A while back–maybe a year or so, that’s pretty long in Internet-years–I was part of a conversation among friends which resulted in the following question: If you had a drink named after you, what would it be called?
Now, this was back when I was a bar novice. I stuck to rum & Cokes, Kahlua & cream (or the stand-by Amaretto Sour), avoided vodka at all costs and didn’t know there were more than 3 or 4 types of rum. And by types, I mean regular (white), dark, spiced and 151. Maybe I didn’t even qualify as a novice, yet, come to think of it. At any rate, I did at least come up with a name for my drink: the Snarky Little Tart.
I also knew enough, or thought I did, that the little should signify a shot or some other small portion and the tart naturally led me to think something from DeKuyper’s Pucker line-up. I was on a serious gin kick at the time, so that would be the base and since this was a drink about me, it should definitely be red, so I was leaning towards watermelon or, more appropriately, cherry pucker. That is until I found pomegranate liqueurs at the store and, thus, the Snarky Little Tart had it’s debut.
Snarky Little Tart
1 Ice cube
1 oz Gin
.5 oz Vanilla cordial
1 oz Pomegranate liqueur
splash of Club soda
Build the drink over the single ice cube in a double-shot or cordial glass. Swirl.
This isn’t a bad drink, especially for the first-time mixologist that I was. But, now, a year or two later (really, time flies, all spent online) and several more experiments under my bar towel, I think it’s time to give the ‘Tart a little more room and a polish.
Trying out the different combinations is almost more fun than sipping the triumphant final drink, so I thought I’d go into what changes I made and why. First was the Vanilla cordial, originally made for me by a friend it’s not something that everyone is going to have on hand and not something I’ve ever made myself. The bottle of vanilla vodka never seems to leave the top of the bar these days, so it was a natural first choice when updating the drink. Second choice was to add some pomegranate juice since I wanted a bit of mixer to cut the straight alcohol and I really wanted to get away from the club soda, even if it was only a splash.
Unfortunately, the vanilla vodka didn’t play as nicely with the rest of the ingredients, it was a bit harsh in some ratios and just too bright in others. Then it dawned on me that the Cordial was a brandy base, and I had a wonderful brandy-vanilla flavor tucked away under the bar in the form of a bottle of Tuaca. This turned out to be the magic bullet that pulled together the different flavors (excepting the vanilla vodka, of course, it was just too pointy, even for Snark). So after about 4 different goes, we finally agreed on a winner:
CHF Snarky Tart
1 oz Gin
1 oz Tuaca
1 oz Pomegranate liqueur
2 oz Pomegranate juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker half-full of ice and shake with a touch of bitter wit. Quoting some Dorothy Parker wouldn’t go amiss, either.
This slightly more mature version of it’s younger shot sibling retains the tartness, the color and the touch of gin but goes down much smoother and is meant for sipping.
PS-Pomegranate Snark (along with a long derivation that led to Snarky Cheerleader) was another potential name for the spruced-up cocktail.