar, I just take my car, go to the liquor store, buy the liquor and go home. In Santo Domingo, things are a little different. One Friday evening, while we were driving around Santo Domingo, I ask my aunt to take me to a liquor store she knew. She said no problem. As we approached the liquor store, the contagious rhythm of merengue was getting louder and louder. When we finally got to the store, people were having a great time listening and dancing to merengue, and drinking. Yup, drinking outside a liquor store. From what I’ve heard from my cousin is that people, for example, buy a bottle of Brugal and a 2-litter bottle of Coke in the store, turn up the radio from their cars and create a get-together outside the liquor store. Ahhh, I wish the day that could happen in Miami. But anyways, back to the point. When I entered the store I looked and looked until I find a spirit I had never heard of, Pacharan.

Pacharan is a liqueur that is commonly drunk in Navarra, Spain. It is made from sloe berries. Now, don’t get confused. Pacharan and sloe gin are different liqueurs. Pacharan is made from the maceration of sloe berries in an anise-flavored spirit. They are macerated in a cool place for about 7 to 8 months and then reduced with sugar. The Pacharan from Navarra has to have a red or intense pink color and an alcohol content of 25% – 30%. On the other hand, sloe gin uses the same sloe berries, which have been prickled, placed in a jar with sugar, gin, few cloves, cinnamon and almond essence. The mixture will turn red and for a full extraction a flavor, enough sugar has to be used.

After walking around the liquor store twice, along with the Pacharan, I decided to buy a bottle Ron Barceló Gran Platinum and with the help of sugar syrup, lime juice, Angostura Bitters and egg white, I created “A Cloud Over Navarra”

A Cloud Over Navarra

2 oz. Pacharan (I used La Navarra)

1 oz. Light Rum (I used Ron Barceló Gran Platinum)

.5 oz. Sugar Syrup (See recipe below)

.5 oz. Lime Juice

2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters

1 Egg White

Procedure: Place all ingredients inside a boston shaker and dry shake (no ice) to aerate the egg white and create a foam. After a good 10 second shake, place ice inside your shaker and shake for at least 15 seconds or until frost forms on the outside of your tin. Strain with a Hawthorn strainer into a pre-chilled cocktail glass and serve.

Simple Syrup Recipe:

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

Place ingredients in a sauce pan and let it simmer on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved. After the sugar has dissolved, pour ingredients into a bottle and place it in your fridge. Don’t use the simple syrup before one hour has passed. The simple syrup will last several weeks in your refrigerator.