Thursday, February 14, 2013

Recipe & Rating: Lazy Bear

I first heard of the Lazy Bear only recently from Frederic Yarm of the Cocktail Virgin Slut.   Fred in turn got this recipe from Jacob Grier, one of perhaps the greatest bartenders on the west coast and also, in my opinion, one of the greatest cocktail writers in the world.

The Lazy Bear was originally crafted by Grier specifically to be served at his friend's wedding.  Lovely!

This drink uses one of my favorite combinations: whiskey and lime juice.  A more bird's eye glance at the recipe will quickly indicate, whether Grier intended or not, that this is a tiki drink.  And because it is Tiki Month, the yearly tiki celebration hosted by the legendary Doug Winship, my timing is perfect.

Below are the recipe and ingredients I used.

Lazy Bear

3/4 oz Jamaican rum (George Bowman aged small batch rum)
3/4 oz rye whiskey (George Dickel Rye)
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz honey syrup (1:1 clover honey)
3 dashes spiced bitters (equal parts Angostura Bitters and allspice dram[this recipe])

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass(tiki mug?) filled with ice. Add a straw.

I had a hard time articulating my thoughts on this drink, so instead of thick prose I'm going to give my impressions in bullet points:

-One of the few tiki drinks which is almost completely spicy and not fruity
-The two aged spirits combined with the bitters' tannins to provide a dry and woody backbone
-Lime juice here operates mostly to lend its sourness and not flavor, as its flavor is mostly dashed by all the other assertive ingredients
-Dry and sour overall, refreshing
-Earthiness provided by rye and pimento dram
-Herbal sweetness provided by dram and honey
-Sweet funkiness provided by honey and rum
-Dry spiciness provided by dram, rye, and bitters
-Bright lime juice cuts through all the funk, dryness, spice, sugar
-My theory still stands that most of the best tiki drinks use honey

This is one of the best tiki drinks I've ever had, and I don't consider myself a tiki novice.  Make this drink, and thank Jacob Grier.

Rating: 10/10