This past Saturday night we were out with friends at our very favorite spot in Philadelphia. I’m never disappointed there, and this weekend was no exception. What wowed me this time was an exchange I watched between one of the bartenders and a woman who happened to be sitting to the left of us. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to order and was trying to explain to him what she thought she might like. He listened, took it all in, and then asked, “Do you trust me?” Of course she answered yes. He exudes so much confidence and professionalism as a bartender that no other reply would make sense. As soon as he started pulling together the ingredients for the drink, I had an inkling as to what he was going to make. Sure enough he placed it down in front of her and said, “This is called Naked and Famous – it’s from the Death & Co. Modern Classic Cocktails book.” I think my heart skipped a beat. I had been planning to talk about this very cocktail on the blog this week and here I was with the chance to see it made by a truly great bartender! It couldn’t have been more perfect.
What originally intrigued me about this drink was its name, for starters, and the fact that in addition to mezcal, it contains 2 ingredients that I absolutely love: Aperol and Yellow Chartreuse. Add to that the fact that Joaquín Simó, the Death & Co. bartender who created this cocktail, describes it as “the bastard child born out of an illicit Oaxacan love affair between the classic Last Word and the Paper Plane,” both of which were drinks I had already made here at home. It was all too good to pass up! Aperol brings bittersweet oranges to the table, and Yellow Chartreuse contributes saffron, honey, and spice, both of which play against the smokiness of the mezcal. And it’s a gorgeous drink to look at. Death & Co. calls for Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal, but I only had the Del Maguey Vida on hand. The Chichicapa ia a bit pricey, but if you want to splurge, I’m in no position to judge. Have you seen my bar cabinet?
Naked and Famous
3/4 oz Dey Maguey Vida Mezcal
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 fresh lime juice
Place all the ingredients in the bottom half of a shaker and then add your 1 large cube and 2 small. Shake for 15—20 seconds or until cold. If you don’t have any large format cubes on hand, then fill the shaker 2/3 full with regular ice. Double strain using a Hawthorne and a mesh strainer and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy!
Check back tomorrow for my Thursday Barlogue post about ROOT Restaurant in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia.