July 5, 2009

Gotta take the bitter with the sweet...

Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I like to make variations on drinks, swapping out one ingredient for another, seeing what results. Often, the experimentations are the result of stark realities...I don't have any oranges, I'm out of Jamaican rum, I've got three nearly empty bottles that I need to use up, I took a strip of zest from a lemon for my Sazerac, and now I need to use it before it dries up...that last one was what prompted this drink. The original is called the Income Tax Cocktail, which is basically a Bronx cocktail with bitters added. However, I don't have any oranges in the house, and I had a lemon that needed to be used, so I pondered...what's even more apt to put a sour expression on your face than an income tax...why, payroll taxes, of course! How else can you lose a third of your earned income with a few microseconds of calculation time?

Now, let me be clear, I'm not one of those rabid anti-tax goofballs who thinks that nothing good comes of paying state and federal taxes...I willingly concede that there are vital things that my money goes towards; roads, vital infrastructure, that whole "providing for the common defense" thing. But nonetheless, it is a bit disheartening to see that disparity between "Gross Income" and "Net Income" on the check stub. With that in mind, I give you my take on the Income Tax Cocktail:
The Payroll Tax Cocktail

1 3/4 oz London Dry Gin
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
3/4 oz dry vermouth
juice of 1 small lemon, squeezed directly into the shaker
2 bar spoons of 2:1 simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake all with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Without the simple syrup, this would be unpalatable, as sour as grandpa's face at Thanksgiving when he learns you're out of Scotch. With it, it really is a nice cocktail...sweet, sour, a zing of lemon, a bracing bit of gin, a hint of spice from the bitters. Yes, I would drink this experiment again, with no hesitation.

The Payroll Tax Cocktail


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