It's springtime, at last. People are smiling, showing a little more skin, and your favorite brunch spot has opened its outdoor seating area. But don't reflexively reach for that Bloody Mary. It's a new year. It deserves a new cocktail.
Meet the Snapper. Your weekend mornings will never be the same.
It's Friday afternoon, you've made it through the long week, and it's time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo's weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. Breakfast is the most important drink of the day.
The first thing you need to know about the Snapper is that it's not just one drink; it can be twisted to your taste a dozen times over. That's part of what makes it so appealing. That, and the deliciousness.
The Snapper originated as the Red Snapper, in a Parisian bar called The New Yorker in the 1920s. It's actually almost certainly the predecessor of Bloody Mary; it has all the same ingredients, except with gin instead of vodka. That makes a bigger difference than you might think.
For starters, as our good friend Sother Teague is fond of saying, "Vodka adds only two things to a drink: volume and proof (i.e. alcohol)." In other words, it doesn't add any flavor, because it has none, but because it adds volume you're actually diluting the flavors of the other ingredients a great deal. This is lame. A good gin, on the other hand, has flavors that complement the spiciness of the other ingredients that make up a good wake-up cocktail.
If the breakfast joint you're at has a full bar, simply ask them to substitue a dry gin such as Beefeater for the vodka in your Bloody Mary. Presto, it's a Red Snapper, and we think you'll find it to be a much tastier affair. However, if you've got some company coming over for some morning shenanigans, we have two Snapper recipes for you that are jaw-droppingly good. They both came to us by way of Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge, the Global Brand Ambassador for Beefeater & Plymouth Gins, and a man who really knows his way around a drink. He made us the following when we were checking out the Beefeater Distillery in London, and they were so good we forced him to scrawl the recipes on a piece of paper right then and there.
Original recipe from Dre Masso. You'll need to bust out the blender for this one, but this drink is so incredibly refreshing it will be well worth the noise.
- 10 parts Fresh Pineapple Juice
- 1 part Fresh Lime Juice
- Sugar to taste depending on sweetness of pineapple juice used
- Pinch of Both Fresh Mint and Fresh Cilantro (to taste)
- Green Tabasco or other green chilli sauce to taste
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Beefeater Dry gin
- 1. Pour all of the above ingredients except the gin into the blender, and blend until the mint and cilantro are in pretty small pieces, but stop before the drink gets very foamy.
- 2. Taste the drink at this point to see if you want to add more mint and/or cilantro. If you do, re-blend. Once you're happy with the flavor, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer and into a pitcher for serving.
- 3. In a highball glass, add your preferred measure of Beefeater gin, along with some cubed or hand-chipped ice.
- 4. Pour the mix over your gin, give it a nice stir, and then garnish with a coriander sprig and a slice of fresh pineapple.
It's like drinking the platonic ideal of spring.
Original recipe from Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge. This is another amazing refresher, and it's especially the morning after a long night on the town. There's so much good-for-you stuff in it you'll catch yourself wondering, "Am I getting healthy, or getting drunk?" The answer is yes.
For this one, you'll need a juicer. Again, it's worth it.
- 3 parts Good quality tomato juice
- 2 parts Beetroot Juice
- 2 parts Blood Orange Juice
- 1 part Carrot Juice
- 0.25 part Fresh Lemon juice
- 0.25 part Sugar Syrup
- Sea Salt & Ground Pepper to taste
- Tabasco to taste
- Beefeater Dry Gin
- 1. Pour all of the above ingredients except the gin into the pitcher you plan on serving from, and give it a nice stir.
- 2. In a highball glass, add your preferred measure of Beefeater gin, along with some cubed or hand-chipped ice.
- 3. Pour the mixture over the gin, give it a stir to mix, and then garnish with a parsley sprig and a lemon slice.
The result is earthy goodness. It's not totally unlike a Bloody Mary, but there's much more flavor, and it tastes both more nutritious (because it is) and a little sweeter.
And, of course, if you have a Bloody Mary recipe you love, just pour in gin instead of vodka and you've got yourself a tastier Red Snapper. Or substitute in tequila and you've got yourself a Bloody Maria, which is also quite good, especially with a smokier brand. The point is: ditch the vodka and use something that adds flavor to the drink, rather than reduces it. If you're absolutely married to the idea of vodka at least use a bacon-flavored or smoked-salmon-flavored one. Or, y'know, a naga-chili-infused vodka that rates 250,000 Scoville Heat Units (actually, you really don't want to do that. Trust me).
Whatever you do, happy experimenting. If you've got a killer recipe of your own, by all means, share with the class below, and check back next week for another Happy Hour.