Welcome to local barman-writer Andrew Bohrer’s occasional series, charting the signature concoctions of esteemed local bartenders.
The Drink: The Pretty Ricky
Made By: Anna Wallace
A few years back, judgmental bartenders started putting jihads out on ingredients they didn’t like. Blue curacao, creme de menthe, and peach schnapps offended sensibilities with artificial color (but Campari was okay?) and disappeared. However wiser, more diplomatic, crafty bartenders like Anna Wallace of Walrus and the Carpenter decided to improve matters, starting with lime flavoring. “The lime cordial I make is so bright and lovely that it only seemed natural,” she says of devising her own non artificial blast of concentrated lime. Think Rose’s lime juice, only without all of those scary chemicals, and whatever you use to dye beer green. Anna is building while others tear down.
Instead of lime flavoring no. 47 from a factory indiscernible from a pharmaceutical plant, Anna’s lime cordial uses lime juice and peel, from lime trees. It also swaps sugar for high fructose corn syrup. The perfect drink to showcase Anna’s lime cordial is her version of a gin rickey. Rickey is a simple term meaning soda and lime with a spirit. But this drink was so much better than the average rickey that one of the restaurant’s oyster shuckers suggested that it be called the Pretty Ricky after the rap group from the ’90s.
This cocktail is not currently on the menu at the Walrus and the Carpenter but bar staff is always happy to make one, says Anna. It pairs perfectly with oysters and its fresh flavor will transport your brain to a sunny day of drinking on the patio and forgetting our cold seaside winter weather.
Anna’s Lime Cordial Recipe
1½ cups water
¾ cups sugar
¾ tsp citric acid
⅜ tsp tartaric acid
Juice of 4 limes, pulp strained
Rind of 2 limes
Combine and whisk sugar, citric and tartaric acids. Bring water to boil, add sugar mixture, juice, and rinds. Heat on high 1½ minutes. Cover and cool at room temperature and refrigerate in sealed container overnight. Strain and continue to refrigerate for a total of 48 hours.
The Pretty Ricky
2 ounces Bombay dry gin
1 ounce homemade lime cordial-recipe (see above)
½ ounce lime juice
Shake and strain gin, cordial, and lime juice over ice. Top with soda and a pretty edible flower. Witness this whole process in the slideshow above.