Recently I clued in to the fact that I’m not the only person on the web who writes about cocktails. There are many, many others with tons more experience, more recipes in their libraries and in their heads, and many more bottles in their cabinets with which to mix.
For a few moments I was bummed — I’m not original! — but I quickly came to my senses. These are my people! Future friends and mentors all. I’m humbled to be among them.
But not so humble that I won’t jump in the pool with all the rest.
Mixology Monday is a once-a-month series, hosted by a rotating crew, in which everyone blogs about some cocktail or other centered on a common theme. Our hostess this month is the intriguing Gwen of Intoxicated Zodiac. Our theme is: orange.
It’s a big theme, which makes it more challenging. Color, flavor, name, vibe … it’s all in play. The only thing it resists is rhyming. Nothing rhymes with orange.
And but so, I decided to use the opportunity to wander from my beaten path. What would I not ordinarily order ? The easy answer is a Screwdriver. Hmm. That was clearly too simple a drink for this event, but a Tequila Sunrise is very like a Screwdriver and maybe interesting enough, plus I haven’t had one since perhaps 1988.
In fact, it’s more than likely I had one that year, because the movie Tequila Sunrise hit screens then, with Mel Gibson in younger, long-haired glory, and Michelle Pfeiffer so pretty, and Kurt "the Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" Russell, for whom I held a lingering crush. Plus Raul Julia! In retrospect not a great flick, but I liked it then.
Any Tequila Sunrise I drank in 1988 would have used very inexpensive ingredients, so today I decided to live a little with fresh juice and not-so-cheap liqueurs.
Fresh-squeezed orange juice
1.5 oz Herradura Silver tequila
.5 oz Cointreau
Fill a highball glass 2/3 with ice. Add ingredients, stir. Pour Grenadine slowly, let settle, do not stir.
This was tasty, and surely several steps up from others I’d had. But it didn’t seem to capture the spirit of Orange.
Back to the bar. I decided to cross the Tequila Sunrise with a Margarita. Orange instead of lime, adjust proportions to suit, keep the Cointreau for the orangeness, substitute Campari for Grenadine to balance for the extra sweetness. (Bonus: Campari is not as heavy as Grenadine, so instead of dropping straight to the bottom of the glass and forming a strong line between colors, it mingles and mixes. Looks more like the colors of a sunset. Nice.)
2 oz Herradura Silver
.5 oz Cointreau
Juice of 1/4 orange
Put tequila, Cointreau, and juice in a shaker with ice. Shake to combine. Pour into chilled cocktail glass (strain if you dislike pulp). Pour Campari over the back of a spoon, let settle.
This variation was very nice. The first half of the drink is sweet from the juice and Cointreau, and spicy from the tequila. As you drink, you slip into the tangy/bitter half, and finish wanting another.
UPDATE: See a charming summary of all the Mixology Monday participants at Intoxicated Zodiac — complete with links. Cheers!