Updated: Oct 10, 2020
Over the summer, one of my favorites oleo sacrum/tea syrups ended up being this Spicy Lime recipe. It isn't overly spicy in its current iteration, but it does offer waves of layered lime alongside fresh herbal and vegetal notes. The syrup wasn't developed for a specific cocktail. (I just had some ingredients to use up before they went bad). Why not give it a test drive in some classics; see where it pairs best?
First installment was: the Daiquiri.
Margarita: I grew up in Southern California. My parents didn’t really drink. They’d cycle through a slow rotation of expired beer - kept refrigerator-door-ready in the event of unexpected guests. We never had unexpected guests. When they were expected, my dad showed off his 1980s, custard-colored, Osterizer Blender with heavy motor and 10-speed settings. He was really proud of his margaritas. I'm a little biased, but I'd take one of his free-poured, margarita/snow cones over my build any day of the week.
2 oz Yeyo Blanco
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (recipe coming soon)
1/2 oz Lime Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
4 vials Calamansi Vinegar
1 vial Malort
How It Plays: You know by the ratios it's boozy. That's how I like it: medium-rare, spirit forward and under-shaken. Roasted agave from the Yeyo dominates the nose (in love with the nose on this tequila). Jalapeno way in the background. The tequila is weighty for 80 proof and the syrup is rich. This thing is full bodied up front. Agave and orange liqueur get in early before it cranks the fresh lime (slight lime popscicle/candied lime note underneath it all). The syrup is mostly lost. Malort pushes a long finish but the bitterness is tempered by the vinegar and fresh citrus notes. Structure plateaus. Starts deep and rich, lifting and drying out with the citrus. Vinegar and Malort stretch that plateau out. Nothing is rushed. When the vinegar puckers you'll get a flash of jalapeno here or there, but it isn't much.
Verdict: Syrup's not bringing much to the table. Upping the ratio to 3/4 oz made the orange liqueur play too candied and tempered some of the rich agave that the Yeyo brings. With this build, the syrup is going to get bulldozed - calamansi vinegar, malort, big agave-forward tequila. Decent bones; not a right match. Vinegar as connective tissue for Malort feels like it will come in handy down the road.
Gonna mess around with a gin & tonic for the last Lime Syrup cocktail.