All I know about the Lone Star State, I learned from this incredibly sweet lady who used to be my boss (now retired and living the dream).
Two nuggets of Texas knowledge stick out in my mind.
1. When she met her husband’s family for the first time (dinner at their house), instead of grabbing plates before sitting down to eat, the men of the household went for platters. Individual platters of barbecue, you guys.
2. She would say things like “that really burns my toast” to express displeasure at something. I may be making up the exact words, but you get the utter charm of it, right? The best.
As for me, I’ve only driven trough parts of the state, but we will meet again and get to know each other properly, Texas. Save me a platter of brisket.
So what’s Texan about this drink? Nothing except the grapefruit. Texas. Ruby. Red. Grapefruit.
In my mind, this is a Texas-meets-the-South experiment, because Texas isn’t the South and natives of either will yell at you if you make THAT mistake. Or politely correct you in a delightful accent, whatever.
So, yes. This here’s a drink featuring nods to two American cultures as mixers, with Averna, a Sicilian amaro, as the base spirit. Cocktails (and food) can make an entire ocean disappear, just like magic. I’m picturing the Italian boot kicking Sicily over into the Gulf of Mexico like a hockey puck and saying, “Here, play with these guys for a while.”
Averna is more gentle in bitterness than other amari, and being rather sweet and syrupy, it takes kindly to being tamed by fresh grapefruit. The drink itself is herbal, sweet, a little tart, citrusy, and, well, bitter (not overly so, don’t be scurred, just like Ke$ha says). Also, pitcher-friendly (hint) and approachable–it won’t burn your toast. I promise.
- 2 oz. very strong, very sweet iced black tea (1 cup water, 4 tea bags, 2 tablespoons sugar)
- 1 1/2 oz. Averna
- 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce bourbon (Blanton's used here)
- A few dashes grapefruit bitters
- Combine ingredients in ice-filled mixing glass or shaker and stir until thoroughly chilled. Strain into ice-filled glassware of your choice and garnish with grapefruit.
- Disclaimer: I was generously supplied with Averna, but as always, opinions are my own and ingredients are featured because I like them.