Friday, October 7, 2011


1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Avión)
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Sloe Gin (Plymouth)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry (Luxardo Maraschino cherry).

Friday after making Erik Ellestad's Ashtray Heart, I looked toward Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 for inspiration. There, I found Phil Ward's quirky tequila drink, the Lipspin, that seemed like a great transition from Beta Cocktails especially with the other two ingredients being Cynar and sloe gin. The drink's description reads like a lot of the ones that Maks and others wrote for Beta Cocktails; Phil declared, "The three ingredients in this drink look odd together on paper but are in fact delicious. Cynar is bitter and sloe gin is a bit sweet. I can remember thinking, 'Would they work with tequila?'" I was intrigued by the concept of tequila and sloe gin and completely forgot that I had that combination in a similar drink -- Worcester's Citizen's Ticket to Paradise; instead of Cynar, the Ticket called for Swedish Punsch and rhubarb bitters. And the pairing of Cynar and sloe gin reared itself in one of the Beta Cocktails recipes I made a few weeks ago, namely Colin Shearn's Transatlantic Giant.
The Lipspin began with a robust agave and vanilla aroma with hints of Cynar's herbal low notes. A dark fruit flavor of the Cynar's caramel-coffee combining with the sloe berry appeared on the sip, and the swallow was very herbal and grassy with agave blending with the Cynar. Surprisingly, the sloe gin acted like a supportive ingredient and was not as dominating as it can often be.

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