Alright, let’s make this quick so I can get back up to date.  The past few days were actually fairly mixed-drink free, since we spent a lot of time going out with friends and, as mentioned earlier, Burlington is not a great town for cocktails.  Nevertheless, there are a couple cocktails that still need mentioning.

Aguamiel (Imbibe magazine):

  • 2 oz blanco tequila (Milagro Reposado)
  • 1/2 oz Cynar
  • 1/2 oz pineapple gum syrup (homemade, w/o gum)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
    Stir with ice, strain into cocktail glasses, garnish with lemon peel.

Sadly, not even the flavor-enhancing properties of salt could save this cocktail from oversweet insipidity.  This may not be entirely the cocktail’s fault; my homemade pineapple syrup was based on a rich syrup base, and so may have been stronger than the drink was built for.  Nevertheless, in retrospect the combination of tequila, Cynar, and syrup would seem to lack balance, although at the time it sounded like a good idea.

Simplified Zombie (Beachbum Berry):

  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz white grapefruit juice (I used pink)
  • 1/2 oz cinnamon syrup (simple syrup + cinnamon tincture*)
  • 1/2 oz 151-proof amber rum (2 parts El Dorado 8, 1 part Wray & Nephew)
  • 1 oz dark Jamaican rum (Appleton V/X)
    Shake with ice, strain into ice-filled goblets (our tiki mugs are mostly for display purposes).  Garnish effusively.

Since this drink was first published in the New York Times while we were living in DC, it’s been my go-to party drink (well, when basil is out of season, at least).  There is something about the combination of grapefruit and cinnamon that works really, really well.  Always a pleasure to make one of these, especially since The Girlfriend finally had enough exotic fruit lying around to meet her exacting garnishing standards.

*Cinnamon tincture: infuse 4-6 cinnamon (cassia) sticks in 8 oz of vodka for 1 week.  Strain.  Use to create ready-made cinnamon syrup without having to take up valuable space in your tiny refrigerator.  Also good in Manhattans.