Scant: Cooking Word of the Month

This month’s recipe from Chef Ferrán Adrià of El Bulli called for a 1/3 scant cup white rum. This was a term that was new to us, so maybe it is for you too.

In other uses, scant can mean barely sufficient: as in “He paid scant attention to the lecture”. When you see the term ‘scant’ in a recipe, it means just falling short of a specific measure, or “not quite”. It is put in recipes where the measurement is important – don’t be tempted add a dash more like some people are prone to do.

Frozen Caipirinha Cubes: Recipe of the Month


  • 16 ounces (1/2 liter) water
  • 3 ounces tarragon leaves
  • 2 ounces ice water
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • 2 ounces water
  • 1/3 cup white rum
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 full cup lemon juice
  • 10 sheets cellophane, cut into 3-inch squares

This is a simple but wonderful recipe from Chef Ferrán Adrià , of one of the greatest chefs of the world, from one of the great restaurants in the world, El Bulli in Roses, Spain.  He has been called “the Salvador Dali of the kitchen” because of his culinary creativity and inventiveness. This recipe is his interpretation of Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha, made with cachaça, sugar and limes. It creates 10 servings.


  • Bring water to boil and in it blanch the tarragon for 10 seconds. Shock the tarragon in an ice water bath, then strain. Blend 2 ounces of ice water with tarragon. Strain and keep aside.
  • Mix the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Mix blended tarragon, sugar syrup, rum, water and lemon juice and freeze in ice cube trays. Wrap each cube in cellophane and serve on a frozen surface.