A very much half-full City of Gold, presented by Alejandro's handsome hands.
I tried this luminous, cultural history-inspired drink after a leisurely afternoon spent wandering around the Old Town District of Portland with Alejandro De La Parra of Teardrop Lounge. It was an exceptional capper to an uncommonly groovy day. We started with a press walk-through of the soon-to-open Society Hotel (open now), Mexican food at Mi Mero Mole, and a visit to Alejandro's friends at Orox Leather Co., where I picked up a sweet money clip. By then it was time for a proper drink, and we ducked into Low Brow Lounge, the much-storied "clean dive" I'd heard bout but never experienced (rock solid, and yes, both clean and a dive), then a quick stop at Teardrop Lounge for my traditional last drink in PDX before hitting PDX Airport itself. A classically grey day, brightened considerably by the company and the exploration.
But the highlight was Alejandro busting out the high concept City of Gold. He'd been talking about it for a few days, and with all the complicated components it wasn't the easiest one to deliver at at a moment's notice. But this afternoon all the elements were on hand at Teardrop. I'll let Alejandro explain the thinking behind this ambitious, golden elixir.
“It's really an attempt to capture the flavors of pre-Columbian Mexican cuisine. There is so much more to food cultures than what appears obvious to us. Just like Italian food isn't all tomato sauce and cheese. Or Thai food isn't all fish sauce and Thai chilies. Mexican food isn't just sour and spicy. There is an inherent earthiness and roundness. Smoke and savor, subtly present amidst sweetness The flavors that sustained the warriors of the Aztecs and the priests of the Maya.”
CITY OF GOLD
2 oz. tequila
.5 oz. aperol
.5 oz. agave
2 dash sarsaparilla root tincture,
1 dash angostura
Stir, large ice cube (rocks)
Achiote and Roasted corn infused tequila:
Cut kernels off of one large corn cobb and spread on baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 500 for approximately 15 minutes or until slightly charred. Lightly toast in pan a tablespoon of whole achiote seeds, roughly cracked with a mortar and pestle. Combine all ingredients in a large container and add 750ml of Reposado Tequila. Let infusion sit for 12 hours, agitating periodically. Press through cheese cloth.
Sarsparilla Root Tincture:
Add 6oz of sarparilla root into a mason jar. Fill jar with Wild Turkey 101 rye whiskey. Seal tightly and let sit for 2 weeks. Agitate Daily.