This drink came to me mostly as a matter of hospitality over the previous weekend. Hosting a now old friend who had shipped up to New Hampshire from the nation’s capitol in a futile attempt to escape the electoral madness of this most divisive election, my guest found herself in as bad a need of a cocktail upon seeing the gatherings of candidate supporters and political activists that the Granite State is known for. Not knowing that New Hampshire is ground zero for most every election, there proved to be not nearly enough beer or…other indulgences to distract fully from the daily blitz of attack ads, slanted news stories and outright partisan rancor.
Fortunately for her though, I keep a well-stocked bar, partially for this very purpose. So it was then that we agreed between us that a stiff cocktail made from vodka was essential. Choosing between the three varieties I had on hand thanks to a recent submission to my column by Effen Vodka, it was the Blood Orange vodka that my friend finally selected as the base for her drink, passing on both the raspberry and green apple. From there it was simply a matter of mixing and balancing and the drink came together just so…
3 oz. Effen Blood Orange Vodka
4 oz. Lemonade
1 lemon wedge
In a tall rocks glass I began by muddling the lemon wedge into the bottom. With plans to focus on the acidic sour aspect of the drink, I then added four ice cubes, poured the vodka and lemonade together and then topped the drink off with seltzer water, pouring just enough until it produced a healthy fizz and foam. Stirring then with my bar spoon, I sampled the drink myself before rendering it unto my guest.
It was a pleasantly balanced and rather refreshing cocktail all in all. Something not entirely unlike many I have made in the past and while not itself entirely complicated, focused enough on the interplay between acidic flavors to where I felt it had the necessary merit to stand on its own. With the slightly aggressive citrus sweetness of the blood orange coupled then with the cool, mild sourness of the lemonade, the seltzer water – prior to flattening a bit in the glass – mixes and suspends the two flavors nicely and the underlying bite of the vodka’s 37.5% ABV lingers on the palate a bit in the finish.
While itself sipping more like a summer cocktail, its smoothness and crisp overall flavor does make it both a tasty option for those who like such summery flavors, while also perhaps a benign option for those who simply don’t care for the taste of booze, yet are seeking a mild buzz in the course of a given evening. My guest then departed back for D.C. where she observed the electoral madness come to its eagerly awaited final conclusion. I will call it a safe bet that this very same cocktail was made and drank and made again until it was all over.
So to Effen Vodka once again, to the creativity of necessity cocktails and of course, to you, I say as always…
While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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