Wednesday, October 22, 2008

[tequila and sweet vermouth]

Milagro blanco tequila
Sweet Vermouth (Stir-made)
Lime juice
Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters

This is the middle child of the drinks that I sampled at Drink a couple Mondays ago.

I decided to move from gin- to tequila-based cocktails. Tequila can be a tough base for many bartenders who don't want to go the margarita-derived route. Sam decided to split the difference, complementing the lime with some of the sweet vermouth that Ben had made during a recent Stir class on vermouths. He's still playing with this cocktail formulation, and when I noted to him that it seemed to be missing something, he said he had made it earlier with some apricot liqueur. That might have done the trick, though I mentioned that it might be lovely with some crème de pêche and Fred thought maybe cassis. The cocktail did have a nice chocolate flavor right at the bottom of the glass.

I requested, and graciously received, a sample of the sweet vermouth. It tasted somewhat tropical-fruity to me - Ben popped over at this point and said this vermouth was very "fruit-forward". It was certainly delightful enough for me to want to drink straight on the rocks. I think Sam's intuition was going in the right direction in using this, and the xocolatl too. I'll have to remember to ask him what else he's done with it next time I see him.

I've had stellar tequila cocktails at Eastern Standard (Tom's Jaguar comes to mind) and Green Street (Flora Vieja). I while back I caught Misty in a talkative mood behind the bar (normally she's admirably focused, and busy, while she's working). She had mixed me up a tequila-based cocktail she'd been working on and had not yet named (for some odd reason I decided to hold off on the review until she names it). She also finds tequila tough to mix, though it mixes surprisingly well with St. Germain. Autumn offers up many opportunities to mix in some funky flavors - pumpkin spice, praline, apple - and I think with some work tequila can make the transition from a summer drink.

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