WHISKED AWAY WITH ONE SIP (NO PASSPORT REQUIRED)
Written by Donna Brousseau
Photographed by Kyle Ripley, Haigwood Studios
As a beverage and wine writer, many of my travel memories are triggered by whatever local liquors, cocktails or wine I happen to be sipping. Often, the memory isn’t so much about the country itself, but what I was experiencing taste wise, and who I was with when experiencing it.
I’ll always remember the first sip of Fernet Branca. It was in a small osteria down a dark alleyway in Florence. I was looking for something to help me digest a glorious meal and not wanting the night to end. The portly husband ran the front of the house, while his much leaner and taller wife ruled the button-sized kitchen. He brought over a bottle, poured my husband-to-be and me a shot and left it on the table. I was totally unprepared for the taste. My palate was instantly assaulted by the aggressive bitterness and bold herbaceous flavors of the digestive — tastes, which at the time I didn’t understand, but have now come to adore.
My first taste of a thick, dry stout was at a pub in Dublin. Velvety and smoky with just hints of chocolate, it was dreamy. Honestly, I think I spent the majority of my trip hanging at the pubs with the locals, trying to understand what they were saying in their liltingly accented English. I can instantly be transported back to that loud, lively pub with just one sip of stout.
Almost everyone seems to have a cocktail, wine or liquor that evokes memories of another time, place or person. If we can’t hop on a plane, go back in time or visit someone we once loved, sometimes the right cocktail can transport us to wherever we may want to be. These round-the-world drink recipes from local establishments might help you summon your own favorite liquid recollections.
OAXACAN PIÑA PUNCH “O.P.P.” ~ If you are in the mood for a quick weekend jaunt to Mexico, the Oaxacan Piña Punch “O.P.P.” will have you feeling like you are wiggling your toes in the warm white sand before you know it. Made from a delicious smoky blend of organic mezcal and pineapple liqueur, the lemon and honey give it just the right amount of sweet and tart to refresh your palate and have you craving another. Be careful though, they don’t call it punch for nothing.
Oaxacan Piña Punch “O.P.P.”
Recipe provided by True Food Kitchen
Yield: 1 drink
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce honey simple syrup*
1 1/2 ounces pineapple syrup
1/2 ounce Giffard Caribbean
1 1/2 ounces Montelobos Mezcal
orange slice and ground cinnamon
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Shake vigorously and pour into a Hurricane glass. Garnish with half an orange slice and cinnamon.
*To make honey simple syrup, in a small pot on stove, simmer 4 ounces each water and honey, stirring until well blended, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate until needed.
TRUE FOOD KITCHEN
140 Avalon Boulevard, Alpharetta
3393 Peachtree Road N.E.