Thursday, January 22, 2015

tequila zoom

1 drink Spirit (2 oz Piedra Azul Tequila) (*)
1 tsp Honey, dissolve in Boiling Water (2 tsp 1:1 Honey Syrup)
1 tsp Cream (1 tsp Half & Half)

Shake with ice and strain into a small wine glass.
(*) Original read Bacardi with the next option being brandy, gin, or whiskey.

Several months ago when Erick Castro was plotting out the Boiler Maker menu, he asked on Facebook about the Zoom and its origins. I replied that it was in Frank Meier's 1934 The Artistry Of Mixing Drinks and provided the information within. I remembered the drink's location because the Zoom was quite quizzical in that it appears like an orphan drink class that I do not recall seeing before or after that in the classic literature. I looked past it since honey and cream added to a spirit seemed rather basic, but if Erick was asking about it, perhaps it required a deeper look? I later found it in Difford's Guide as a Cognac drink with a higher amount of cream and honey with milk also in the mix as well as a chocolate powder dusting (bringing it closer to an Alexander especially with the option of adding crème de cacao). Forget about the modern and heavily modified recipe, and let's look at the 1930's Zoom.
For a spirit, I opted for tequila even though the main recipe in the book was for Bacardi that was made "special for Comte Jean de Limur" (a French film star and director most famous for his work in the 1930s). The secondary recipe recommended brandy, gin, or whiskey. With so much spiritous leeway, I figured that my hankering for tequila was within the realm. Once mixed, the Tequila Zoom shared an agave aroma with floral notes from the honey. A sweet, creamy, and smooth sip led into an herbal and spice tequila swallow. Indeed, the combination of honey and cream certainly brought out the earthiness of the tequila. I thought that the drink could also gain some complexity with a dash of bitters. When I posted the drink on Instagram, Tenzin Samdo (bartender at Trade) replied to the bitters part with a suggestion of Bittermens Mole Bitters. I agreed (although my initial thought was basic Angostura), and now I realize that chocolate bitters is the same flavor suggestion that the Difford's Guide recommends.

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