This week Drew Pearce, co-writer of Iron Man 3, took to Twitter with a joke: he wanted someone to come up with a new drink called The Mandarin Twist. The premise would be that the recipe would be based on something old, but with a new twist. It would be refreshing, but maybe not to everybody's liking.
That sounded like a challenge, so I turned to Brian Dressel, the general manager and bartender at Midnight Cowboy, Tim League's high end cocktail speakeasy in Austin*. Could Brian come up with something? Of course he could.
Here's the recipe for The Mandarin Twist:
.75oz Lime Juice
.5oz Orgeat (almond syrup)
1/2 Mandarin orange (with peel on)
Preparation: muddle mandarin orange and orgeat in a mixing glass. Add rye, lime juice, and ice. Shake.
Add campari to an empty glass (I used a footed capri, but a collins glass could work). Then add crushed ice and fine strain shaken cocktail over the top. Top with more crushed ice as needed. Garnish with a Mandarin orange wedge and a cocktail umbrella (if on hand).
The drink is a bittered variation on an Eastern Sour. The Mandarin orange is much sweeter than regular OJ, so the peel and the Campari provide a bitterness to balance the drink. The layered effect plays on Iron Man's suit colors, Red and Gold.
I'm going to have to try this. If you make a Mandarin Twist this weekend, tell us about it in the comments.
*Guys, my boss has a speakeasy.