Inspired by the Sturgill Simpson album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, Denver-based bartender Alex Jump set out to create a cocktail that exemplified the virtue of balance while working with ingredients that evoked oceanic, Asian and tropical flavor profiles. A delicate, mineral, low-ABV variation of the Martini, it incorporates sherry infused with exotic fruit and umami notes into a stirred gin cocktail. A splash of pickled melon brine and pinot gris lend the drink a sweet-and-sour mellowness. Jump says, “For me, that album is very much a representation of the fact that the pursuit of greatness does not have to exist without balance in life.”
- 1 1/2 parts BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin
- 3/4 parts sherry infused with kombu and pineapple (See Editor’s Note)
- 3/4 parts pinot gris
- 1 teaspoon pickled melon brine (See Editor’s Note)
- 1 teaspoon cane syrup (2 parts cane sugar:1 part water)
Garnish: pickled hami melon, pickled cucumbers, oyster shell and pineapple scrap tincture and kombu and citrus oil
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice.
- Strain into a Martini glass.
- Serve alongside garnish options of: pickled hami melon, pickled cucumbers, oyster shell and pineapple scrap tincture and kombu and citrus oil.
Pineapple- and Kombu-Infused Manzanilla:
400 grams pineapple juice
15 grams kombu
750ml bottle of manzanilla sherry
Combine ingredients in a container and refrigerate overnight. Strain and bottle.
Pickled Melon Brine:
1 medium-sized hami melon, peeled and scooped into balls
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
10 g Grains of Paradise
15 g ginger, peeled and chopped
5 g juniper
3 g star anise
2 g pink peppercorns
15 g white sesame seeds
2 cups rice vinegar
2 cups white sugar
Peel and ball the hami melon and transfer to a heat-proof container. Combine vinegar and sugar in a pot and whisk to combine. Add remaining ingredients, except the melon, and bring to a boil on the stove. Pour boiling liquid over the melon. Let cool and place a heavy plate directly on top of the melon to keep it submerged in the brine. Let sit at least 48 hours in the fridge. Strain off brine as needed.
Pineapple Scrap & Oyster Shell Tincture:
125 grams oyster shells
250 grams pineapple rind scraps
250 grams pineapple pulp (leftover pulp from juicing pineapple)
550 grams vodka
Combine all ingredients and store in a sealable container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, bottle and store in the refrigerator.