Monday, March 9, 2009

Mixology Monday: First Time

This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by LUPEC Boston (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails), who chose the theme “First Time.” And they’re not referring to the first time you drank one too many rum and cokes—they meant what drink you’d choose to serve a “first time” cocktail drinker. I found this one kind of tricky, because usually those non-drinkers are a tough crowd. You have to start with something a little sweet; strong also, but not too overpowering. Then comes the part where you have to weed out certain liquors that people have pre-conceived notions about. Someone who might never have tried whiskey before will certain not hesitate to tell you that they “don’t think they’d like that sort of thing.” So that leaves you trying to make a sweet, well-balanced drink, with somewhat neutral spirits that will have the non-drinker hooked for life. Don’t despair—I didn’t make a Cosmo if that’s where you thought I was headed. I’m just not that kind of person. Instead I went for one of my favorite classics, the Singapore Sling. It makes the perfect “gateway” cocktail: sweet and fruity, with nice acidity, and it doesn’t skimp on the booze. There’s also the fact that people are easily seduced by small paper umbrellas.

The Singapore Sling
adapted by Alpha Cook

1 ½ ounces gin
½ oz cherry brandy (such as Cherry Heering)
½ oz Benedictine
½ oz Cointreau
1 ½ ounces pineapple juice
¾ oz fresh lime juice
2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Soda water, to taste
Dash of homemade grenadine for extra color (optional)

Bar tools: hand juicer, shaker.

Shake all ingredients through Peychaud’s bitters. Pour into a high-ball or hurricane glass filled with ice. Top with seltzer and add grenadine if desired. Stir gently. Garnish with fruit (orange, cherry, pineapple) and umbrella.

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