Welcome, once again, to Mixology Monday, the monthly online cocktail party. This month, our host DJ Hawaiian Shirt at Spirited Remix starts the new century of MxMO with a challenge:
It really irritates me when people dismiss an ingredient. Whether it’s too ordinary, or difficult, or inconsistent, or overpowering, I can’t help but feel such conclusions are lazy and defeatist. Your theme this month is “Orange Juice,” an ingredient I too often see derided or ignored when it comes to thoughtful mixology. Surely an assembly of such mixological brawn as MxMo can find or create a delicious way to mix OJ, right?
So … Orange Juice? That isn’t an ingredient I think much of to be honest. I stopped by a few shops to see if there were any horribly out of season Blood Oranges lingering around to let me stretch the theme a little, but that option didn’t even appear. Dealing with orange juice got me thinking to one of the few cocktails I’ve ordered with OJ – The Bronx.
Pretty straightforward, isn’t it? Okay, maybe not. Once I was thinking about the Bronx, I remembered the Income Tax Cocktail.
What do you know … those are pretty similar, don’t you think? Maybe there is something in the ratio and ingredients here that works particularly well with Orange Juice. I set my mind to come up with a variation, but keeping our MxMO C – Cocktail Chronicles tenants in mind, tried to stay classic and reproducible while also providing a Remix in honor of our host this month. While I do love my gin, I thought I should stretch my wings a little bit and settled on introducing some tequila to the mix. Tequila works well with Orange Juice and orange flavors when you consider the Tequila Sunrise and Margarita. Next, I decided to keep the vermouths because I love vermouth and I had open bottles of both sweet and dry in my fridge. Finally, I wanted to give this a little bit more of an edge, so I decided to add some lime juice to the overall mix to help match everything up with the tequila. Cherry bitters were my attempt to thrown in a harmonizing element the rest of the drink would play against.
Now for a name – The Sales Tax Cocktail it is! This is a more assertive drink than the Income Tax cocktail while retaining the same basic form. We can debate tax policy some other time, for now as a riff off the Income Tax we will go with the Sales Tax
Orange Juice Notes
I had some fairly generic navel oranges from a megamart to use here. They provided decent juicing, but the flavor was a bit more subdued than I wanted. That is why I upped the orange juice component here from 1 ounce to 1.25 ounces. If you have exceedingly fresh and flavorful oranges, you may be able to stick with 1 ounce.
Lime Juice Notes
I started with .75oz of lime juice in the cocktail the first run through, but the lime was taking over too much. This is supposed to be an orange juice drink and not a generic citrus drink.
Sales Tax Cocktail
- 1.5oz Tequila
- 1.25oz Orange Juice
- .5oz Lime Juice
- .25oz Dry Vermouth
- .25oz Sweet Vermouth
- 2 Dashes Cherry Bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, two-thirds filled with ice.
- Shake. We are using citrus juice after all
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist
This cocktail retains a bit of a backbone or bite that the lime juice provides creating a sharper structure than would be present without it. The orange juice comes through nicely as the primary sweetener and flavoring agent detecable on the tongue. Both the vermouths fade into the background and play supporting roles offering some additional complexity to the drink. To be honest, I am not sure whether the cherry bitters did much. There was a sweetness and earthiness in the drink but it could have been from the vermouths. I may have to experiment some more.
Thanks to DJ Hawaiian Shirt for hosting this month, and Fred for herding the cats that makeup the cocktail party-goers for Mixology Monday!