I just realized I have no real way to categorize this drink, other than to start a new category titled “Holy Hell.”
I read about this drink in March on Lauren’s blog at Drink Boston, and on Frederic’s blog at Cocktail Virgin Slut, and both times I recall thinking, “That sounds awesome, but scary. I’m not sure whether I should mix one or run away.” Tonight, after browsing my drinks list in search of a suitable 30/30 post, I came across the Trinidad Sour again, and realized that no matter how fast you run, you’re never going to escape the perverse appeal of a drink that contains a full ounce of bitters.
While it’s big news among the cocktail crowd in Boston, the Trinidad Sour is actually the creation of Giuseppe Gonzalez, a bartender at Clover Club in Brooklyn (and starting this week, apparently, at Dutch Kills in Queens). An inversion of the standard cocktail formula, the Trinidad Sour tries to take the edge off the mighty ounce of Angostura by hitting it with an equal amount of orgeat, and then poking it with a dose of lemon juice and a half-ounce of Rittenhouse rye just to keep the bitters distracted enough so they don’t take your arm off at the elbow. Lauren describes the taste as being like a medicinal Sweet Tart, and I can understand that comparison; deeply garnet, the drink has the appearance and aroma of cherries, but the flavor is fruity and dense, with an aggressive yet approachable bitterness that not even an ounce of orgeat can contain.
I’ll be damned if this isn’t one of the most complex and intriguing — not to mention counterintuitive — cocktails I’ve ever had. I’m really into this one, and I can see breaking this out for guests just to blow their minds, as well as turn them on to something new. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
- 1 ounce Angostura bitters
- 1 ounce orgeat
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce Rittenhouse 100-proof rye (can sub Wild Turkey 101)
Combine in a cocktail shaker and shake well with ice. Strain into chilled coupe, and stand back.
This drink is part of 30/30, a series of 30 drinks in 30 days â€” or as much as I can keep up before collapsing in a weary, booze-addled heap.