Monday, January 16, 2012

Southern Migration

I recently wrote about how much we love Imbibe Magazine’s new cocktail book, The American Cocktail, and that we were planning to “drink the book” during the month of January as we traveled South in our teardrop trailer, affectionately known as the Alligator Teardrop.

We are not following through with this promise, for a number of reasons:

One is because we didn’t find a corporate sponsor for the blog (didn’t even try to find one, actually), I’m accountable to no one but me, which makes me lazy.

Two is that camping itself makes one lazy. We landed in a campground near Jacksonville, Florida, and are spending a lot of time sitting around the fire drinking El Presidente beer (which is much cheaper in Florida than in New York; in fact, the money that we’re saving might fund our whole trip).

The third reason is that camping makes you avoid civilization. It’s so peaceful here in the woods, with the owls, the rats (!), and the El Presidente. Why leave?

We did sneak out to a roadside fruit stand boasting Florida Oranges! Florida Grapefruit! Pecan Syrup! Authentic Georgia Cane Syrup! Unsuspecting, we got sucked into their tourist marketing scheme.

We caught the “Pecan Syrup”, because it had a label listing that the only three ingredients were corn syrup, artificial pecan flavoring, and artificial color. The oranges, which the kid convinced us were called something exciting like “Honey Dreams,” turned out to be plain old navel oranges. And Authentic Georgia Cane Syrup? A fancy name for molasses.

But Leah says, when life gives you lemons (or an excess of some other citrus fruit), make cocktails. The Southern Migration may be best attempted in the South in winter, if only because of the abundance available citrus fruit (of suspicious origin) and the fresh “Florida” tomatoes we got at the stand that actually taste like fresh tomatoes.

Don’t expect to see this cocktail at the Lounge anytime soon. However, if you’ve got some molasses in your cupboard, imported grapefruits, and a local grocery store that carries tomatoes in winter that don’t taste like rocks, give it a whirl. It’s incredibly delicious. But beware tourist traps (like billboards advertising “87 more miles to South of the Border!”) and don’t drink too many of these or you’ll get a wicked headache and yet another reason to never leave the campsite.

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Southern Migration

1.5 ounces tequila
the juice from 1/2 grapefruit (fresh-squeezed)
1/4 ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 ounce molasses, also known as Georgia Cane Syrup

Muddle tequila, tomato, and molasses in a shaker. Shake with ice. Pour over ice in a rocks glass, adding grapefruit juice last.