How do you create a modern classic cocktail? Well, Vincent Pring from Sydney bar Palmer & Co might advise you to keep the ingredients simple and the flavours sharp.
And that is very much what the Merivale Group owned bar has done with their Parallel To Paradise Cocktail. They have created a drink that is not only on point when it comes to its texture and mouthfeel but also provides a nice punch of flavour.
“The theme of the bar is based around the 1920s when Prohibition was at its finest. During that time, they were creating drinks that used the simplest of ingredients; things that are readily available and very much locally sourced.
“In that vein, we look to create cocktails that use only 5 or 6 ingredients and make them so simple that you can always make it anywhere you are.”
Keeping it sharp, giving it punch and making it easy to recreate, is a common theme for the cocktails at Palmer and Co, and while the Parallel To Paradise may seem deceptively simple, it’s the degree of balance and complexity that makes the drink genuinely stand out.
“The cocktail is an in-house creation that was designed by one of our previous bartenders, Ryan,” says Pring. “Essentially what Ryan wanted to do was take two completely opposing style spirits and balance them out with very lovely citrusy tartness.
“Within this drink, the Lemon Juice and the Pineapple Juice blend, then the sweetness of the Apricot Brandy is added, followed it up by the bold spice-driven flavour from the Makers Mark.
The combination creates a drink that not only reflects the Prohibition nature of the bar in which it’s served but also provides a beautiful, sweet, citrusy drink that everyone can enjoy.
Pring is quick to point out the importance of fresh juice as a lynchpin in this cocktail.
“When making this at home, people need to be careful with the juices they use,” he says. “If you’re not using fresh juices, it’s going to change the nature and flavour of the drink. That is especially true for the Ginger. If you can’t get fresh Ginger, and you are just using a Ginger juice, it’s not going to come out the same.”
Dilution is particularly crucial in this cocktail, and Pring points out that the ice used, affects not only the look but also the integrity of the drink.
“You don’t want this drink to dilute too quickly,” he says, “otherwise you’ll be loosing all of the citric and tart elements coming from the Pineapple and Lemon Juice. Additionally, dilution will cause the Honey-Ginger Syrup to die out quickly, and it’s essential to retain that extra spice behind the drink.
“We use a large ice cube because it’s going to not only slow that dilution but it also visually fills the glass better.”
The aspect of dilution also come into the method you should use in shaking the drink.
“It’s better to give this drink a short sharp shake,” Pring recommends. “If you shake it for too long, the drink will over diluting, and you’re not going to have a nice, refreshing, fruit-forward drink. Instead, it will end up watered down and become lacklustre.”
Parallel To Paradise
45mls Markers Mark Bourbon
15mls Apricot Brandy
30mls Pineapple Juice
15mls Lemon Juice
15mls Honey & Ginger Syrup
Shake all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, the fine strain into a chilled rocks glass with a single large block of ice.