Tuesday, April 16, 2024

This Vodka-Soda Is Tropical, Refreshing and Something however Primary

Superbueno, a Mexican American cocktail bar in New York Metropolis, isn’t a kind of locations you simply pop into for a fast spherical. Not if Ignacio “Nacho” Jimenez, the bar’s charismatic co-owner, has something to say about it. Like Jimenez’s earlier outpost, the beloved and now-shuttered Ghost Donkey, Superbueno is as a lot concerning the vibe—consider it as a cocktail bar meets a home celebration—as it’s concerning the artistic meals and drinks.

The pendant lights suspended above the bar prime are consistently swinging; the rhythmic Latin hits blaring inevitably incite dancing, particularly after company throw again a few the bar’s cult-favorite Inexperienced Mango Martinis; and the LED lights that illuminate the house in magenta or scarlet purple have an distinctive potential to distort time. It’s all within the identify of enjoyable, which Jimenez considers as essential as taste—a sentiment that’s clearly expressed in his playful cocktails.

“The menu honors varied notable Mexican elements and dishes,” says Jimenez of the concise 10-drink checklist, which includes a vary of choices, from low-ABV to extra spirit-forward. “There’s a little one thing for everybody.” One of the widespread drinks is the easygoing, but refined, Vodka y Soda, a crowd-pleasing highball layered with chile spice that takes the essential, underwhelming vodka-soda and turns it right into a tropical, crushable serve.

So simple as the cocktail reads on the menu—“vodka, guava, pasilla, soda”— its improvement was something however. “Guava is one among my favourite flavors, so I made a decision to develop a highball constructed across the fruit,” says Jimenez. He “performed round with totally different approaches to make a minimalist-looking highball with plenty of punch and taste.” Firstly of his artistic course of, he relied on an array of gloopy housemade guava syrups, however none match the invoice for his imaginative and prescient. After making about 10 variations of the drink, a member of his employees steered clarifying the hefty syrup for a cleaner aesthetic and mouthfeel. Jimenez says this was his “aha!” second.

To make clear the purée, he provides pectinase earlier than letting it relaxation, permitting the enzyme to interrupt down any of the cloudy pectin current. He then provides water to the combo and brings it to a boil in a saucepan. As soon as the pectinase-dosed purée reaches a boil, agar-agar powder (one other clarifying agent) is dissolved into the combination; after that rests and congeals, Jimenez strains the semisolid mix by means of a espresso filter. The result’s a flavor-packed guava “water,” which Jimenez makes use of to create a cordial by acidifying the water with tartaric and malic acids and sweetening it with sugar. 

With the guava portion accomplished, Jimenez felt he wanted yet another taste dimension to make the cocktail stand out. “Mexicans love to mix fruit with a contact of spice to make this form of candy, bitter and spicy mixture,” he says. So he infused the vodka with pasilla chile pepper, an ingredient that additionally has dry fruit taste notes that “play nicely with the guava.” Jimenez rounds out the spice and tropical tones with guajillo pepper, a part that he says additionally provides extra shade to the infusion for extra alluring visible enchantment.

To tie collectively all the weather of the Vodka y Soda, Superbueno provides a contact of Velvet Falernum to the combo earlier than force-carbonating all of it in a batch. The drink will get a guava salt rim—made from Maldon salt combined with guava purée, baked at a low temperature till dehydrated—which echoes the candy, bitter and spicy theme.

The vodka-soda is without doubt one of the most elementary, albeit widespread, cocktail orders, however Jimenez and his workforce remodeled it into one thing outstanding. And although it was initially conceived as a brief, seasonal addition to the bar’s checklist of drinks, it has established itself as a menu mainstay and one of many bar’s bestselling cocktails. As Jimenez says, “The great thing about our Vodka y Soda is that no one expects the vodka-soda to be elevated, however our minimalist take is stuffed with shocking complexity for drinkers who give it an opportunity.”

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