Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's like antidisestablishmentarianism, but with more bourbon...

Bourbon + Tartan
A Drunken Sailor?:
So, I recently went to Flora for the first time.  I got a currently-off-menu-but-soon-to-return cocktail called the Trailer Smash.  It was awesome, and a bit different, so I decided to attempt my own tonight.  The word (from Phil, bartender extraordinaire) is that it's simply Buffalo Trace, lemon, maple syrup, and mint, muddled (shaken?) and strained into a rocks glass.  A little googling led me to find many recipes for classic 'smash' cocktails, along with a few locals trying to recreate the Flora original.  Here's my first attempt, along with some thoughts on it's hits and misses...

2 oz Buffalo Trace
1 oz Maple Syrup
.85 oz Lemon Juice
1 Sprig Mint

Combine ingredients and muddle in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake well.  Strain onto fresh cubes in a rocks glass.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

First of all, this is a great cocktail, and a tip of the hat goes to Phil, or whichever cocktailor at Flora created this one.  However, I think it's slightly too sweet as I prepared it.  A lot of 'smash' recipes seem to call for a 4-2-1 ratio of liquor-syrup-acid.  Commonly it's some type of whiskey, a simple (1:1) syrup, and lemon.  Maybe I'm just a huge lush and perpetually stricken with scurvy, but I actually added about 70% more lemon juice than most recipes (and in truth, a touch under 1 oz of maple syrup), and I still think it could be brighter and bourbonier.  Yup, bourbonier.  That said, I still enjoyed it.  And as the ice melted a bit the cocktail definitely opened up.  Also, the fresh mint with the lingering rich maple...yeah buddy!

Sap Racism:
An important note on maple syrup...if you buy "Grade A" (Fancy, Light Amber, or Amber) maple syrup, you might as well just hand me your wallet and give me power of attorney; you have no business tending to your own affairs.  "Grade B" (dark) real maple syrup is generally cheaper, has way more maple flavor, and will literally kick your ass if you try to put it on an undercooked waffle.

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