For those of you who know Gavin, it will come as no surprise that within 20 minutes of checking into his first hotel in Jakarta he had already checked out the hotel’s restaurant and subsequently gained access to the kitchen. On the menu: nutmeg.
Nutmeg’s history is surprisingly steeped in drama, (a particular highlight is the Dutch trading Manhattan island in exchange for a small nutmeg producing island named Run. While the British weren’t thrilled with the trade initially, history certainly proved to have a sense of humor.) However, the point remains, nutmeg and the Spice Islands were seen as an extremely valuable commodity in the 17th century.
For centuries nutmeg has been used as a flavoring agent, medicinal remedy, and was even worn by the British to ward off the plague… but inside this Jakarta hotel, on the afternoon of Gavin’s arrival, simple nutmeg water was on line. After tasting how refreshing and perfect this beverage was, Gavin knew that it would have to feature on the menu for Mist…
5 l water
1 kg nutmeg fruit
600 g sugar
Split nutmeg fruit in half and remove the soft nutmeg seed from the center. Reserve the fruit and add the seeds (left whole) to the water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes whisk in sugar to dissolve. Reserve.
Using a mandolin, slice the nutmeg fruit as thinly as possible. Pour the warm nutmeg syrup over the sliced fruit. Leave at room temperature until cool. Once cool, cover tightly with cling film and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, strain the nutmeg water and pour as needed. Garnish with slivers of nutmeg fruit