Saturday, July 20, 2013

chutes & ladders

1 1/2 oz Zapopan Blanco Tequila
1 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a single Old Fashioned glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

One of the first drinks I created while working at Russell House Tavern was inspired by the untouched bottles of Kronan Swedish Punsch we had on hand that needed some love. I decided to riff on the Metexa from the Café Royal Cocktail Book. Taking that 1937 classic and making it less aperitif-like and more citrus-driven like a Margarita, the recipe began to take shape. I originally wanted to call the drink "(In the) Basement of the Alamo" but that seemed to long; not wanting to drop the pop culture aspect (but sadly dropping the Peewee Herman angle), I dubbed it Chutes & Ladders. The first person I made it for was Estragon's Sahil Mehta who visited me one afternoon; he enjoyed it so much that the person sitting next to him asked for a sip and then declared that he wanted one as his next drink. With KoldDraft cubes, the balance was spot on, but when I made it for Sam Gabrielli a few days later when we had only hotel ice, it was a bit more tart so he suggested the dash of simple syrup. I later remade the drink with a barspoon of simple syrup using KoldDraft cubes, and the extra sweetness did no harm and perhaps made the drink a bit more accessible. That time I mixed it for Taylor for the OnTheBar blog when he stopped by to interview me; read the OnTheBar Interview with Fred Yarm here. Perhaps this recipe will make the cut for the next Russell House Tavern cocktail menu in a few weeks...
The Chutes & Ladders began with an orange oil aroma that shared hints of the Swedish Punsch. A lime and citrus wine sip gave way to the tequila and Swedish Punsch-laden swallow. Overall, the cocktail is complex in flavor but without being all that difficult of a drink.

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