And drinks? Ah, man. There, too. We make a drink we like and that’s it. That’s what we drink. We got so stuck on Kentucky mules last year that I can barely stomach the thought of one more. Gallons, literally, of Buffalo Trace bourbon went down our throats on that one cocktail. Anyone who came over was offered a bourbon-and-ginger-beer combo. That’s not to say I’m sick of bourbon, that I grew weary of the bitters in it, or that the mule is a bad drink. Far from it. I just wanted a break from the monotony of it.
Beachbum Berry Remixed. At the bar, Berry reports that it’s on the menu as the Kerala. Regardless of the name, it’s a great little cocktail that relies on not just bourbon, but — in an uncommon and, in some quarters, controversial move — bourbon and rum in the same glass.
The rum is The Scarlet Ibis, a 98 proof blend of Trinidadian rums made specifically for Death & Company. Imported by Eric Seed of Haus Alpenz, The Scarlet Ibis is available commercially, though in limited quantities. In a pinch, Berry suggests, one could substitute either Sea Wynde or Santa Teresa 1796. When I cranked out a round of apricot-colored Punky Monkeys last night, I had no Buffalo Trace on hand, so mixed equal parts Wild Turkey 101 and Bulleit bourbons. What the hell: I was already putting blended rum in the glass, why not blended whiskey?
Purists be damned, this was a delicious drink.
Joaquin Simo’s Punky MonkeyNote: If you scale up, go easy on the cardamom. A little goes a long way, so if, say, you quadruple the recipe, maybe only double the spice.
1 oz Scarlet Ibis rum (see above)
l oz 90-proof bourbon (Buffalo Trace preferred)
½ oz sugar syrup
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz fresh pineapple juice
Dash Angostura bitters
Dash Peychaud's bitters
5 green cardamom pods
Lightly muddle the cardamom pods. Add all other ingredients, then shake well with ice cubes. Strain through a fine-mesh wire sieve into a champagne coupe.
Goes wells with:
- In San Diego? Drop by our favorite neighborhood joint, Carnitas' Snack Shack. Pork belly, stellar burgers, foie gras different ways, steak sandwiches, poutine (alas, no poitin, but the pulled pork topping softens that particular blow). Our first week in the new house, we got takeout from this little North Park gem four times.
- In New York? Mosy on by Death & Company to whet your whistle. There's a no reservations policy, but get in early and you should be fine.
- Looking for a birthday present for me? Aw, how sweet. I'll take some Scarlet Ibis. Go ahead and get one for yourself, too, at K&L.