I will not even begin to go into where I’ve been. It is more exciting than can be described by mere words, mere pale signifiers of meaning. No, Scott Beattie did not beat me into a coma. My cat decided to poop on the floor a lot and friends visited.
Lately, tequila has been on my mind. There are approximately three and a half bazillion premium tequilas now on sale everywhere, including a number in excitingly gun– or… other-shaped bottles, which are to be given as gifts only to the leotarded. Despite its off-putting marketing, tequila is actually delicious, as long as it’s not a mixto (less than 100% blue agave), which are suitable only for winnowing the fraternity population. It, in my opinion, is the perfect summer spirit – as Eric Asimov writes:
I love a good margarita, served straight up with salt, but frankly a great blanco tequila is almost like a margarita without the cocktail additions — the salt and citrus flavors are built in. All it lacks is sweetness.
I think that goes for reposado (lightly aged) tequilas, too. Añejo tequilas, while delicious, are a little too refined (read: usually expensive) for mixing, unless you want a fantastic Manhattan variation. And you can never have too many of those. But everyone these days is all up on the tequila-for-gin variations, and that got me thinking.
An excellent grapefruit-y gin drink (that is not a Salty Dog, which is basically a Paloma but not as good as) is the Jasmine, one of the first drinks I had in my serious drinking career (at the Slanted Door, of course). There seems to be some internet-controversy over the proportions for the drink, with a number of recipes (encouraged by Robert Hess) upping the amount of Cointreau and Campari to (for me) sickeningly sweet levels. I much prefer the original Paul Harrington recipe (Hess provides it in the first comment to that video), which gives a dry, sour cocktail similar to the Pegu Club (well, given the number of variations, it’s gotta be similar to at least one of them, right?) with Campari standing in for the aromatic and orange bitters.
Anyway, long story short, I was thinking about tequila as I did dishes amazingly cool things that the government won’t let me talk about, and realized that the Jasmine was just begging to have tequila subbed into it. And thus was born… El Jazmín (it’s in Spanish because it’s tequila!).
- 1 1/2 oz reposado tequila (Sauza Hornitos)
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 1/4 oz Cointreau
- 1/4 oz Campari
Shake all ingredients well, with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
As you might imagine, this is a fairly sour drink, but that’s what you need on a hot day, and I can’t imagine a better combination than grapefruit and tequila. This drink won the night at the bar, beating out perennial favorite (for the three of us who know how to make it) The 20th Century.