Drink Lab 9 - Join the fun

34 oz Tequila (Reposado or maybe anejo?)
34 oz Sloe gin, Plymouth
34 oz Campari
34 oz Lime juice
Shake, strain, lowball, rocks
Join in and tweak this recipe. Submit your ideas and proposed improvements in the comments.
Inspired by the Paper Airplane and Last Word cocktail prototype.
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First try. I think the drink

First try. I think the drink is nice, but a little one-note. I think fresh expressed orange peel would be better than Ango Orange. The Campari and Sloe Gin go together nicely, but merge a bit more than I would like. I wonder if Amaro CioCiaro / Amer Picon / Amer Boudreau might have a role?

Zachary Pearson's picture

Hmm.... fun indeed. If you're

Hmm.... fun indeed. If you're aiming to keep the Campari-Sloe Gin accord, change out the Rye for Anejo Tequila. I think you want more woody, less spicy to help separate the two. And the question is whose Sloe Gin are you using here?

Thanks, Zach

I'm using Plymouth Sloe Gin.

I'm using Plymouth Sloe Gin. OK, someone try Tequila next. A blanco with peppery backbone, or something that's seen wood?

christina in tacoma's picture

This looks delicious- can't

This looks delicious- can't resist playing along, so humor my novice musings please :)

I made a variation using Don Julio anejo and the orange peel instead of the Angostura bitters. It was quite good, maybe a tad bit astringent (and I do like tart flavors). I was intrigued by the CioCiaro suggestion as well, so I tried using rye, subbing half the Campari for CioCiaro. That didn't work as well- the CioCiaro dominated, delicious as it is. I could see going back to tequila and adding just a touch of CioCiaro.

My Sloe gin is from the Bitter Truth; I'm not sure how it differs from Plymouth.

I think this a great concept for a cocktail. And the missteps still taste pretty good. I wonder if Cachaca would work here?

I gried eGullet's Dan

I gried eGullet's Dan Perrigan's New Red House (1:1:1:1/2 rye, Campari, CioCiaro, Lemon). Nice, but I prefer the tartness of the original 1:1:1:1 formula. I can see that those who like a touch of sweetness would like this. My recollection is that when I did this with Gran Classico for the Campari, it was magical. Alas, my bottle is gone so I'll have to try it again when I restock.

I then tried 1:1:1:1 rye, sloe gin, Ramazzotti, lemon. Meh. Ok, but not as good as the same drink with Campari instead of sloe gin.

Then I couldn't resist going back to the Last Word: 1:1:1:1 Tanqueray, sloe gin, Campari, lemon. (Ok, in truth some lime since I ran out of lemons). Enjoyable, but not as good as either the Last Word or the Paper Airplane.

Right now, my go-to drink of this sort is still the 1:1:1:1 rye, Campari, Ramazzotti, and lemon. I prefer it to both the Paper Plane (Nonino/Aperol) and Paper Airplane (Nonino/Campari). I think it is some sort of magical, synergistic combination. I also love it with Gran Classico and CioCiaro.

I have not had The Bitter

I have not had The Bitter Truth Sloe Gin, but I've read that it is more bitter than Plymouth. There is a recipe which calls for adding a touch of Campari to Plymouth to simulate The Bitter Truth.

Maybe tequila will be my next try unless a better idea is suggested.

bza's picture

That's interesting about the

That's interesting about the Campari. I have the Bitter Truth Sloe Gin (I brought back a bottle from New York) and I find it to be less punchy than the Plymouth, both in sweetness and tartness - it's more floral and complex, but mild. This makes it great in drinks that have an ounce or two of sloe gin, but modern drinks where the sloe gin is used as an accent (like the Transatlantic Giant from Beta) tend to see the other ingredients overpower the sloe, since these drinks are almost always formulated with Plymouth.

It's kind of like the Cocchi/Lillet conundrum: the former is the better product and works great in vintage recipes, but almost everyone uses the latter in modern drinks, so the balance is frequently off when you use Cocchi.

I followed Zach's suggestion,

I followed Zach's suggestion, although I used a reposado (my error). Excellent. A nice step in the right direction. Recipe updated from rye to tequila. I dropped the grapefruit and orange bitters as unnecessary. Switched to lime from lemon juice.