Friday, October 7, 2011

fernet piña colada (no. 34)

1 oz Spiced Rum (Kraken)
1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Coconut Cream
3 oz Pineapple Juice

Shake with ice and strain into an crushed ice-filled Tiki mug, Collins, or other ~12 oz glass. Garnish with a paper umbrella and/or a pineapple wedge and cherry; add a straw.

Two weeks ago, when I was shown the complete list of drinks that appeared on the Hungry Mother cocktail menu, my eyes zoomed in on the No. 34 which was described as a Fernet Piña Colada. Thus, I requested it that night, but bartender Heather Mojer declared that not only did they not have the ingredients at the bar to make it, but the recipe was not even in the bar book. She later flagged down Alon Munzer, one of the restaurant's owners. Alon described how the drink was placed on the menu when Hungry Mother first opened. It was summer and Alon had a bag of paper parasols, so he asked the bartenders to come up with a drink to match the season and the festive garnish. While he could not remember the exact recipe either, he recalled that the ingredients were Coco Lopez, pineapple juice, Sailor Jerry, and Fernet Branca. With that general recipe in mind, I looked to Trader Vic and Beach Bum Berry; both had a 2 oz spirit and 1 oz coconut cream but varied by the amount of pineapple juice. I opted for a 3 oz portion between Vic's 2 1/2 oz and Berry's 5 oz measures.
The drink greeted the nose with Fernet's menthol aroma. Pineapple dominated the sip, and the coconut appeared on the swallow with a lingering Fernet flavor at the end. Overall, the Fernet Piña Colada was a lot less Fernet-y than we expected it would be, and it was very similar to the Fernet Painkiller-like Beach Cruiser by Chad Arnholt. However, the Beach Cruiser definitely had a larger rum signature than this drink did; perhaps something more robust like Zaya would work well here too.

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