Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Five-Tool Player

Here's a little something I put together. The name comes from the principal five ingredients. In baseball, a Five-Tool Player is one who possesses, to a proportional degree, each of the five "tools" identified by scouts as the hallmarks of a talented player. It's made like this:

2oz Hitting for Power (Rye Whiskey)
1/2oz Hitting for Average (Dry Vermouth)
3/4oz Baserunning Speed (Luxardo Marachino)
1/3oz Throwing Ability (Creme de Menthe)
Tsp. Fielding Range (Absinthe/Pastis)

To this, add:

5 Dashes Sportsmanship & Team Spirit (Fee Bros. Orange Bitters)
2 Dashs Ability to Handle the Media (Angostura Bitters)
1 Dash Durability & Resistence to Injury (Lemon Juice)

Shake vigorously and serve in a cocktail glass with a twist of lemon.

Obviously, this has a lot of ingredients. As I mixed it up, I was constantly trying to ensure that I was balancing things. I've become very interested lately in the contrast that absinthe/pastis and mint provides. So I start with a rye whiskey base, but I even out the rough edge of the rye a bit with the dry vermouth. Add to that the mint/anise combo for the main flavours. To that I add the Luxardo Marachino for a bit of sweetness, and to even out the mint/anise, just in case one or the other dominates. But I counter the sweetness with some citrus, in the form of of the orange bitters and lemon juice. Top off with Angostura bitters for good measure.

I found the result to be complex and balanced. Each flavour seems to play off the others, so your tongue is not confronted with any pre-dominant taste. Rather, they chase each other on your tastebuds in the seconds after you swallow, giving you teasing hints as to what you're imbibing.


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