The paradise cocktail from Jackson's Steak House. / Tony Gibersonfirstname.lastname@example.org
If I asked you to close your eyes and picture paradise, what would it look like?
If you’re like me, you’d see bikinis, board shorts, flip-flops and coconuts. White sand and emerald-hued water are a must. I see lazy days spent floating in the pool watching the clouds paint pictures of funny-looking animals.
All of these images bring me to a calm, serene, fun place. But my favorite place in paradise is on my front porch. Picture a hot, humid, dog day of summer. You’re sitting in a porch swing lazily swaying back and forth, trying not to exert too much energy. Jimmy Buffett plays somewhere in the background. Off in the distance, you can hear the low rumble of thunder. The sky grows dark and is shot through with quick flashes of light, as if someone’s taking a picture of your paradise. Then you feel it, that cool breeze that rushes through and makes your body say “aaaahhhhh!” Quick, there’s not much time … a cool, refreshing cocktail is a must in times like these.
As you rush to the kitchen, you ask yourself, “What can I make that will be quick and easy? What would be paradise?” Well, the Paradise Cocktail, of course.
The Paradise is a pure classic. It was created by the legendary bartender Harry Craddock sometime around the late 1920s. It’s made with three simple ingredients: gin, apricot brandy and orange juice.
Now, all you non-gin drinkers out there, don’t scoff. As with most classic cocktails, the ingredients in this artfully crafted tipple play off each other to create a flavor of its own. Of course you’ll taste orange and apricot, but you’ll also detect honeydew, cantaloupe and a touch of pineapple. And there’s nothing easier to make.
The Paradise Cocktail
1½ ounces of a good London dry gin (I used Plymouth)
1 ounce apricot brandy
2 ounces orange juice
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the ingredients. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. And since we’re in paradise, garnish with a piece of pineapple and one of those cheesy umbrellas.
As I finish making my drink, I slide back into my swing just as the rain starts to fall. Welcome to my paradise!
Jackson’s Steakhouse, 400 Palafox Place. 469-9898, or visit jacksons.goodgrits.com.