Another month has passed and Mixology Monday XVII is upon us. This month is a little different—a way for the growing community of cocktail bloggers to learn about each other and to give a little love back to the blogs we’re reading rather than a slew of drinks based on a single ingredient. Paul has posted a primer of sorts, so I’ll start with the navel-gazing and move on the more relevant matters. Feel free to skip ahead.
Why’d you start crossing your cocktail shaker with your keyboard? What prompted you to take the inherently social act of mixing drinks and go all Web 2.0 with it? Who are all you people, anyway?
For ease of narrative, it’s most convenient to start with, well, me. I haven’t made a lot of information available, so this is as good a time as any to share. Hello cocktail-o-sphere, I’m Marleigh! I live in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in the suburbs north of the city and have lived coddled in it’s loving bosom for nine years, ever since I moved here to earn a degree in English literature. By day, I’m a production artist; that is, a graphic designer who produces layouts for posters, billboards, standees, newspaper and magazine ads, brochures and the like. I share an apartment with the large gray feline known as O’Malley and when I’m not losing time to the internet or the 200+ movies in my Netflix queue, you’ll find me in my kitchen-slash-bar or out riding my bike. I have been blogging in various forms since 2001 at hyperkinetic.org, and through that I wound up with a semi-pro gig as a co-editor and writer for LAist in 2004.
SLOSHED! began in May of 2005, while I was still writing for LAist. It’s hard to pinpoint precisely when my interest in cocktails began, but the major catalyst was a book of cocktail recipes that was gifted to me that Christmas. There was no big dramatic lightbulb moment, but sometime after that book appeared in my life things started to get interesting. It wasn’t a particularly good or reliable source of information (as evidenced by the fact that I both got rid of it and can’t remember the title) but it set me on a new path. I discovered that I liked the process of mixing, of experimenting with flavors and textures, that I loved the strange and quirky nature of the discipline and its history. I picked up a muddler, a shaker and some decent liquor and was off to the races. I practiced making Old Fashioneds and Manhattans and I felt pretty damn good about them.
Since I was, at that point, still an active member of the larger blogging community, I thought it would be a fun experiment to start a blog to chronicle my tinkering. I wanted to push on, learn more, gain experience with new liquors and techniques. After all, I had no experience and very little working knowledge so there had to be someone out there who would be interested in watching me fumble my way through the highs and lows of home bartending…right? Lucky for me, there was. I’ve made some wonderful friends through this blog, people who have helped me along on my way to cocktail enlightenment. So thanks to those people and to the people who have stopped by to read over the past two years. This project would be significantly less interesting without you.
All right, now that the introspective portion of our program has concluded, let’s get on to the real reason you’re here. For this challenge, we’ve been asked to pick a drink that was posted or created by a fellow blogger and spread the love around a little. My first inclination was to make the Richmond Gimlet, something that I’ve been meaning to do ever since I laid eyes on Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe æons ago. Doubts overcame me though, and I stopped myself. While everything about that drink screams “delightful!” to me, it seemed like a cop-out to pick the drink from Jeffrey’s blog for this challenge. I wanted to dig a little deeper. Use a liquor that I don’t feature very often. Grab a recipe from another blog that I admire, since I’ve already heaped lavish praise on the Nacional and adding more praise for the Richmond Gimlet would be pretty biased.
So I went cruising, like I do every day, though the ever-lengthening list of cocktail blogs that I frequent. Something different. Something slightly outside the rum-soaked haze I’ve been in lately. Tequila, you say? Something from Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour? And a previous MxMo entry? I don’t think you can give any more blog love than that.
1 ½ oz Partida Reposado Tequila
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz agave nectar
½ oz passion fruit syrup
Build the first three ingredients over crushed ice. Stir, then float the passion fruit syrup on top.
It’s only fair to point out that I was predisposed to like this. I have a weakness for agave nectar (I have three different kinds in my kitchen right now), especially with tequila. Mixing the nectar of the plant that produced such delicious liquor is a combination of divine genius.
To be honest, this drink surprised me a lot. I thought I knew what it was going to taste like, but it turned out to be something altogether different. The flavor is like margarita and also something like a daiquiri—fresh, with lime carrying through—but it’s sweeter than most regular margaritas I’ve had. The sugary, vaguely tropical passion fruit syrup nicely balances the peppery notes of the Partida tequila (another surprise—I wasn’t expecting quite so much complexity, especially from a brand that shares its price point with Cabo Wabo), and the whole thing comes together in a wonderful balance of sweet, sour and savory.
This went down easy. Maybe a little too easy, as I’m already planning to pick up some more Partida for round two. I think my grandmother would love this one, which is a high compliment indeed.