This one is all Catherine’s fault. Catherine is a lawschool chum from Section MNOP. Yes – as an entering lawschool n00b (AKA an 1L), you are assigned a section of about 80-90 of your fellow 1Ls, with whom you will spend the entire first year attending all the same classes together. Kind of like an English boarding school except without the ritual beatings, sweaty buggery, debating societies, and school uniforms. Hmmm…come to think of it…ritual beatings? Check. Sweaty buggery? Check. Debating societies? Check. School uniforms? Check. I guess it was like an English boarding school but with better dentistry.
Like me, Catherine was also a bit of a stranger in a strange land – that is, a law student who somewhere knew they weren’t going to be lawyer after it was all over. (Although Catherine figured that one out somewhere after first semester; it took me until a year after graduation.) Also, like me, Catherine is a functioning alcoholic with an indie-nerd’s taste in mixology. She recently nursed her problem at The Violet Hour, which looks like a booze geek’s paradise in Wicker Park. She asked for my suggestions based on the menu on their website. And from her report back, her tipples were tasty. So trusting her taste, (in part because she went to Michigan Law, yet knows who Built to Spill, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Andrew Bird are.), this is my attempt to create one of her drinks from the list of ingredients on the menu combined with her report that it was “good and not too sweet”.
2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. Campari
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 teaspoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 dash grapefruit bitters
Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with grapefruit twist.
The available recipe for this included Luxardo Bitter, an Italian bitter orange apertif. I have not tried it, but based on a little research, it sounds like the Luxardo Bitter is similar to Campari, but a little bit less bitter and with more cherry tones. I substituted Campari and dialed it back. I think if you use the Luxardo, going up to 3/4 oz. would be worth a try. In addition, I threw in the grapefruit bitters on a lark. I imagine some bitter orange bitters and an orange peel would be nice too.
I’ll leave it to Catherine to make this at home and tell me if I am close to the original or not.