Tag Archives: grapefruit

Averna y Tequila

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A while ago the lovely Ginny* over at Coupe Half Full mentioned a full-on cocktail called Averna y Tequila. There’s no messing around here – you can guess the main ingredients by the title – and as I already had both Averna and tequila handy I thought I’d give it a go. The only thing missing was fresh grapefruit juice and enough bravado to try this beast.

As it turned out, I didn’t need the bravado. Although perhaps not a particularly sophisticated cocktail, it’s a very drinkable one. The tequila’s minerality and slight smokiness is highlighted, so if you like tequila there’s a good chance you’ll like this cocktail. And the bitterness of the grapefruit juice is offset by the caramely notes of the Averna, which, despite belonging to the Amari – or bitter liqueur – family, is relatively sweet and flavoursome (it is not as bitter as Campari, for example, the Amari most people are familiar with). The downside? There’s no real mystique about this drink; each flavour is fairly discernible, so when you tell someone what’s in it, there’s only an, ‘Oh right,’ as a response, rather than that lightbulb moment some drinks elicit (you know, that delighted, ‘OH!! Right!’ you sometimes get). Maybe that’s the problem with naming the drink after its principle ingredients – it removes the element of surprise. But if that’s the only problem with this drink then I have no problem with it at all. In fact, I think I might have another. Cheers!

INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz (45ml) silver tequila

1 oz (30ml) fresh grapefruit juice

3/4 oz (22ish ml) Averna

GLASS

Rocks/old fashioned/tumbler

METHOD

Shake all ingredients together with a heap of ice. Strain into a glass that’s half-full of fresh ice. Garnish with a wedge of grapefruit. (In summer, this might be good as a long drink, served in a Collins glass and topped with soda. If we ever get a hot day here – hello, Melbourne, I’m talking to you – I’ll give it a go and let you know the result.)

RECIPE BY

I followed this recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/fwx/drink/ciao-averna-3-great-cocktails-italian-liqueur

CROCODILE PROP BY

The wee beastie in the photo was handmade by the talented Made by Rozzle.

*Not only does she write sublime posts about cocktails, she has Gin in her name. Awesome.

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Rye and Prejudice

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After the success of last week’s Brown Derby, the 52 Cocktails team decided to explore what else can be made with grapefruit juice and brown liquor, partly because the combination worked so well in the aforementioned cocktail and mostly because we had bought a shiteload of grapefruits and had no other good ideas about how to use them. (Turns out they do not make a good substitute for bowling balls. Who knew?) And so we turned to a cute little book called Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle (Running Press, 2013). As you might have guessed, each cocktail’s name is a clever word-play on a novel’s title, such as Gin Eyre, Romeo and Julep and A Rum of One’s Own. Cute, hey? There’s a snappy summary of each novel, too, so you can fudge your way through a conversation about literature’s bigwigs without having to read the classics first. We’ll drink to that. What we probably won’t be drinking to, though, is the recipe for a Rye and Prejudice. Containing only grapefruit juice and rye whiskey, it’s not an Austen-tacious drink, but nor is it a classic; it’s too sour and not nuanced enough for our proud palates. With a couple of modifications (see below) it’s drinkable, but not the kind of thing we’d want to guzzle. Oh well – if we don’t drink many of them, at least we won’t end up with a rip-roaring Northangover Abbey.

RYE AND PREJUDICE

This is a little like one of Pride and Prejudice’s most irritating characters, the busybody Mrs Bennet: sour and boring. See the notes below for how to pep it up a bit.

INGREDIENTS

90ml grapefruit juice

45ml rye whiskey (we used Wild Turkey)

GLASS

Rocks

METHOD

Half-fill a rocks glass with ice. Add ingredients and stir well.

MODIFICATIONS

Ooh, is this drink sour. Unless you feel like re-enacting Pride and Puckeredlips, we suggest you modify it by adding 15 ml sugar syrup and 3 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters (available here). It’s sweeter, and the bitters add some earthy depth and interest to the drink. I guess we’ll call it Emma.

You could also try Emma served tall on crushed ice, topped with soda, though we confess we haven’t tried it that way yet – it might take some Persuasion for us to waste good rye on such an experiment.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

You don’t need much sense or sensibility to make this one.

RECIPE BY

This recipe appears in Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle (Running Press, 2013). Modifications by 52 Cocktails.

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Brown Derby

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Australia is home to many Big Things, such as the Big Lobster (which looks like it should be near the Giant Saucepan but isn’t), the Big Potato (which looks like a giant turd but isn’t) and of course this hugely popular website (which looks like it should be earning its writer millions of dollars but isn’t). Not to be outdone, America is also home to many Big Things, such as the World’s Largest Talking Cow (which sounds like it should be a snarky talk-show host but isn’t), another Big Potato (which also looks like a giant turd but isn’t) and a giant bowler hat (which, because it’s America and they talk funny over there, is called a derby). All of this proves two things: (1) These once popular but now kitsch roadside attractions were once Big Things in more ways than one, and (2) You cannot build a giant potato without it looking like a massive poo. But I digress.

The aforementioned giant bowler (derby) hat was once home to an LA restaurant called – can you guess? – the Brown Derby. Though there is some debate as to its origins, this week’s cocktail was named after it, and it’s so good we here at 52 Cocktails take our hat off to it….although with some reservations (see below).

BROWN DERBY

This is a nicely balanced drink – tart yet sweet, smooth yet tangy. 52 Cocktails first made it as a bulk batch of the recipe found here so we’d have enough for pre-dinner drinks with friends. We recommend you do the same regardless of if you’ve got friends round or if you’re drinking alone, as it’s so good you’ll want more than one anyway. The following quantities serve four generously or six less-generously.

INGREDIENTS

200ml bourbon (we used Old Virginia)

100ml grapefruit juice (we used freshly squeezed ruby grapefruits)

100ml honey syrup (2:1 ratio)

GLASS

Should be a coupe glass. If a picture tells 1000 words, we f*cked up here. Oops.

METHOD

First, make the honey syrup. Combine 65ml honey with 35ml boiling water and stir to dissolve. Let it cool.

Next, squeeze your grapefruits. No, not those grapefruits, pervert, we mean the giant citrus fruit. Strain.

Now combine all ingredients in a giant cocktail shaker, if you have one, or in a clean glass bottle or jar. Shake with ice, strain into a glass and garnish with a strip of grapefruit peel.

NOTE

OK, remember the “…with some reservations” mentioned above? Here we go.

The first time we made a Brown Derby we used fairly cheap bourbon and very cheap honey, the kind that is probably just sugar syrup flavoured with honey, and the result was delicious.

The second time we (foolishly) decided to use higher quality (read: more expensive) ingredients in a vain attempt to improve on an already great drink, opting for yellowbox honey and Buffalo Trace bourbon.

What a mistake.

The second batch somehow tasted dirty, and not in a good way. The honey’s flavour was cloying and the bourbon was almost lost beneath it, leading us to conclude:

There is little point in using fancy bourbon in a cocktail like this one; all you’ll taste is the regret that you wasted a bourbon that should be drunk on ice.

And please, please, do not use artisan honey harvested by hipsters on a rooftop in this drink. Its flavour will be too strong; it will overpower the cocktail and muddy the whole thing. And besides, you don’t want to encourage the hipsters.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY 

Use cheap ingredients and it’ll be the next Big Thing.

RECIPE BY

This version is based on the one that appears on punchdrink.com

PS If you’re wondering why there’s a horse on the cocktail in the photo – that’s because in Melbourne, proud home of 52 Cocktails, derby equates to Derby Day, a horse race that ushers in the Spring Racing Carnival. The SRC is such a Big Thing here that Melburnians get a day off work for the major event, the Melbourne Cup, which is one of the biggest of the Big Things in international horse racing. Yep, that’s the reason. Honest. It is not because we got drunk on the second round of not-as-good-but-we-still-had-to-drink-them Brown Derbies and ended up playing a game of “which plastic object balances best on this glass”. Not at all…

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