My interest in savory drinks is well-established, so it was with great pleasure that, on Friday night, at Bluebird Tavern, I encountered not one, but two savory drinks worth talking about. The first drink, The Mansfield, relied heavily on wild mushroom-infused gin, and was certainly interesting. However, I found it too sweet, and didn’t taste what I presume was meant to be balance from bitters and a balsam fir-infused vodka. I think it could have been better with less sweet, more bitter, and more savory.
The second, however – the Spring Onion – was a revelation. It was more or less a gin smash, but with parsley, and, in retrospect, a healthy dose of pickling juice from the onion garnish. I’d never even thought of using parsley in a drink, but it paired absolutely beautifully with the gin. Since the Roommate is sick, I figured he could use the vitamin C from the parsley in this one.
Spring Fling (reverse-engineered from Bluebird Tavern)
- 2 oz gin (Plymouth)
- 3/4 oz white vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
- 1 barspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2-3 tablespoons parsley
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake like a palsied oldster, but much, much harder. Pour unstrained into a rocks glass.
The parsley is absolutely brilliant; paired with gin it tastes even fresher than cilantro, something I wouldn’t have credited if I hadn’t tasted it myself. The salt and vinegar are just to provide balance to the central pairing here. The only change I’d make is, possibly, to shake with a small amount of scallion greens as well, or, ideally, a pickled ramp or onion.