There are many things I’ve learned since becoming a cocktail blogger. I’ve learned that the world of spirits, liqueurs, bitters, and mixers is a huge one, with an infinite number of directions to go in. I’ve learned that bartenders love to talk about what they do, especially if you are a person who recognizes how much art there is in making a truly great drink. I’ve learned that the same is true of distillers, and I’ve gained tremendous respect and appreciation for local craft spirits. I’ve learned that spending a night sitting at a great bar really can make you forget your troubles, not because of the alcohol involved, but because of the people you’re there with and the connection you share. I’ve learned that there are times when tequila can make you see things more clearly, that DRAM Apothecary bitters are perfection in a bottle, that I really don’t like cherries as a garnish, and that making the perfect drink for someone brings me an amazing sense of joy. I was surprised to learn that seeing my 1000th follower pop up on Instagram would make me cry, and even more surprised to watch my blog’s numbers climb slowly and steadily each week.
The fact of the matter is that I believe that the universe gives us exactly what we need at exactly the right time. When last summer swung an emotional baseball bat at my head, it was this blog that got me upright again. It was the shot to the heart that I needed, but it couldn’t exist without all of you who actually read what I write every day. I am so incredibly grateful. And I am mildly amused to know that I accompany so many of you to the bathroom each morning! I’ve centered today’s cocktail around an ingredient that never fails to get the heart going: espresso! I’m using it in this drink as a reduced simple syrup instead of going with a coffee liqueur, most of which I really don’t like. I’ve combined it with tequila (for clarity, of course), yellow Chartreuse because it’s like sunshine and warmth, sweet Vermouth for its spicy bitterness, and 2 different types of bitters: DRAM Citrus Medica to brighten everything up, and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole to bring in some chocolate flavor. The egg white (or vegan substitute) in the drink is completely optional; I tasted it without it and liked it just as much. You decide! If you go with the egg white then you can dust the top with some cocoa powder. If not, then I’d use an orange peel as my garnish.
A Shot to the Heart
2 oz Gran Centenario Tequila Blanco
½ oz Sweet Vermouth*
½ oz Yellow Chartreuse
½ oz espresso reduction syrup**
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters (or Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate)
1 dash DRAM Citrus Medica bitters (or orange bitters)
1 oz egg white (or more) or vegan equivalent, like chick pea liquid (optional)
If you are using the egg white, then combine all the ingredients in a shaker tin without ice. Shake vigorously to get the egg white to foam, add the ice and then shake again. Strain into a cocktail, Martini, or Nick & Nora glass. Enjoy!
*Make 1 cup of very strong espresso. Add ¾ of a cup of sugar and heat very gently in a pot until the mixtures thickens and forms a syrup. It should take about 10-12 minutes. Store in a Mason jar in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks.
**Following the Death & Co. lead, I used equal parts of Dolin Rouge and Punt E Mes.
Have a great weekend everyone! See you all on Monday.