Extreme Cocktail Ingredients - CAMEL MILK
First we milked a horse (blog link here) and now we milked a CAMEL. In our travels around the cocktail world you sometimes end up encountering some pretty strange ingredients that bartenders end up throwing into shakers in order to try to push the boundaries of cocktails further & further.
In 1993 when they released the infamous "Got Milk?" commercial to help promote milk consumption in the USA I'm sure the TYPE of milk they had in mind didn't come from a hairy, orange, spitting, angry camel. I guess cows don't grow everywhere so if you're thirst for some of the white stuff you've got to sometimes make do with whats at hand, right?
Que our friends from Bargmaglot Bar in Kazakhstan with another one of their ridiculous ideas & boundary pushing concepts. Interestingly enough is the pure lengths that these guys go to in their quest for tasty beverages. Not only did they scout a camel farm over 2 hours drive away from the city (THANK YOU DAULET BEKET FARM) but they managed to bring back years of research back with them to deliver on the findings.
Before we dive into the tasty specifics of their drink recipes here are some interesting camel facts:
Camels have to be milked by hand only
General life expectancy for a camel is 35-45 years
Female camels only give birth to 1 offspring every 2 years, those offspring are nurtured for up to 2 years
They milk two breeds of camels - Arabian & Bactrian. Arabian camels give 7-8 litres of milk per day whilst Bactrian 3-4 but the Bactrian milk is fattier
In the summer a camel can be milked 3 times per day, in the winter only 2 times
Kazakhstan consumes 70 tons of "Shubat" - read soured camel milk - per year
Due to the very particular nature of the production of camel milk including the intricacies of the livestock most of the raw milk from camels is processed into a fermented lightly alcoholic beverage also know as shubat. It has a shelf life of 5 days & has a very high fat content of 8% per litre. Due to the volatile nature of the product it is impossible to extend the expiry date & therefore impossible to export successfully.
An important aspect of shubat production is that at the bottom of the ferment collects a substance known as agaran, also known as fermented cream, is it this ingredient that is used in Kazakhstan in making deserts & cocktails at Barmaglot bar. Shubat is also considered to have 3 times more vitamins C & D than cow milk so we can safely saw any cocktails made with it can be called health juice drinks!
Freshly squeezed raw camel milk is chilled down to 30 degrees Celsius & transferred to the wooden barrel
Into the barrel is added a soured milk "leaven" (read yeast) in a ratio of 1:4
For the next 30 mins the mixture is thoroughly mixed in order to kickstart a reaction after which it is covered in a towel & left to ferment for 3/4 hours
Because a camel might be milked up to 3 times a day they new milk is added to the existing mixture until the milking day is done. The whole process can take up to 20 hours of mixing & fermenting
Then the product is bottled into 1 litre bottles & left to mature in a refrigerator up to 12 hours
So if anything the shelf life of camel milk can be compared to stored freshly squeezed lime/lemon juice. Considering the production methods & the sheer anger of camels we can safely say that we'll stick with the carbon footprint. This hasn't stopped the crazy guys to come up with the following beverages:
Name: Kazakh Mary
80ml Tomato Juice
10ml Worcestershire sauce
10ml Sriracha Sauce
70ml Camel Milk
Iceberg Lettuce - Microgreens - Olives - Gherkin - Fennel
Name: Sahara Desert
40ml Patron XO Cafe
20ml Dry Orange Liqueur
15ml Lime Juice
30ml Camel Milk
1 Dash Chocolate Bitters
Method: Shake & Double Strain
Garnish: Berry Pastille - Edible Gold