On the edge of the Yucatan, where the clear blue sea meets the tropical jungle, lies Hartwood. The restaurant Hartwood, in Tulum, Mexico, is a food lovers paradise. The food is all locally sourced from area markets, farmers and fisherman. The restaurant does not have a roof or walls and the kitchen is open to the sky. Most of the cooking is done over a wood fire or on a grill.
The cocktail menu utilizes the abundance of tropical fruits from mangos to guanabana, sweetened with dark honey, perhaps spiced with ginger, and blended with mezcal and other liquors. Cocktails are built on the freshly squeezed juices. The drinks are refreshing and flavorful and not too sweet.
The Hartwood ginger cocktail, their signature drink, is actually made with Irish Whiskey. I used my favorite Irish Whiskey, Tullamore Dew, to make the drink. Hartwood uses Jameson. A smooth ginger syrup and spicy ginger juice combined with the whiskey result in a refreshing and vibrant cocktail. Make the ginger syrup by making a simple syrup and steeping fresh ginger slices in the syrup. Only a small amount of the syrup will be added to the cocktail.
The ginger juice has a bite but is tempered by the syrup which takes off the edge. If you have a juicer, you can make your own ginger juice or you can blend the fresh ginger with water and strain it through a sieve to remove the fibers.
No need to shake the Hartwood ginger cocktail. Just fill a glass with plenty of ice. Add the freshly squeezed lime juice, the ginger syrup and ginger juice and the Irish whiskey. After a quick stir to combine the ingredients, add a splash of sparkling water or soda and a thin slice of lime. Serve with the Sur le Plat Voodoo Mexican Carnitas, or the Hartwood Lentil and Papaya Salad.
I also think that it would be fun to experiment with other liquors that may mix well with the lime and ginger. Dreaming of summer, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the magic of Hartwood.