Saturday, July 23, 2016

Here There Be Dragons

It’s that time of year again when the days are long and the ocean beckons.  We take a family trip to the beach each summer to relax and reconnect.  Of course the cocktails flow easily, and one of the simplest is my favorite “beach margarita”, which is just tequila, lime juice and simple syrup, with a splash of fresh orange juice instead of orange liqueur.  Coincidentally it also happens to be national “tequila” day at this time of year.  Naturally, I featured the beach margarita with the “Tequila” box by Kasho last year.  

Tequila Day, summer 2015

Once again we are at the beach and tequila day is Sunday July 24, so here’s another margarita variation for you.  This one comes via Jim Meehan, a celebrated mixologist whose “PDT” bar in Manhattan was one of the original new “speakeasy’s” of the modern cocktail renaissance.  Some of you may have his wonderful cocktail book, which features eye popping illustrations by graphic artist Chris Gall.  PDT stands for “Please Don’t Tell”, a rather ironic name for a bar so popular it’s almost impossible to get a reservation.  An unassuming hotdog shop in Saint Mark’s Place serves as the front, and if you are lucky enough to have secured a spot, you head to the phone booth in the back of the shop.  Pick up the phone, confirm, and viola, the back of the phone booth swings open to allow you entry to the hidden bar. 

The White Dragon by Jim Meehan

Getting back to the aforementioned margarita variation, we have Jim Meehan's “White Dragon” cocktail.  This version was originally created using Casa Dragones Blanco, a very special tequila, which certainly lends a unique flavor to the drink and explains the name.  It combines with lemon juice, Cointreau and an egg white to create a delicious, light, summer pleasure. 

Dragon Wing by Shiro Tajima

Shiro Tajima, a former member of the Karakuri Creation Group, has created a series of Asian zodiac themed puzzle boxes over the years.  For the year of the dragon (2012) he designed the “Dragon Wing” box, made from Japanese raisin tree and walnut woods to resemble a resting dragon replete with long neck, snout, tail and folded wings.  You are given the clue that this dragon will spread his wings and fly away, and the box does indeed unfold in a beautiful way.  It’s an elegant puzzle box with a few sneaky moves which compliment its form and function.  Be careful or it might just fly away when you aren’t watching into the summer night sky.  Here’s to secret bars, secret boxes, and summer skies with friends and family.  Cheers!

I hate to drag on about these, but they're incredible

The White Dragon by Jim Meehan:

1 ¾ oz Blanco Tequila
¾ oz Cointreau
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
Orange peel

Shake all ingredients together and strain into a favorite glass. Express the orange peel over the drink and discard.

For the “Beach Margarita” and “Tequila” Box please see:

For a prior tequila cocktail please see:


For a prior box by Shiro Tajima please see:

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