Tuesday, August 23, 2016

union mule

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz Laird's Applejack
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass with 1 oz ginger beer. Add ice cubes and float a barspoon of Batavia Arrack.

Two Tuesdays ago, I headed down to Backbar where bartender Sam Cronin was doing his "50 Firsts". The point of the exercise is Backbar's way of training and testing all of their bartenders to make 50 house favorites that include classics and house originals by having friends, regulars, and other bar patrons order and cross off drinks on a list. I arrived shortly after open to get the pick of the litter and I started with one that I had never had before, their Union Mule. The Backbar webpage blog in September 2012 declared, "Or come have our most popular cocktail at Backbar, the Union Mule. So far, two thousand, four hundred and seventy three made and counting. This blend of Beefeater Gin, apple brandy, St-Germain, fresh lemon juice, and house made ginger beer is unbeatable!" Regardless of how their riff on the Moscow Mule sold that many in the 8 or 9 months that they were open (which would only be 10 per day), I had somehow skipped over the drink in favor of the Model T on their opening menu. When I saw the recipe written down, it did remind me of the Pink Lady in structure.
I put Sam to the task, and the Mule he presented me with offered a ginger spice and Batavia Arrack funk bouquet. Next, a lemon and pear flavored sip led into gin, apple, floral, and ginger aromas.

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