Durham, N.C. — It’s time to put Juju’s fire pit into action. And the Gin Couchee is the cocktail you’ll want in your hand when you’re gathered around it with friends on one of these crisp wintry evenings.
This multi-dimensional beverage is a lot of things all at once. Part deconstructed gin and tonic, part gin fizz, with a little martini thrown in for good measure, the Couchee is unique to Juju, crafted in the mind of bar manager Brett Lyszak. Rooibos tea and clove are added to the base of the recipe of Juju’s house-made toinc in a cold-infusion process that takes three days to complete, accentuating flavors as well as colors, with a delightful amber hue projected by the tea. That amber transforms slightly into brusque orange with the dilution of an American Dry gin, Durham Distillery’s own Conniption, and the drink is shaken (hence, the martini aspect).
Next comes the gin fizz relation – an orange-lemon egg white foam is layered over the top, with Japanese five spice and red beet powder added as vibrant garnish. As Brett points out, it’s meant to be sipped like a cappuccino, letting the slight citrus nuances of the foam complement the brightness of the drink itself. So, sip away!
Editor’s Note: On April 21, Juju will be featured at TASTE 2016, presented by Johnson Lexus. This is your chance to taste their delicious food for yourself! The Grand TASTE Experience will be held at the Durham Armory, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The evening will feature 30 local chefs and a dozen beverage purveyors – not to mention a live jazz band! Buy tickets at tastetheevent.com.