I’m not a fan of overly sweet cocktails. Whenever I see “simple syrup” (sugar water) listed on a cocktail menu, I usually just order a vodka or scotch. There’s just something about mixing booze with sugar that guarantees I’ll be suffering a hangover the next morning.
Recently, my friend Chris Parke (mixologist/bartender at Raphael) created a special cocktail for the latest Test Kitchen night at Short Order. This was a one-time event showcasing burgers and cocktails from some of L.A.’s most talented chefs and bartenders.
On the day of the event, I was surprised when Chris tweeted that he named his clementine (“oh my darling”) cocktail after me. Of course I was honored, but what if was too sweet and I didn’t like it? MyLastBite.com has always been about focusing on the positive. If I don’t like it, I don’t share it.
Thankfully the drink was fantastic (everyone at our large table thought so too). It was fruity, refreshing and just a tad bitter. The clementine cocktail also went perfectly with my favorite burger of the night, made by Raphael’s chef Adam Horton.
Jo My Darlin’ Cocktail Recipe
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Clementine juice
2 dash orange bitters
A bit of chopped basil
A slice of clementine soaked in aperol for 24 hours (to garnish)
Lemongrass for garnish
Mix Aperol, juice, bourbon, bitters and basil together in cocktail shaker, then pour over ice
Garnish with lemongrass and aperol soaked clementine
Note: Chris added a tiny bit of cayenne pepper in my drink. He knows I like it spicy!
Photo of Chris by Lane Smith Jr. (provided by Chris Parke).