Yup, it’s that time of year again, folks! When the managers and other head of house come sniffing around the bar, sizing the cocktail list up, and asking, “What’s on here that’s seasonal?” Christmas is still more than two months away and already Jamie is like, “We should put something on here called Smoking Rudolph or Santa’s Pipe!” She laughs and the other managers chortle and when she walks away I give Trisha and Antonio this look like, “What….”
We’re not going to do that. That’s stupid. That is a stupid name for a cocktail and it’s October. But,we brainstormed.
“We should put something a little more seasonal on there, though,” says Antonio unpacking bottles of beer from their box into the mini-fridge.
“Yeah…” Trish and I say, wistfully, with vacant stares and pause.
Summery items are on the menu, it’s true. We’ve a lot of citrusy drinks, Mezcal with grapefruit and lemon, cocktails made with lemonade and Cointreau. So I thought about it while at our horrendously boring and useless FOH (and for you non-service industry folk out there, that means – Front of House) meeting. I couldn’t get away from the fact that Mezcal paired so well with grapefruit and citrus by cutting its smokiness with sweet acidity, but then I thought of it!
A play on apple cider! Apple cider is sweet and acidic but definitely not summer. After the meeting, Antonio joined me behind the bar to try and play around with the idea. We borrowed apple cider from the dessert chef from the kitchen and she suggested adding an actual red apple to the rim of the glass for color and interest. It was perfect! At the end result, we added a few more ingredients, put it in a rocks glass with ice, and topped it off with a nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, and sugar rim. (We had to use a green apple slice because we had no red in-house). Before Jamie was out the door, I slid the concoction down the bar.
“What’s this?” She asked me from a few feet away, picking up the drink and sniffing it. “It smells pretty!”
Really. She said that. We told her about the drink and she tasted it and lit up like a light bulb. So, anyway, yeah, not to brag, but we’re trying out a new cocktail on the menu and I created it! So next time you come by Esperanza be sure tobe sure to ask about the Oaxacan Christmas.