I've spent the first couple weeks of this year working on cocktails for the many parties of the 30th annual Key West Literary Seminar. Team Embury and I made drinks in honor of several of the attending speakers including Margaret Atwood, Billy Collins, China Miéville and William Gibson. The pickled scallions in the above photo were used as an onion sub in the Neurogibson, inspired by both Gibson's book "Neuromancer" and Jonathan DeLeon of Sorella's Flying V, where the idea for this recipe oringinated. We departed quite a bit from his original formulation but the principles remain similar--gin, picked green onions, an herbal liqueur and Sriracha Bitters. Jonathan went lean and mean for his Gibson riff, tapping Death's Door Gin & Cocchi Americano.
THE FLYING V
2.5 oz Death's Door gin
1/4 Cocchi Americano
Splash scallion pickling liquid
3 dashes Sriracha bitters
Pickled scallion (pickled with rice vinegar and aromatics, mostly ginger).
Rinse a large chilled glass with the Cocchi Americano. Over ice,
combine gin and pickling liquid. Stir well and strain into the chilled
glass. Finish with Sriracha bitters, garnish with the pickled
scallion, and serve!
Once I had the William Gibson/Gisbon name connection light bulb moment I instantly wanted to start with Jonathan's elegant creation and take it someplace a little more far flung, unexpected and audacious-- hopefully something like Gibson's bold work. Briney, piney Tanqueray, herby, swampy Yellow Chartreuese, a little lime juice, even less simple, the nub of a pickled scallion stalk and a dash of the pickling juice. The heavy ginger in the pickles is a nod to the Asian element in Gibson works and indeed in cyberpunk as a whole--I was thinking of Beat Takeshi in the Gibson film adaptation "Jonny Mnemonic", as well as the strong Chinese and Korean elements in the not-too-distant-future of other KWLS guest Gary Shteyngart's "Super Sad True Love Story."
The resulting cocktail was pretty damn cool, but not one you'd drink all night unlike many that we made for other parties.These considerably more approachable ecipes to come this week.