I want all of you to dig deep, steeled by last month’s MxMO, and find your spring break drink! What sort of drinks do you enjoy when you start to break out of your winter shell? Do you crave a return to gin and tonics? Is there a drink that calls to you as the weather warms and the sun creeps through the sky longer and longer? Perhaps there is a drink that you fondly recall from your days of being a callow youth on Spring Break that led you down this primrose cocktail path? Do you turn to a specific cocktail throughout this blustery winter to keep your dreams of spring alive? Do you crave a new cocktail taking you away? This is the month to to share those warm weather finds!
With that as our goal, we set out to concoct a drink for Spring Break.
For the two of us Spring Break was never a thing. It was nice to have a break from school, but we never really did any wild and crazy things (at least not specifically for Spring Break ;)). However, we do enjoy the return of warmer weather, and with it a return to more fruity, citrus-y warm weather drinks (not that we mind the darker, more spirit-forward drinks of the winter, which we happily consume year round).
As Joel suggested, tiki is an excellent cocktail category for Spring Break, so we thought we’d wander that path for today’s offering. We both like Missionary’s Downfall for it’s use of fresh fruit and mint, but we weren’t quite in a mood for crushed ice today. Instead we used it as an inspiration for a slightly more refined drink, keeping the mint and lime, but subbing other ingredients for a slightly sweeter, heavier-bodied cocktail.
- 3 oz mango mint puree (*)
- 2 oz dark rum
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- ~1/2 oz simple syrup (start with 1/4 oz and adjust, depending on the sweetness of the mango)
- 1/4 oz 151 rum
- 1 bar spoon absinthe
- 1 dash barrel aged aromatic bitters (We used the Bitter Housewife barrel aged aromatic bitters, which has pronounced vanilla and spice notes. Angostura or anything with sweet baking spice notes will work if you can’t get any of the Bitter Housewife)
Shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into a glass. Garnish by floating a mint leaf on top.
*Make the puree by blending either 3/4 cup of diced, very ripe mango (for a fresher taste) or 3/4 cup of bottled mango puree (easier!) with 3+ large sprigs of mint, depending on how minty you like it.
- Nose: Mango, mint, vanilla, lime, molasses, spicy aromatics from the bitters.
- Palate: Mango, orange and vanilla to start. Mint, dark sweet oak and molasses on the mid-palate. Lime at the end of the mid-palate and into the finish, along with dry spices from the bitters. Absinthe is very subtle but helps tie things together and gives the mint more pop. Really nice vanilla aftertaste. Heavy body from the pureed fruit.
There you have it, our tiki-inspired booze-y drink with mango and mint. What’s especially interesting for us is how the absinthe brings the mint forward even though it isn’t really noticeable in the drink itself. Without the absinthe, it just wasn’t as minty. Note to ourselves to experiment with that combination some more.
Thanks to Joel for hosting this month, and thanks as always to Fred for keeping the party going. Until next time, cheers.