Best Cocktail: Fiery Margarita, Laundry
With house-infused spirits and a great drink philosophy — and perennial margarita favorite Rios out of the running after shutting its doors in August — it’s not hard to guess why Laundry’s Fiery Margarita takes best cocktail for 2015. Created by Tod “JJ” Johnson for the opening of Laundry in 2012, the elixir exemplifies his mixology philosophy of making the product from the bar just as creative as the product from the kitchen.
When Laundry was working through menu options, it set out to be among the first in the area to emphasize serving modern, creative craft cocktails. It all starts with a great base, or inspiringly infused alcohol, before adding a citrus and the perfect amount of sweetness. Ingredients such as house-crafted simple syrups and bitters boost the creativity.
The Fiery Margarita answers craft cocktail calling with its silver tequila, infused with red peppers, green peppers, jalapeño, garlic and six habanera peppers for three weeks before being combined with house-made cilantro lemongrass simple syrup and orange and lime juices. The syrup gives the concoction its bright color and mellows out the peppers. Johnson says the mixture creates a perfect balance, just like you should find in a great margarita.
Bartenders at Laundry can concoct any infused spirit they can think up. The only caveat: It must be sold and can’t be thrown away. That’s never been a problem with the Fiery Margarita.
Laundry bartenders say they have become better at their profession because of Johnson’s commitment to beverage perfection. If ever suspicious or unsatisfied with a drink’s mixture, he’ll sample it and order it remade if need be, no matter how busy the bar may be. And the bar is busy aplenty with aficionados of the Fiery Margarita.
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