ORIGINAL — Decoction

October 13, 2010 (Day 256) — Decoction

Decoction — Noun

1. the act of decocting.

2. Pharmacology 

a. an extract obtained by decocting.
b. water in which a crude vegetable drug has been boiled and which therefore contains the constituents or principles of the substance soluble in boiling water.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen I decided to start off this post with a definition. Because I’m a gigantic nerd and I love etymology and words and their uses. I came across the word decoction while doing a little bit of research on tamarind. For the uninitiated, here’s a little info on tamarind from the always trustworthy Wikipedia:

Tamarindus indica is indigenous to tropical Africa, particularly where it continues to grow wild in Sudan; it is also cultivated in Cameroon, Nigeria and Tanzania. In Arabia it is found wild growing in Oman especially Dhofar where it grows on the sea facing mountains. It reached South Asia likely through human transportation and cultivation several thousand years prior to the Common Era. It is widely distributed throughout the Tropical belt, from Africa to South Asia, and throughout South East Asia, Taiwan and as far as China. In the 16th century, it was heavily introduced to Mexico as well as South America by Spanish and Portuguesecolonists, to the degree that it became a common ingredient in everyday living.

The tamarind was introduced into tropical America, mainly Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the West Indies by either Portuguese or Spanish colonists or perhaps by African slaves or seamen much earlier, in the 17th century.

Being a native of Dodge City, with our sizable Hispanic population, I was lucky enough to have been exposed to the fruit relatively early on. I can’t really describe the flavor, unfortunately, as it’s a very unique flavor. Tamarind tastes like… tamarind. But, you can kind of see where we’re going with this. I’ve been talking a bit lately about making fall drinks with tequila — a honorable challenge if ever there was one. So, while sipping on my usual afternoon pop (Jarritos, baby) I was struck with an idea. So, after doing some playing around, I came up with tonight’s drink.


2 oz tequila blanco (inocente)

1.5 oz pear nectar (Jumex)

Tamarind soda (Jarritos)

Put your tequila and pear nectar into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Top with the tamarind soda.

Ahhhh, a perfect fall drink. The flavor of the tamarind is, by itself, a very fall-like taste. As is the pear. So, once you mix the smokiness of the tequila with the tamarind and pear, you have a delicious, smooth drink that’s perfect for a chill evening on the back porch. And it’s strong, too, which is always a benefit. So why call it Decoction? Well, according to some research, the tamarind plant was often used in native medicine in part of a decoction.
— Mark

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