Sunday, August 24, 2014

green isaac's special

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LXXXVIII) was picked by JFL of the Rated R Cocktails blog. The theme he chose was "Coconuts" which seems perfect to capitalize on the last few hot weeks of the summer and a good follow up to June's theme of "Pineapple." JFL elaborated on the theme with his description of, "Ah the Coconut, so round, so firm, so fully packed... with flavor... Coconut is versatile, coconut is magical, not only is it edible, but it can be made into scores of products. However, this month you need only concern yourself with the liquid variety as I unveil MxMo Coconuts. Yes friends, it is my sincere belief the coconut does not get the love, nay the respect it so richly deserves. Because this easy going tropical seed had its heyday in the Tiki era, it's happily associated with the same fun loving drinks… Despite all the great Tiki drinks coconut appear in most people are down on the humble seed because of the Piña Colada. Friends, this need not be so; I say we take this delicious ingredient and show it can yield a tasty, well-balanced cocktail."

For a starter, I latched on to the Tiki idea and picked up Beachbum Berry's Remixed and searched for coconut libations. Most were riffs on the basic Coconaut's rum-coconut cream-lime formula, and that did not fit my mood. Then I remembered a drink I remember seeing on the Trina's Starlite Lounge menu a few seasons ago, the Green Isaac's Special. Instead of rum and coconut cream, it calls for gin and coconut water with Angostura Bitters in the mix. The history of the drink and name all point to Ernest Hemingway. Therefore, I reached for Philip Greene's To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion for not only the recipe but a bit of history.
Green Isaac's Special
• 2 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
• 4 oz Green Coconut Water (Naked)
• Juice of 1 Lime (1 1/2 oz)
• 2-4 dash Angostura Bitters, to taste (4 dash)
Shake with ice and pour into a Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wedge or peel (half spent lime shell).
Greene describes the recipe as a modified Tom Collins with bitters that history suggests that Hemingway came up with during his time in Key West in the 1930s. It first appears in Islands in the Stream and is named after the islands in question, Great Isaac and Little Isaac that are north of Bimini. The protagonist is described as enjoying, "the tall cold drink made of gin, lime juice, green coconut water, and chipped ice with just enough Angostura Bitters to give it a rusty, rose color." Tasting notes of "the sharpness of the lime, the aromatic varnishy taste of Angostura and the gin stiffening the lightness of the ice-cold coconut water" were also provided. The drink also appears with different names in two other books in this novel.
Once mixed, the Green Isaac's Special shared a zesty aroma from the lime and the bitters' allspice. The sip was rather smooth and salty from the coconut water, and the swallow presented the gin botanicals and most of the lime flavors which blended into the Angostura's spice. Surprisingly, the sugar content in the coconut water was sufficient to match the lime juice's tartness.

So thank you to JFL of Rated R Cocktails for picking the theme (and allowing other options besides mallet, chisel, and power tools to open up coconuts) and for running this month's show, and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the shakers shaking and the spirit of the event alive!

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