Monday was tax day. Nobody except the most dedicated masochist likes tax day. Regardless of politics, or whether you think you get your money’s worth or not, the actual act of sending the check isn’t fun. But there is a cocktail for that (there is a cocktail for almost everything). In fact, the Income Tax cocktail is something of a classic, and you see it a lot this time of year. It combines gin, orange juice, sweet and dry vermouth and bitters. The only problem with the Income Tax cocktail is that we don’t love the flavor combo of orange juice and sweet vermouth. It’s not as bad as paying taxes, but the Income Tax cocktail doesn’t ease our pain either.
But being the industrious
drinkers farmers that we are, we decided that perhaps we could create our own cocktail to “celebrate” the occasion. Even better, a cocktail that would allow us to fantasize about not paying the “gummumint” at all. Fittingly we chose to riff on the Scofflaw, one of our favorite prohibition era cocktails. The Scofflaw combines rye, dry vermouth, lemon and grenadine, and is an incredibly drinkable cocktail that works both for whiskey fans and those who prefer lighter spirits. A crowd pleaser, and a good template to work from.
The Tax Evasion Cocktail combines rye, dry vermouth, lemon juice, sour cherry syrup (d’arbo is great stuff) and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters. We chose cherries because paying taxes is, you know….the “pits” (ugh, eye roll). Like a Scofflaw, the dry vermouth lightens the rye so you get a light spicy sip with a touch of the lemon and then the sweet / sour of the cherry syrup and just a hint of the spice and anise of the bitters. You don’t have to use the bitters, but it adds a bit of bite and depth that we like. A very enjoyable cocktail, and if you find the overt sweetness of grenadine a bit cloying, the sour cherry syrup is a very good substitute. The Tax Evasion also works well as a cocktail served “up” or as a longer drink served on the rocks (you have to be flexible to dodge the taxman).
As for the key ingredient, if you can find the d’arbo sour cherry syrup, we suggest you get some. It is a very tangy sour cherry syrup that makes a great base for sour cherry limeade or lemonade. So even if you just want a “mocktail”, the sour cherry syrup is worth it (but if you sneak in a little gin, we won’t tell). Normally, we would make our own sour cherry syrup here at the farm, but sour cherries are one of the few fruits that are very hard to get here in Norcal. We did just plant our own sour cherry tree, but we don’t expect fruit for another few years. For now, we will just use the syrup, enjoy the cocktail and try to forget about April 15th.
- 2 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin is good here)
- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. sour cherry syrup (d’arbo)
- Dash of Peychaud’s bitters
- Lemon twist, for garnish
- Combine all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, flute or coupé. (You can also serve on the rocks, if you like). Garnish with a lemon twist. Serve.
- Income Tax Cocktail (drinkstraightup.com)
- Drinks recipe // delicious amaretto sours cocktail (cassiefairy.com)
- Three “TAX-SEASON” Cocktails for Tax Day (bioeventspr.com)
- Seasonal Sips: Vieux Carré (o.canada.com)
- Feeling bitter in the Bronx – the Income Tax Cocktail (cold-glass.com)