Thursday, May 12, 2011

needle in the hay

1 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers Corn Whiskey
1 oz Cherry Heering
1 oz Martini & Rossi Rose Vermouth
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 dash Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

One of the other drinks we had at Toro was the Needle in the Hay. Bartenders Andy McNees and Ian created and named the drink, respectively, and modeled the drink after the Blood and Sand. Instead of Scotch, Andy chose a whiskey made here in Massachusetts by the Berkshire Mountain Distillers. The whiskey is made out of corn harvested within 2 miles of the distillery and is aged with oak and cherry wood. With two other swaps of rose vermouth and grapefruit juice for the traditional sweet vermouth and orange juice, the Needle in the Hay was born.
The drink started with an orange aroma from the twist. The cherry flavors played a large role where it paired with the grapefruit in the sip and the whiskey in the swallow. Moreover, I was impressed at how well the rose vermouth complemented the Cherry Heering. Over all, the Needle in the Hay was a little crisper and sharper than the original given that grapefruit juice and rose vermouth are more distinctive than orange juice and sweet vermouth in the original.

Post note: Ami Li, one of the blog readers, tweeted about how I missed the Elliot Smith song reference in the drink's name. Thanks for the factoid!

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