101 Best New Cocktails: Bikers Grove by Jen Riley, Red House/Le Tiki Lounge, Paris
Adapted from a recipe by Jen Riley, Red House/Le Tiki Lounge, Paris
“I was working for Candelaria at the point of conception of the Biker’s Grove and was invited to work for a large annual spirits event called Whiskey Live organised by Le Maison du Whisky in the September of last year (2012). I was to be representing Tequila Ocho and asked to create a cocktail using the 2011 blanco. I love the ideology of Ocho (producing tequila in the same manner that wine is produced and seeing just how much the ‘terroir’ affects the agave and the final outcome of the tequila) I wanted to create a fairly dry drink that would accentuate the earthiness of the tequila. I played about with variations on other classics such as the Negroni and Manhattan but nothing seemed to do the tequila justice for me. Then one night, rooting around the back of the fridge, I pulled out a bottle of aquavit and thought why not give it a go? I immediately the loved the play-off between the caraway notes of the aquavit and the earthy spice of the Ocho, and so maraschino and grapefruit were added and the Bikers Grove was born. I decided to express the oils from the grapefruit zest onto the interior of the glass, as when expressed onto the surface of the drink, the scent of the grapefruit overwhelmed the herbal and vegetal notes i was trying to highlight. Expressing the oils onto the interior of the glass added a fresh awakening note to the cocktail without being over powering. I was also lucky enough to spend an evening with Tomas Estes at Candelaria. Myself and my boyfriend (Joe) were out getting tacos there, when Adam (one of Candelaria’s owners) passed through and told me Tomas was in the bar enjoying my cocktail and that I should come on through to say hello. We bobbed our heads in to say hello and ended up drinking a great deal of Bikers Groves. Anecdotes were shared and the wonderful soiree saw Tomas and Joe arm wrestling in a candle lit corner of the bar! Brilliant!” Jen Riley
50 ml (1.7 oz) Ocho tequila blanco 2011
20 ml (.66 oz) aquavit
1 barspoon Luxardo maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Scrappy’s grapefruit bitters
1 green olive, as garnish
Serve in a chilled martini glass
Express the oil of the grapefruit twist onto the interior of a chilled cocktail glass, and discard the zest. Stir the remaining ingredients over ice, strain into the pre-prepared glass, and add the garnish.
gaz sez: Love the story behind this drink, and I’m so jealous that I wasn’t with Jen, Tomas, and Joe at Candelaria that night. At least I’ve been able to sample this drink, though, and it’s a veritable doozy of a cocktail. Ocho is such a fabulous tequila, and Jen merely decorates it with tiny tapestries of flavors that make this drink taste like a fine old country-western song. There’s a banjo here, fiddles over there, a harmonica pipes up now and then, and you can hear washboards in the background keeping the beat. Nice one, Jen.