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Mooncake Challenge

月餅挑戰

Welcome back to the second segment of DrinkwithSR & friends. This month I will invite my friends to join me and create some cocktails using a very popular delicacy eaten during the fall season in Hong Kong. I want to celebrate the mooncake, its festive occasion but also bring forward a predicament we are facing.

For many years, the issue of wastage has haunted Hong Kong and its landfills with the excess of food, goods, and products outweighing the local vigilance on its recycling practices. One such occasion is the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on the 15th day on the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

The festival celebrations key element is mooncakes, palm-sized cakes customarily filled with lotus paste and salted egg yolk. The tradition of giving them as gifts have become so pervasive that corporate companies, colleagues, friends, and relatives are generally left with excess amounts due to short best before dates and inevitably thrown away.  This has led to a large amount wasted packaging and mooncakes. Last year, surveys conducted by environmental group Green Power estimate a total of 1.8 million mooncakes were thrown away, that’s equivalent to 1,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which would be absorbed by 100,000 trees in a year.  

As the topic loomed upon me, I looked towards an increasing topic prevalent within restaurants and bars. Conservation and sustainability, they might not be the first thing that comes to the mind when we think of bars and their waste bags we see the end of the night. But it is a growing discussion within bars in Hong Kong and globally, over the last year we’ve had numerous speakers from around the world visit and share their experiences and practices to encourage sustainability. Generally, we look at our place of work to find ways to reduce wastage and recycle better, but we should also think local and be aware of festive seasons. Excess fruits, buns, cakes, paper and many other items are thrown away annually due to surpluses. 

As part of our efforts around sustainability, I decided to invite my friends and give them a challenge which would hopefully inspire others restaurant and bar professionals to not throw away excess products but encourage their teams to bring in leftover mooncakes from their homes and use it to make some interesting cocktails. 

The Challenger: 20 mins to create a cocktail using Mooncake

 (white lotus seed paste with egg yolk)

歡迎大家來到DrinkwithSR & friends第二集。今個月我邀請了我的朋友以一款在香港秋季很常吃到的甜點來做雞尾酒——月餅。除了因為這是個屬於月餅的季節,更想藉此提出一個解決眼前困局的解決辦法。

多年來,香港浪費題嚴重,剩食和用品等完全沒有循環再用的機會就丟往堆填區。例如每年農曆八月十五日的中秋節,也是個製造垃圾的日子。

在這個節日裡,月餅可說是其中一款最重要的節慶食物,傳統來說裡面包含了蓮蓉和鹹蛋黃。人人都會在這佳節送月餅,包括公司之間、同事、親友等,結果因為食用期限短,大量月餅因而浪費。去年環保團體綠色力量就估計約180萬個月餅最後結局是被丟棄,相當於1,200噸碳排放,要10萬棵樹花一年時間才能消化掉。

這題目吸引了我的注意,令我關於很多餐廳和酒吧同樣無可避免的問題。保育和可持續發展,未必是我們想起酒吧就會聯想到的事。但這已經是個無論是香港還是環球的酒吧也越來越關注的課題,很多專家都到世界各地分享如何在酒吧裡實現可持續發展。一般來說,我們會在工作流程上找出可以減少垃圾和循環再用的機會,但我們同時也應該將這考慮伸延到香港本地和節慶日子。

為了提高可持續發展意識,今次我邀請我的朋友進行一個月餅挑戰,也希望可以啟發其他餐飲業朋友不丟棄過多的食材,反而鼓勵同事們將剩餘的月餅帶回酒吧,去造一些有趣的雞尾酒。

挑戰者 : 20分鐘內創作出一款由月餅(雙黃白蓮蓉)去造一款雞尾酒

Gagan Gurung’s Cocktail:

MOONCAKE HIGHBALL

Ingredients

1 bottle - Monkey Shoulder whisky  ( 700ml)

1 pc- Mooncake 

8 pcs – Mint leaves

1 slice – Ginger 

2 drops – Sesame oil

1 tbps – white rice vinegar

90 ml – ginger ale

 

Procedure

•Blend the mooncake with 700ml of whisky. Strain with muslin cloth back into bottle

•Get a highball glass, cut one thin slice of ginger and muddle with mint leafs

•Add Mooncake whiskey blend (60ml)

•Add sesame oil and white rice vinegar

•Add ice and top up with ginger ale

 

Garnish

Mint leaves

 

Pro tip

If you have time blend the whisky and mooncake the day before, keep in freezer overnight and then strain to get better result in flavor

Alexander Ko’s cocktail:   

MOONLIGHT SHAKE

Ingredients

60ml - Monkey Shoulder

30ml - Cream

20ml  - Amaro Montenegro

2g - fennel seeds

2g - Coriander seeds 

2g - Caraway seeds

1 pc- Mooncake 

 

Procedure

•Toast seeds (fennel / coriander / caraway) with light fire

•Add Whiskey, cream, Amaro & mooncake in blender

•Combine toasted seeds and blend

•Take highball glass, add ice and fine strain into glass

 

Garnish

Salted egg yolk from mooncake, trimming of a mooncake pastry

Gagan Gurung’s Cocktail:

MOONCAKE HIGHBALL

材料

1 瓶- Monkey Shoulder whisky  (700ml)

1 個- 月餅

8 片– 薄荷葉

1 片– 薑

2 滴– 麻油

1 湯匙– 白米醋

90 ml – 薑啤

 

​程序

•將一個月餅與700ml威士忌拌勻。

•以細綿紗布過濾後倒回瓶中。

•取一高球杯,以一小片薑和薄荷葉擦杯口。

•加入月餅威士忌 (60ml)

•加入麻油及白米醋

•加冰,最後倒入薑啤 

 

裝飾

薄荷葉

 

小貼士

假如有時間,最好預先一晚將威士忌和月餅拌勻,再將酒在冰箱裡靜置一晚,味道會更佳。

​***

Alexander Ko’s cocktail:   

MOONLIGHT SHAKE

材料

60ml - Monkey Shoulder

30ml – 忌廉

20ml  - Amaro Montenegro力嬌酒

2g – 小茴香子

2g – 芫茜子

2g – 藏茴香子

1個 – 月餅

 

過程

•將所有種子用火輕烘

•將威士忌、忌廉、力嬌酒和月餅放入攪拌機

•並加入已烘的種子去攪均

•加冰,過濾,再裝入以高球杯

 

裝飾

鹹蛋黃及月餅皮