Sonora Cocktail

Sonora Cocktail
1 Dash Lemon Juice.
2 Dashes Apricot Brandy.
1/2 Applejack or Calvados.
1/2 Bacardi Rum.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

So I actually got to making the Sonora Cocktail on May 5th this year, a.k.a. Cinco de Mayo, a holiday we in America tend to celebrate as if it were “Mexican Independence Day”. We eat fajitas with flour tortillas, drink slushy Margaritas, and slug down Corona with lime.  All very authentic.  If you are a tourist in Cancun.

To quote the wikipedia article about Cinqo de Mayo:

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance and celebration nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed nationwide in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.

I am unclear why we Americans always seem to celebrate holidays which are relatively insignificant in their countries of origin (see St. Patrick’s Day), but we do, so there really isn’t much to do about the whole thing. Either embrace the madness or stay away from the mobbed bars on those days.

Anyway, here we have another drink where a relatively neutral, and inexpensive, spirit is probably being used as an extender for the rather more expensive one, in this case Calvados.  I figured, what the heck, it’s Cinco de Mayo and the cocktail is called “Sonora”, why not use a relatively neutral tequila in this puppy instead of Rum?  Though I was a bit worried about the vegetal notes in the Tequila and the Calvados clashing in an unpleasant manner.

2.5ml Lemon Juice (aka a half barspoon. mine happens to be 2.5ml, yours may not be.)
5ml Brizard Apry (aka a barspoon. mine happens to be 5ml, yours may not be.)
1 oz Groult Reserve Calvados
1 oz Tequila Ocho Plata*

Oof, that was not good.  As I suspected, the vegetal notes of the Calvados and the tequila are too much for this basically all booze concoction.  Let’s try that again.

5ml Lemon (aka a barspoon. mine happens to be 5ml, yours may not be.)
5 ml Brizard Apry
1 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
1 oz Tequila Ocho Plata*

Hm, not bad, but too sour, and still awfully boozy.  Substituting the less vegetal Laird’s Apple Brandy definitely improves this cocktail.  I could see some people enjoying this, *cough*David Embury*cough* but it isn’t my style.

shy 1/4 oz Lemon
long 1/4 oz Brizard Apry
1 oz Laird’s Bonded
1 oz Tequila Ocho Plata*

OK, I think this is a far as I can stretch the original recipe and still call it a Sonora-ish cocktail.  It’s not bad.  Still, at this point, I’m beginning to think the Sonora is a lost cause.  Can I just have a Manhattan, stat?  Even a Tequila Sour (aka Tommy’s Margarita) would make me happy?  Please?

Most importantly, should you order this cocktail during the next Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, May 23rd, 2010?  Well, it’s probably better with rum than it is with Tequila, still, it will be made to the Savoy Spec at Alembic, that is, pretty much all booze.  Unless you’re looking for a quick buzz, I’d avoid it.

*The Tequila Ocho Plata was sent to me by a marketing firm promoting the brand. Score!

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.