Monday, November 21, 2011

Reviving the Apricot Sour

This month's Mixology Monday topic, Retro Redemption, kinda has me stumped. Jacob Grier at Liquidity Preference describes the 1950's-1990's as the Dark Age of Mixology, and challenges us to revive a drink from the "lost decades."

The problem is, I wasn't drinking yet. At least not anything worth reviving. Rum and cokes, Fuzzy Navels, jello shots, Budweiser. A teenage girl's best friends, until she throws them up. Today, I can't even be in the same room as Peachtree schnapps, and the dreaded rum incident got a dedicated humor column written by me on Angstgiving exactly two years ago this week.

History makes me crazy. For the love of Dale*, I can never remember where classic drinks came from, who made them, and why. Some cocktails are best forgotten, like my ex-boyfriend.

But family heritage is my notable exception. Be it stories or objects, I saved everything my parents ever gave me, like the pair of red knee socks with white hearts my mom bought for me over twenty-five years ago. Though they’ve faded and the elastic is long-gone, causing them to bunch around my ankles and slide into my shoes, I still wear them every Valentine's Day.

When Leah and I opened the Lounge, my parents passed on to us their 1974 Mr. Boston Bartenders Guide (53rd printing). I flipped through the classics, but what caught my eye were the handwritten recipes penciled inside the back cover. Tequila sunrise. Daiquiri. In my dad’s script, Margaritas: Fill a blender halfway with tequila and the rest of the way with half triple sec and half either limeade, or pop plus Rose's lime juice. And then there was my mother’s favorite drink, recorded in her slanty handwriting: the Apricot Sour.

Reading the recipe, I could taste it in my memory, its tart flavor known intimately to me from eating the liquor-soaked maraschino cherry left at the bottom of her glass. The trick to making a good one? Use fresh-squeezed lemon juice instead of sour mix, and make sure to add that splash of orange juice. Try it; I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Apricot Sour

1 ½ ounce apricot brandy
1 ounce orange juice
¾ ounce lemon juice
a few drops of maraschino cherry juice
maraschino cherry

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add brandy and juices. Stir. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

*Dale DeGroff, a master mixologist credited for the revival of "classic cocktails."

No, you're not crazy. If this blog post seems familiar, it's because portions of this column were previously published on this blog.

Visit Liquidity Preference to see the roundup of Mixology Monday cocktails worth reviving from around the world.

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