The tequila sunrise is one of the most popular drinks today but also one of the worse. Essentially its cheap alcoholic orange juice complemented by colored sugar water. Not exactly my cup of tea.
When I was working on my column for Serious Eats this was one of the drinks that I had wanted to revive. The problem I had with the drink was the orange juice. In my opinion OJ is one of the hardest citruses to work with when formulating cocktails. It has a tendency to throw your carefully constructed balance out of whack. Orange juice is already perfectly and requires a more delicate balance to make it work in cocktails. Think about how many classic or great cocktails involve fresh squeezed orange juice. Believe me, not many.
So one night when discussing my column with Troy Sidle while sitting at his bar, Pouring Ribbons, this cocktail came up. He stated that he had solved the problem of the OJ by creating an orange cordial made from a base of oleo saccharum, to which a mixture of fresh orange juice (flavor and sweetness) and the fresh lemon juice (sour note).Oleo saccharum is a key component of classic punches. It is made by peeling citrus and gentle muddling it with superfine sugar, before letting it rest for at least in hour. At the end your left with a sweet aromatic base for your punch. When I tasted the orange cordial on its own it had the right mix of sweet orange flavor and sour bite.
The grenadine they use is also slightly tweaked. its made by reducing POM juice by half and adding fresh POM, orange zest, and orange flower water.
Revamped Tequila Sunrise
2 oz Pueblo Viejo Blanco
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orange Cordial
1/2 oz Grenadine
Directions: Add the tequila, lemon juice, and orange cordial to cocktail shaker. Add ice then shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the grenadine and allow it to sink to the bottom. Garnish with a grapefruit peel.
On a recent trip to Pouring Ribbons my brother was looking for something off the menu that was sweet and spicy with Bourbon. Our bartender for the evening, Amanda, served this up. Essentially it is a bourbon smash, with an extra kick, that performs a perfect balancing act between sweet and spicy.
The SS Bourbon
2 oz Bourbon (Bulleit)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Hot Honey
3 pieces of Lemon 8ths (3/4 of a half lemon)
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
1 dash of Cinnamon Bitters
Muddle the lemon with the honey in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the bourbon, bitters, and ice. Shake and strain into an old fashioned glass over a big chunk of ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.
The resulting cocktail is initially sweet and boozy before the hot honey rears it’s head and coats your throat complemented by the acidic bite of lemon. If spicy is your thing then definitely give this one a try. I didn’t have any fresh mint at the time so I garnished it with a lemon wheel.
How to Make Hot Honey
According to Amanda, the hot honey is a blend of Serrano and Habanero chiles with honey that is then strained and mixed in a ratio of 3 parts honey to 1 part water. There is no specific recipe, so you can make the honey as hot or as mild as your taste buds will allow. If you wish to take the easy way out you can try Mikes Hot Honey which this syrup is based upon.
In today’s interview we sit down with Troy Sidle of Pouring Ribbons which recently opened in NYC. In just a short time it has become one of my favorite bars in NYC due to its welcoming atmosphere coupled with exceptional … Continue reading →
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