The below was originally published in the July issue of Birth.Movies.Death. magazine by Contigo Austin bar manager Jennifer Keyser. If you're in Austin, head to tonight's The Hustler screening at the Alamo Drafthouse!
The Hustler: a great movie about a pool player who can't catch a break. Seems like the story of many. Interchange the job title and it could apply to just about any of us. The movie is a great character study, and I wanted to craft cocktails that also seemed to focus on the character. In this instance, bourbon is the star.
The Corner Pocket is a nice, boozy cocktail starring Maker's Mark bourbon. It fits Paul Newman's character profile exactly: sharp, spicy with some sweetness shining through. The addition of Cardamaro (an Italian wine-based digestif amaro) tames the cocktail and fresh citrus brightens it up. It's a juxtaposition, much like Newman's character in the film, and it’s surprising, like comedic actor Jackie Gleason's serious role as Minnesota Fats.
Like The Hustler himself, The Corner Pocket is not what you expect, and that's what I like about it.
1.5 oz Maker's Mark
1 oz Cardamaro
.5 oz orange juice
2 oz soda
Shaken, served tall.