Monday, December 12, 2011

julep en fuego

2 oz Booker's Bourbon
3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1/2 oz Mint Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Angostura Bitters
1 dash Cholula Hot Sauce

Muddle 10-12 mint leaves in a Julep cup. Add rest of ingredients and crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frosted over, and then top with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprigs and hot pepper rings, and add straws.

For my second drink at No. 9 Park, bartender Ted Kilpatrick bounced a few ideas and the one that appealed to me was a spicy and flavorful Julep that he had made for Noel, one of the regulars. When he made this drink previously, he had included orgeat in the ingredients; however, this time, he decided to leave it out in favor of more overproof spirit. Ted was unsure of the name and mentioned that Julep Agresivo and Julep Peligroso were in the running to warn people of its potency and spice, but he later liked my suggestion of Julep en Fuego.
The Julep's aroma was a combination of the herbal mint and the sweet, vegetal red pepper slices that were garnishing the drink. The Bourbon flavors were strangely constrained to the sip for me, while the Smith & Cross Rum and Angostura Bitters filled the swallow. Lastly, the Cholula came across as a lingering light level of heat, and I was quite pleased that it did not inflict the suffering that the phrase "...and a dropper of hot sauce" can sometimes accompany. I had to agree with one of Ted's observations; Ted found it interesting how the Cholula interacted with the Angostura Bitters: while the pepper made the mouth water, the bitters countered it by drying the palate.

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