Orlando — A good cocktail should make you feel something. I mean, something beyond the heady tingle of liquor. Bartender Adyna Paris at Ivanhoe Craft Bar & Packy (1915 N. Orange Ave. in Orlando; 407-270-4685; facebook.com) uses them to recall some of her favorite parts of literature.
“It should be about how it made you feel,” said Paris, a 14-year veteran mixologist.
One might not immediately grasp the connection between the tastes in her drink — A Lion’s Venture Into the Intelligence Office — and the two works that inspired it: Herman Melville’s “The Confidence Man” and Meredith Willson’s musical “The Music Man.” But her menu based on those two stories is a good reason to do some reading.
The drink itself is so complex, it’s impossible to pin down one flavor for too long. Earthy up front, savory, but also sweet and playful, it’s as much a journey as a drink.
If making this at home, several of the ingredients take some preparation, so don’t expect to whip one of these up on a whim if guests stop by. But since it does require so much work, it’s a good one for company that you plan on sharing a memorable experience with.
Of course, you could always stop by Ivanhoe Craft and ask Paris to make one or something like it especially for you.
A Lion’s Venture Into the Intelligence Office
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cucumber
- Pinch of black sea salt
- ½ Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- Fresh basil and mint
- Wedge of orange
- 1 small lime
- ¾ oz. Wildflower honey water
- 1 oz. lion’s tail tea (brew lion’s tail herb and jasmine flowers)
- ¾ oz. bitter orange shrub
- ½ oz. Sesame-washed Fernet (pour Fernet in with sesame oil, let separate, freeze and remove Fernet)
- ½ oz. Ancho Reyes Verde
- ½ oz. Ginger liqueur
- 2 oz. cucumber vodka
- Fresh lion’s tail herb
- Crushed ice
- Ginger snow (frozen ginger beer with lime juice, crushed as for a snow cone)
- Black cherries soaked in vodka
- Muddle cucumber, sea salt, ginger, basil and mint in a shaker.
- Add juice from the lime and orange wedge.
- Add all other liquid ingredients and let sit.
- Use fresh lion’s tail herb to smoke the glass. Add crushed ice to glass.
- Add ice to ingredients in shaker and shake. Strain through both the Hawthorne strainer and a mesh strainer into smoked glass with crushed ice.
- Add spoonful of ginger snow to the top. Garnish with cherries.