May 4, 2012
Last week I wrote about the classic 20th Century cocktail, and this week we move into modern times with the 21st Century. The 21st Century is Jim Meehan’s tequila-inspired update on the 20th Century which he created when he was a bartender at Audrey Saunders’ Pegu Club. The timing is serendipitous for tequila drinkers who want to venture beyond the Margarita on Cinco de Mayo.
2 oz Siete Leguas Blanco tequila
0.75 oz Marie Brizard crème de cacao
0.75 oz lemon juice
Pernod, to rinse coupe
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glassware: chilled coupe
Method: Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled, Pernod-rinsed coupe.
Rinsing a glass with a particular spirit (usually high proof or assertive ones such as absinthe or a smoky Scotch) is a technique used to impart the subtle notes of that spirit into a cocktail without using too much— sometimes even a dash can be too much in a drink. After the glass has been rinsed, the cocktail is then poured into the glass.
There are two ways to do this. The first is to simply pour a bit into the glass, swirl it around, and dump out the excess. The second — and less wasteful — is to first pour the spirit into a mister, and then simply spray once or twice into your glass. The mister is also helpful if you want to impart a particular top aroma to a drink. Instead of rinsing the glass, you’d simply apply the spray atop the drink after straining. The mister is also useful as a makeshift blowtorch when using really high proof spirits. But that’s for another day.
Whereas the 20th Century is more honeyed and floral, the 21st Century is earthy and subtly herbal. The earthy, woody notes of agave replace the ethereal and peppery gin, and the honeyed, floral notes of Lillet are replaced by the herbal tinge of anise from the Pernod. The 21st Century is a dryer cocktail than its predecessor, but it maintains the same refreshing quality and simplicity of the classic.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography.
**Got a question? He can be found on twitter @paystyle, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply drop him a comment below.