Editor's Note: It's Friday, and it's been a long week - we could all probably use a drink. Here to help us is Greg Best, the mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta. Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.
This drink was conceived in an effort to be contrarian to the contrarians. It’s no secret that there are many affiliated to bar culture who can’t help but cringe when the word "vodka" is mentioned in their presence. I’ve never understood this, because it’s the first thing most drinking folks ask for. Sure, I understand that it’s not the most expressive or exciting spirit to play with, but let’s face it, it’s not going anywhere.
Enter the Punch Wagon. Delightfully refreshing, bright and snappy, this is a perfect example of what I’d call a "gateway cocktail," or "trust-building drink." Using well-known ingredients in a playful recipe allows for the feel of a user-friendly cocktail experience without some of the more eccentric trappings that we drink geeks are prone to.
While you were scribbling down your 2013 resolutions, is there any chance you thought to include "Get really good at making cocktails"? Nope?
Well, the year is young and we're here to help: "we" being Turner's photography director Mark Hill and Greg Best, mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta.
In a 62-33 vote, Louisiana House of Representatives declared the Sazerac to be New Orleans' official cocktail. It's a potent blend of rye whiskey, sugar, two kinds of bitters (including the city's native Peychaud's), lemon peel and a little hint of absinthe. For many years, that last one got in the way because it was banned in the United States. New Orleanians made do with Herbsaint - a kindred licorice-tasting pastis - until absinthe's legality was reinstated in 2007.