Saturday, February 15, 2014

domino sour

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LXXXII) was picked by Andrea of the GinHound blog. The theme she chose was "Sours," one of the most basic of the classic drink styles and often one of the most accessible. Andrea elaborated on the theme with her description of, "Some of the most iconic cocktails are Sours... There is a reason for this: A perfectly balanced sour is a work of art. What has happened to the Margarita shows exactly what is at stake when mixes replace bartender skill. For this month's MxMo I suggest that we test the sour to the limit: Are there citrus besides lemon, lime and grapefruit that works in a Sour? Is citrus the only possible souring ingredient? Could vinegar or other tart fruits or vegetables be used? Let's also include the Daisies and the Fizzes -- that widens the playing field with eggs and whatever makes you fizz to play with..."

When reading through the theme, I thought about using a strange citrus and seeing how it would fit in. I recalled some of Stephen Shellenberger's drinks that used sour oranges that happen to be in season right now; however, I could not stomach a tense trip into Somerville's combative Market Basket in Union Square to search them out. I also had already tinkered with vinegar sours, and I still make a gin or vodka drink like that one using crisp manzanilla sherry balanced by sugar (2 1/2 oz spirit, 1 oz manzanilla, 1/2 oz simple, lemon twist) at work. In the end, I decided to search my library for a Sour. I started with Ensslin and eventually found my way to the more modern World's Best Cocktails where I spotted a Daisy named as a Sour.
Domino Sour
1 1/2 oz Havana Club Selección de Maestros Rum (Turkey Shore Tavern Style)
1/3 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/3 oz Apricot Brandy (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/3 oz Simple Syrup
1/6 oz Mezcal (Sombra)
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
The Domino Sour was created by Alex Orwin, then the bar manager of Milk & Honey and The Player in London. I originally had passed over the recipe since we did not have access to this Cuban rum and the review I read then did not make it sound like we had anything to match that flavor profile. This time, I spotted a review from the RumHowler, a Canadian who has access to this forbidden (to us) island. His description of the toffee notes reminded me of the butterscotch ones in Turkey Shore's aged Tavern Style rum. While no perfect match given the rest of the flavor profile, a cocktail needed to be made.
The Domino Sour began with a butterscotch and smoke nose that showcased a fruit note from the sherry and/or apricot liqueur. A lemon and grape sip gave way to a rum swallow with smokey mezcal accents and a delightful nutty sherry and apricot combination. Indeed, the mezcal functioned here to donate a smoke and mineral aspect to the drink that provided a lot of depth. Moreover, the oxidized sherry and apricot brandy duo worked excellently here as it has in the Daly Fix, Muckraker Punch, and other libations. Overall, there was a lot more going on here than a simple Rum Sour like a Daiquiri, but given the event description, this one fit in just fine.

Thanks to Andrea for hosting Mixology Monday again and getting me to try a recipe that I had neglected due to the intimidation factor of a call for rare spirit, and thanks to all of the MxMo participants for keeping this event going month after glorious month. Cheers!

1 comment:

Doug Winship said...

Well, I have neither of those rums, so if I try this, it'll be... carefully.
On the other hand, it has R&W apricot brandy, which is becoming my new secret bartender's ketchup. Love that stuff.