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In past articles, we’ve delved into some amazing berries. That includes when we offered up some interesting facts about cranberry terpenes. This time around, New York City mixologist Matt Chavez showed us how goji berry terpenes can go into a cocktail recipe. Using our Goji OG terpene profile, the 2016 and 2017 Most Imaginative Bartender semi-finalist showed us just how creative he can get working with this strain.
As a strain, Goji OG offers up both spicy and sweet hints that often resemble licorice and herbs. When consumed, the taste of licorice joins a fruity mix of cherries and strawberries, leaving a delicious aftertaste,to say the least. Chavez, who works for one of the Top 50 Bars in the World, according to San Pellegrino’s annual list, and other edible creatives have to work with the numerous terpenes in Goji OG’s profile. They include prominent amounts of limonene, myrcene and linalool as well as several others in lesser quantities.
Making a Cocktail Using Goji OG Terpenes
With a flavorful variety to work with, Chavez opted for something that would be easy to drink. For this cocktail, he settled on a smash. Chavez’s smash focuses on introducing additional berries to the mix, with additional fruit coming in the form of lemon juice. To give the drink more body, he used cane sugar. Simple syrup will work as well if you’re in a pinch.
On the boozier side of the recipe, Chavez went with one of his favorites, yellow Chartreuse, for its particularly strong honey notes. Meanwhile, to create a split base, he went with fino sherry and gin. He added fino sherry for its acidity as well as its other components. “It has a touch of salinity, so it adds a little bit of that saltiness split with gin which has strong herbal quality.” To bring the drink together, Chavez muddles the ingredients in a large rocks glass before topping with crushed ice before straining the cocktail over it. He then garnishes the Gojo OG terpene on top as well as in the cocktail itself.
Chavez explained to True Terpenes just why he went in this direction. “Yellow chartreuse is always fun to work with,” he notes, adding, “Raspberry marries really well, but with the two flavors, if you put it in any cocktail that’s going to be the star of the show.” In his creation, however, he points out that “Whereas here it all is kind of symphonic and it all comes together at the same time. So, they all play very, very well with each other.”
Working with Goji OG
One of the most significant parts of Matt Chavez’s experiences with Goji OG came while finding the symphonic balance between his ingredients and the terpenes. He called the process “a lot of fun trial and error.”
After working with a handful of True Terpenes strains, Chavez noted how Goji OG presented new, fun challenges from the others he worked with, including Super Lemon Haze and Banana Kush. He pointed out that unlike the others, Goji OG’s stronger aromatic and flavor palates made for a unique hurdle to take on. He told us how he came to a suitable solution. “[Goji OG’s] flavor is very bold. So, you compliment that with other bold flavors that will compliment that and just bring it up front.”
For others hoping to work with Goji OG, Chavez goes back to the word most often used during the process: fun. “To have this at the bar,” he details, “it’s definitely going to be a go-to that you reach for if you really want to just blow somebody away.” If edible creators are stuck on how to incorporate Goji OG into their works, Chavez suggests more berries. “You bring fresh berries. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries – the goji is just going to really, really enhance that sort of profile.”
After working with Goji OG, Matt Chavez is a firm believer in its ability to be a crowd pleaser. It’ll have mouths watering once people get a whiff.
Cut three lemon wedges, muddle in a tin
Measure out .5 oz of lemon juice
Add 3 raspberries and muddle in tin
Add 2 drop of Goji OG
Dump muddled fruit and terpene into large rocks glass and fill glass with crushed ice
Then build in shaking tin:
.25 lemon juice
.25 cane syrup
.5 yellow chartreuse
1 fino sherry
1 London Dry Gin
Whip in a tin with a small bit of crushed ice and strain over crushed ice filled glass
Top with a more crushed ice to create a small dome
Garnish with fresh raspberries and 2 extra drops of terpene.