Fermented ingredients have made their way into cocktails. Blend, a Dutch company by brothers Hendrik and Kamiel Buysse, took over Spanish restaurant Isono in Central for October, where they served a degustation menu with paired drinks and curated music.

The brothers enjoy experimenting with fermenting unusual ingredients for their cocktails.

“A couple of years ago I started making cocktails with kombucha, which normally has a base of tea,” Kamiel Buysse says. “But we used cedar wood for the base instead. The wood has a similar structure to tea in terms of tannins, which is needed to grow the SCOBY [a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast]. We combined this with VL92 Gin, a Dutch handcrafted gin based on 100 per cent pure malt wine with coriander, plus Vermouth del Professore, and a hint of citrus.”

The brothers work closely with a local asparagus farm in Holland, and they have also created a cocktail from asparagus that is sliced and fermented. The cocktail combines this fermented liquid with buttermilk, thyme and tequila.

Kamiel says that he uses fermented ingredients in his drinks because they “create a well-balanced acid that is not comparable with other acidities, such as citrus or rhubarb juice.”

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