Friday, September 2, 2011

south of no north

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Espolón)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup 1:1 (Jaggery Syrup)
1/2 oz Cynar
1 oz Coffee (*)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with 2 dashes of chocolate mole bitters (homemade).
(*) Cold-brewed African coffee is recommended here. I used a drip-brewed dark roast blend.

On the Imbibe Magazine website, they posted a new drink by Chris Langston called South of No North in a section on coffee-laden cocktails. Chris is one of the bartenders at 1022 South in Tacoma, Washington, and I had written about one of his drinks in July called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. A few days later, I happened to meet Chris while waiting in line for the "Before Man, the Plant" agave seminar at Tales of the cocktail. One of the allures of the South of No North is the pairing of coffee with Cynar for I have noted coffee notes in Cynar drinks like the Cynar Julep and Andrea has noted that Cynar reminds her of Autocrat coffee syrup such as in her post on the Sous le Soleil. The other allure is that there is a collection of Charles Bukowski's short stories under that name; while Imbibe Magazine gave no hint of the name's genesis, the collection is riddled with coffee (and booze) allusions.
The South of No North began with a mingling of tequila, Cynar, and chocolate aromas. On the sip, the Cynar and jaggery syrup combined to make a rich, almost caramel flavor that was complemented by the bitters' chocolate notes. Next, the Cynar and tequila appeared on the swallow and the egg white functioned to smooth out their edges; finally, the coffee notes lingered as a pleasant aftertaste. Andrea explained her happiness over this cocktail as, "[it's] all of some of my favorite things."

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