Our latest cocktail isn’t our first “sour”, as even a margarita is by most accounts a “sour”, but it’s the first on our list to include the word “sour” in its name – probably owing to the egg whites that are commonly associated with classic sours.
It’s named after one of Mexico’s great politicians, Benito Juárez, who served as both Governor of Oaxaca and President of Mexico at different times in the mid-1800’s. His legacy is one of progressive reform – he was a great champion of the rights of indigenous peoples and worked tirelessly for democracy and separation of church and state. Chef Matt suggested that we call the drink “Benito and the Jets”, a name that landed on the cutting room floor but is pretty damn funny.
To make the spiced berry sour, blueberries and blackberries are cooked down with toasted cardamom, cinnamon, allspice and clove, then turned into a compote with sugar and cold set. This brew is then blended with strawberry rhubarb tea and citrus to make a sour. The berry sour is mixed with Pinot noir (!) for front end brightness and dry finish, mezcal to fortify and add smoke, egg white for texture & to round edges and “snake root bitters” (snake root tincture + Creole bitters) for aromatics. Pour over a large cube and garnish with a blackberry and voilà, a Juárez Sour.
Every once in a while a really special cocktail comes out of the lab – this is definitely one of them!
JP (with input from Matthew Campbell)