There are all sorts of things in life you don’t really think about. Things that seem totally ordinary until you take a moment to examine them more closely. That is when the cracks begin to show. Sometimes, it is something big, like for-profit healthcare, tipped wages, short selling into the market or the designated hitter rule. Other times it is less consequential, but still weird, like the fact that there are 8 hot dog buns in a bag, but 10 hot dogs in the package or that candy cigarettes are a thing. So, in the spirit of things that deserve a closer examination, please join me as we stand and make the More Supreme.
The existence of the More Supreme implies the existence of a Supreme cocktail that it surpasses. This is not quite true, while there is a Supreme Cocktail, it is made with apple brandy as opposed to this one’s rum base, so no real comparison can, reasonably, be made. It’s like comparing apples to sugar cane. The More Supreme comes to us from Alec Bales and Atlanta’s, Ticonderoga Club. This is a riff on the classic Daiquiri with a nod to the Negroni. As Bale says, “The idea was, if I had to have one cocktail before eating a meal and I couldn’t decide between a daiquiri and a Negroni.” I love a good daq and I have a well-documented state of detente with Campari, so I approach this one with a sort of wary optimism.
Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of rhum agricole, I went with Clement Cask Collection Tres Vieux; 3/4 of an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice and 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. Add ice and give that a good shake to the beat of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel“, just don’t listen to closely or certain geographical issues will vex you. When well chilled, strain into some stemware and slowly pour 1/4 ounce of Campari down the back of the glass to make a lovely red sink of bitterness. Top with a little fresh, cracked black pepper and serve.
I wanted to like this one better than I do. That Martinique rhum agricole is a bit dry and it shows in the drink. It’s got a nice herbal, earthy thing that I like in a daquiri, but I am not crazy about how it plays with that bitter Campari. I wanted more contrast between the sweet and the bitter. That said, this is an excellent drink. It is exactly as advertised, a nice mix between the daq and the negroni. More fairly its a nice dry daq with a bitter negroni finish and there is nothing wrong with that. My natural predisposition against Campari does me a disservice here, because I know this drink is better than I am letting it be. To be fair, my palate is beginning to understand this particular bitterness a little better and I found myself welcoming that harsh kiss on the end of the sip. Perhaps, someday, I will learn to truly appreciate this nectar of a very angry, still needs some time process things before we can be friends again Italian god. That cracked black pepper on top, is totally inspired though, it just sings.
So, is this one more supreme than the standard supreme? I don’t know, I guess I will need to make one of those so we can compare them properly. Maybe it doesn’t bear that close an examination. For all my talk of looking closer, I kind of missed the point on this one. As it stands this is a good drink, an excellent drink even, but it did not live up to my expectations of it. The only problem with that is my expectations were not reasonable. I brought a whole load pf predispositions and supposings to the drink that were not in any way justified by my reading of the ingredients and techniques. I knew the rhum agricole was going to be drier and more savory that a Jamaican rum, I knew there was not lot of simple in this one, but I still was out there looking for a super sweet opening for that bitter finish. What’s worse, the drink I imagined would not work as well as this one does. It was only when I was trying to describe it to you, gentle reader, that I realized the only failing this drink had was the person holding the glass. We all bring our own experiences and prejudices to each interaction, whether we mean to or not. It is a good exercise to step back, from time to time and examine our own motives. We all have biases, and it is only by recognizing them that we can begin to rise above their influence and see things as they truly are. It’s not easy, but it makes things better to see them without our blinders on. Trust me on this and stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.