Friday, September 5, 2008

Pin It

PluTonic Cocktail

Pluots, those succulent little plum/apricot hybrids, are still in season, so I snagged a half dozen or so of the mottled ones that show up at our local farmers’ market the other day. This batch is extraordinarily sweet and lends itself to eating out of hand. Is my mom around? No? Then I’ll clarify—eating out of hand over the sink.

But in a house where a battery of fantastic liquor seductively whispers your name every day, why not gild lilies? Philadelphia’s Bluecoat American Dry Gin whispered sotto voce so convincingly—and turned out an outstanding foil to the stone fruit; grapefruit bitters and tonic rounded out the drink nicely.

It’s not terribly strong (or, so it might seem at first), but this gin n tonic variant is perfect for a lazy Friday afternoon as the sun shimmies up to the horizon.

Rigid purists will tell you that the PluTonic cocktail, since it contains no citrus, dairy, or eggs, should be stirred or built rather than shaken. Meh. The pluot pulp is so thick that it ought not be built (i.e., all the ingredients assembled in the glass in which the cocktail will be served—who wants to pick all that pulp out of their teeth?) and stirring doesn’t commingle the ingredients as well as they deserve. Do as you like, but if you use a shaker, deploy a Hawthorn strainer when straining so the pulp doesn't clog your shaker.

I don't generally garnish my drinks, but feel free to use a pluot slice, a mint sprig, ramen noodles, or whatever it is the kids are using these days.

PluTonic Cocktail

½ pluot
2 oz gin (Bluecoat)
½ tsp grapefruit bitters*
Tonic (Fever Tree)

Muddle the pluot half in a shaker. Add bitters and gin. Shake with ice. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Top with tonic and give it a swirl.

*A half teaspoon might seem like a staggering overdose of bitters, but Chuck Taggart's recipe (which I modify only slightly) is not as bracing as, say, Angostura, so a heftier dose is not as startling as it might seem at first blush. You might try Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters in their stead, but since I don't have a bottle on hand, I didn't use 'em.


No comments: