Cocktail Hour Extra: The Tequila Mockingbird

I can’t tell you how many people I know say “To Kill a Mockingbird” is their favorite book. It’s a great one– a true classic. I’ve read it numerous times, taught it, and performed in a staged version of it (Miss Stephanie, if you’re wondering). It’s also turning 50 years old this weekend. I thought I’d celebrate by drinking Monroeville, Alabama’s (home of Harper Lee and Truman Capote, and the town on which Maycomb was based) official cocktail, the Tequila Mockingbird.

Every time I searched for Tequila Mockingbird, Google graced me with not one but two recipes. As the Monroeville official website mentions the drink, but no recipe, I figured I had to try both of them.

Thank goodness there are two.

DSC_0169The first, and most popular according to Google, involves lime, creme de menthe (white or green) and tequila.  I feel very sorry for both my limes and my tequila, as creme de menthe totally ruined what could have been a really delicious drink.  I know no bartenders who really LOVE creme de menthe– to be honest, this drink was more “eau de Scope” than delicious cocktail.  If you’re bored and wish to try it, the recipe is as follows:

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 3/4 ounce green or white crème de menthe
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice

Shake it in an ice-filled shaker, and strain into a martini glass.  Gargle.

This drink is leprechaun green, and there’s just no subtlety about it.  All mint, no lime, with an odd agave aftertaste.  I won’t be making this one again.

The one that I think might be the actual Monroeville cocktail, based on what I’d seen on CBS Sunday Morning, is probably this version, which is odd but drinkable:

  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Triple sec
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
  • 2 oz Orange juice
  • 1 oz Cranberry juice

This drink is built in a rocks glass.  Pour tequila first, then triple sec, then orange juice and cranberry juice.  Top with the blue Curacao.  Do not mix.

DSC_0173Then sip it while it isn’t mixed– it’s a little too hot with alcohol.  Mix it up and though it’s an odd color, it’s pretty tasty.  It initially sounds like it’s supposed to be a layered drinks, but the order of layering is off (according to the weights of the ingredients) and the rocks ruin the layering effect.

A note on the blue curacao– buy Senior’s.  It’s the only actual curacao available today, as Senior’s buys up all of the oranges that make curacao.  You can buy it in different colors: clear, orange, and blue are readily available, and the price isn’t bad– $20 or so at the Party Source.  It’s great stuff– nice orange flavor, great mouthfeel, and I have a feeling I’ll be buying the non-blue curacao for other drinks.  Curacao is made from the laraha orange, which makes it a bit more bitter than sweet.   Much like triple secs, the quality varies– most are just corn syrup and flavoring.

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