Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tortuga Fuerte (Strong Turtle)

I had a guest ask for a variation on a cocktail we're currently serving.  He had a few requests:  He wanted it in a smaller glass that was well chilled.  He said the larger glass and the larger drink warmed up after a few minutes.  I can respect that.  I'm a big fan of spirit-driven cocktails coming in smaller glasses as well, so it's stays chilled for the duration of the drink.  Not a fan of the trend towards super-sized glasses. (On a side note, have you ever noticed the glassware for sale at places like Crate & Barrel?  A standard "martini" glass is like 10 ounces there!)

Our glassware comes out of the frig fairly cold, but he wanted it iced down for a few minutes before serving.  Ok, no problem.  I like ice-cold glassware too.  Done!  He liked the original drink that he had ordered previously, but wanted to taste a little bit more of the Falernum (flavors of lime zest, cloves).  He also wanted a lot less Cherry Heering and sweet vermouth, as the menu version calls for a fair amount of both.  As for the rum, he specified Ron Abuelo, from Panama.  I made him the variation you see below.  Upon finishing, he smiled and said "that did the trick.  Cold, to the point."  He payed his bill, stood up, tipped his hat and said "Two of these makes for a strong turtle."  Strong turtle?  WTF!??!  I have no idea.  Sometimes you just smile and nod.  And then I apparently name a drink after it.     

Tortuga Fuerte
1.75 oz. Ron Abuelo  (7 year preferred)
.5 oz. Velvet Falernum liqueur
.25 oz. Cherry Heering liqueur
.25 oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
Healthy dash of Tiki Bitters
Stir well with ice
Strain into a chilled Coupe glass
Orange twist and brandied cherry for garnish (works well with a lime twist too)

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