Monday, July 18, 2011

horace gray

1 1/2 oz Old Raj 110 Gin (*)
1 1/2 oz Loomi Black Lime Tea (**)
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Orgeat Syrup
3-4 leaf Mint

Shake with ice and double strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint and add a straw.
(*) They make a variation of the Horace Gray with Appleton 12 Year Rum instead of gin.
(**) Made out of crushed up dried black lime (lumi) steeped as a tisane.

For my second drink at Clio, bartender Randy Wong recommended the Horace Gray. Horace was a Boston-born, Harvard-educated intellectual who later became an Associate Supreme Court Justice. Besides associating with the Saturday Club of Boston with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Horace was best known for being the father of the Boston Public Gardens. Through his vision, efforts, and personal wealth, the swamp next to the Boston Commons was drained and converted into a horticultural wonder of the day.
Randy mentioned that there were two variations of the Horace Gray drink -- one with Appleton 12 Year Rum and the other with Old Raj 110 Gin. Since my last cocktail was rum based, I opted to switch over to gin. Once mixed, the mint garnish greeted the nose and the sip was a tea-like lime flavor. Next, the swallow was a bit more complexly flavored with apricot, mint, gin, and orgeat notes. Overall, the gin kept the drink on the lighter side, and the black lime tea and ice melt provided a softer drink than the Yellow Mist. Moreover, the tea and overproof spirit helped to dry out the liqueur and orgeat's sweetness.

1 comment:

Randy said...

Hi Fred - I'm so glad you documented this drink. I was searching high and low in my notebooks for the recipe, and of course, here it is!

I want to clarify the story behind the drink though. There are actually two people named Horace Gray. There's the philanthropist, who founded the Boston Public Garden, and there's his son, the judge. This drink was named for Boston Public Garden founder. I would walk through the Gardens every day on my way to/from work, and started learning about flowers native to MA. Anise Hyssop is one such flower; it is also a supportive pollinator. The flower is blueish purple and stands out nicely in contrast to the grayish cocktail. (That may also be a reason for its name.)

I think I had run out of anise hyssops when you came in, but ideally, that would be the garnish. It tastes a bit like anise and plays well with the other flavors.

I actually made one of these today (nearly 9 years later) and it tasted just as I remembered it. Thank you!