May 18, 2018

What I’m Drinking: Skull Sweets with Padre Azul Reposado Tequila

When a bottle shows up at your door wearing a sort-of a leather sheath, stitched up the back like a very cool (and very tough) boot, and having a grinning bronzed skull bottle topper, first, you very safely, very slowly, and maybe a little clandestinely, peek outside the door to ensure it wasn’t delivered by someone a bit more menacing then the local postal person. If it wasn’t, then (if you’re me), you take a sip.

If (again, if you’re me) it was a bottle of Padre Azul Reposado tequila, you don’t get the burn or serious kick you might expect from said presentation (though really, it’s a shout out to Mexican Day of the Dead culture), but instead a smooth, layered, sipping tequila, made by hand from 100 percent select blue agave, and aged for eight months in French oak casks. The flavor unfolds beautifully on the tongue, too, with a swirl of vanilla, a little nuttiness, a light herbal-ness, and a hint of smoke. Really, it’s one to have neat or over ice, at least to begin with.

If (a third time) you’re me, however, you can’t resist trying even a tequila or other spirt this fine in a cocktail. At first, because of the leather-jacketing-and-skull-grinning, I thought I’d go the more hard core route, and bring in some serious heat. But then, thanks to that vanilla and other notes, my brain exploded in another direction entirely – chocolate. I actually think tequilas of the right kind make a nice match with chocolate, and here, it’s a lush pairing. A little Cointreau made another swell attendee. I couldn’t completely let go of the spice idea, but wanted it clean and crisp and not annoying, and in that situation only Scrappy’s Firewater habanero tincture will do. One more magical ingredient – Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters, which somehow brings all of the other ones together – and we have a dessert drink fit for a king, no matter what they’re wearing.

skull-sweets
Skull Sweets

Cracked ice
2 ounces Padre Azul Reposado tequila
1/2 ounce crème de cacao
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 dash Scrappy’s Firewater tincture
1 dash Bittermens Xocolati mole bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy, sweets.

May 17, 2013

What I’m Drinking: Coney Island Baby

Okay, this one looks pretty un-2013, with its pairing of out-of-favor-with-snooty-bartenders favorites crème de caco (perhaps the finest drink ingredient to say out loud, if you say it with the right ending emphasis) and peppermint schnapps. Between us, I haven’t consumed as much peppermint schnapps in the last 28 years as I did 29 years ago. Maybe there’s a correlation there? Who knows? However, with the sun starting to shine and the temperature starting to go up, it’s good to get the Coney Island Baby into your repertoire, because it’s an ideal thirst quencher for the summer months. Refreshing, minty, and working well with white outfits, and from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz, forget about your schnapps bias and stock up for summer. You’ll thank me later.

Coney Island Baby

Cracked ice

2 ounces white crème de cacao

1 ounce peppermint schnapps

Ice cubes

Chilled club soda

Fresh peppermint sprig, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the crème de cacao and peppermint schnapps. Stir well.

2. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the mixture over the ice. Fill the glass almost to the top with club soda. Stir, and garnish with the peppermint.

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