Washboard Chaz and I have a New York connection. A gentleman I did Shakespeare with up there used to jam with Washboard Chaz when he lived in San Francisco, so we all connected when I moved down here. Chaz doesn’t know yet that I’m creating this drink for him, for the Tin Men, but I can’t wait. Will he like it? Yes. It’s alcohol; he’ll like it [laughs].
Since this is for the Tin Men, it’s served in a tin cup. This drink has a lot of crushed ice, it’s cold, and since it’s hot and muddy and muggy and sno-ball season, I wanted to do a tequila drink, something almost tiki in flavor, margarita-ish, cobbler style, julep-ish, with citrus notes. Although I’m a huge whiskey evangelist—as they call me—I want to let people know that I can make other drinks as well.
I made a vanilla grapefruit cordial that goes in it. A cordial is basically a sweetener. Rose’s [lime] is a cordial. It’s been basterdized a bit; if something’s a liqueur, people might call it a cordial, but cordials are really dealing with sugar content. It could have alcohol; it could have none. Some people will call Frangelico a cordial, but it’s really a liqueur.
I crush the ice with a wooden mallet. Today, I’m using a different bag. I have a special bag, but left it [at home]; it’s basically a tamale bag. When you have the ice in that bag, the bag takes all the extra water away, so you get dry, crushed ice.
I’m not a chest-of-drawers type of bartender. Who is actually going to make vanilla grapefruit cordial at home? If you are, you’re more than welcome to my recipe!
Shake the Devil Off
1/2 ounce Bittermen’s Hiver Amer
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce vanilla grapefruit cordial
Pour all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over a tin cup filled with crushed ice. Pack more crushed ice on top.
Vanilla Grapefruit Cordial
2 large grapefruits
Vanilla sugar (about 1 cup)
Make vanilla sugar a few days in advance by filling a ball jar with regular sugar, pushing in 1-2 vanilla beans; seal and let sit.
Peel grapefruits carefully so as to get as little of the white pith as possible. Juice grapefruits, strain, then measure. Add equal volume of vanilla sugar into a pot, adding juice and peel. Simmer 10-15 minutes to dissolve sugar. Strain and bottle.