Drink number seven of our Tales of the Cocktail roundup will be brought to you by mixologist in hiding Paul Harrington. To see the beginning of the Tales of the Cocktail posts, click here or just go to the Tales of the Cocktail Category to see all of the posts.
When I was planning my trip down to NOLA for Tales, I knew that there existed for me a tiny window of time when for one brief moment all of the inebriated stars in the universe would align, and every living author of almost every cocktail book that I did not have signed would be in the same room at the same time. Seizing upon the opportunity, I packed an extra suitcase filled with nothing but cocktail books, some recently re-purchased for the sole purpose of getting the coveted signature that my grandchildren would come across as my collection of cocktail curiosa was handed down to them.
Surveying the room during Cocktail Hour I could see my plan coming together (thanks, Hannibal). Dale, Gary, Jeff, David and many more were all lined up, trapped behind linened folding tables, with no escape from their books and my pen. One by one, I circled the room, my literary prey falling with each swoop of the pen and the ubiquitous: who should I make this out to?
But what ho?!? Who is that in the corner? Mixing a Jasmine!?!?! That can’t be right. The only person who should be mixing a Jasmine is Paul Harrington, and he wasn’t slated to be in the line-up this year.
Or so the Tales web-site would lead me to believe.
Upon approaching the table, it was immediately apparent that it was indeed, Paul. Not so much because I memorize the faces of every bartender on the planet, but because the sign on the table plainly stated that it was he (I’m Canadian, but I’m also fluent in American, so I was able to decipher the placard).
I immediately blurted out, in my slightly polluted state (remember that every day of consuming in the Big Easy for Tales started at 8 am PST), that he owed me an apology, as I had carefully planned which books to bring down, and if I had known that he was going to be there, I would have most certainly brought down his, to be signed.
Well, Paul, gracious as any experienced bartender would be in his situation (and by situation I mean dealing with a drunk ass) offered his apologies, and gave me his address so that I may send my book to him to get signed.
Now, this little tale (or is it Tale?) would be fine if it ended there, but it doesn’t. When I got back to Seattle from New Orleans, I rushed to FedEx to send my book off to get signed by Mr. Harrington; which he did with no delay. But he also sent me a slightly damaged copy with my original with another inscription, mentioning that I should keep it at the bar.
And so it shall remain, a source of information for all of my team to access, whenever the desire to try a great new concoction arises, or if a server is unsure of the difference between a fizz and a Collins.
Thank you, Paul. You’re a great example of why I’ve always stated that the hospitality profession is filled with some of the best people on this planet.
Following is the Jasmine, the first cocktail that allowed me to truly start appreciating Campari. Made properly, this drink should remind you of an alcoholic grapefruit juice, even though that ingredient is not present.
Paul mentions that he created the Jasmine for a friend of his while working at the Townhouse Bar & Grill in Emeryville, California. That friend’s name?
1 ½ oz Tanqueray gin
¼ oz Cointreau
¼ oz Campari
¾ oz lemon juice
shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with a lemon twist
The Jasmine may look like a Cosmopolitan, but don’t be fooled for the Campari has a bit of a bite. For the Campari uninitiated, this may be the perfect drink introduction.
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