Sure, mushrooms are delicious when they're sautéed in an omelet, tossed with spaghetti and garlic, or melted onto a cheese pizza. But served in a cocktail? Now that’s new. "The Candy Cap Dream," a creamy beverage created by Matthew Biancaniello, the head mixologist at French-Japanese fusion hotspot Maru in Santa Monica, Calif., is a funky and unexpected alternative to classic eggnog. Biancaniello says that the candy cap mushrooms for which the drink was named "were discovered 15 years ago in Marin County and are only in season for two weeks a year. When they're dried, they release an amino acid that takes on the flavor of browned butter and maple syrup."
While only temporarily available at farmers markets, the dried mushrooms can easily be found online (go to wheatgrasskits.com). Biancaniello adds, "The Candy Cap Dream is a wine-based cocktail, so we infuse byrrh (a wine-based apéritif), which has a caramel flavor, with the mushrooms, and it pairs really well. It was designed to be a dessert alternative, as it is as delicious as it is sweet." Feeling adventurous? Try out the recipe for yourself below.
Candy Cap Dream
Grated dark chocolate
1. Put the candy cap mushrooms in the vermouth bottle for 72 hours to infuse.
2. Combine all ingredients in shaker.
3. Strain ingredients into champagne flute.
4. Garnish with grated dark chocolate.