Wednesday, December 23, 2009

el elevado

For last week's TDN the theme was, well, there was no theme, it was a free for all where you could use any ingredients.  It was called "Retro", I gathered because back when they first started before I began playing along they had no themes.  Here was my first offering:
el elevado
  • 2 oz crema de mescal
  • ½ oz aquavit
  • 1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • ¾ oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz Cointreau
  • ½ oz yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 dash celery bitters
  • celery stalk for garnish
shake and strain into Nambé Tilt DOF Glass over fresh (large) rock(s), garnish with celery stalk
I based this on the excellent Loop Tonic by Phil Ward of Mayahuel.  (Although I'm ashamed to admit I've not yet made it there, and in fact had the drink at Momofuku ssäm bar, where I am not ashamed to admit I go quite often, and which now has a very nice cocktail program including not only superb new concoctions such as the celery&nori (nori-infused laird's applejack, celery syrup, celery bitters), but pays tribute with some highlights from other notable dens, as well as properly crafted classics.)  The "Loop" reminds me of Chicago, which made me think of the El trains, and the mescal is Mexican, which is how the name el elevado found its way to my mind's egress.  From the link above:
Loop Tonic
  • 2 oz Heradura Silver
  • 1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • ¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz green Chartreuse
  • Dash of the Bitter Truth celery bitters
  • One celery stalk
Combine all the liquid ingredients in a shaker. Add about 5 ice cubes and shake vigorously for 5–10 seconds. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with the celery stick.
The final version of mine didn't land as far away from the Loop Tonic as I had intended and would have liked.  I was hoping I could cut out the simple and dial back the chartreuse and use the 10% agave in the crema and addition of aquavit to achieve a similar balance of sweetness and herbal complexity, but it needed further tweaking and this is where it led me.  Other than the smoke from the mescal, it has only very subtle differences from the Loop, with perhaps a bit more richness.  But that said, the Loop is great, and smoke is nice, so a smoky Loop is not so bad, just not as original as would be ideal.

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