A blender drink combining vodka, Licor 43 and blue Curaçao with pineapple and lime juices, The Best Year is a disco-era original from Valerio “Bobby” Batugo. A Filipino prizefighter turned award-winning bartender, Batugo made his name in and around Hollywood in the ’70s. Attracted to its not-too-sweet flavor profile, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry adjusted Batugo’s original specs to appeal to contemporary palates, upgrading canned juices to fresh and cutting the vodka base with a small measure of aquavit.
- 3 ounces fresh pineapple juice
- 1/4 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce lime cordial (see Editor's Note)
- 3/4 ounce Licor 43
- 3/4 ounce blue Curaçao
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1/4 ounce aquavit
- 8 ounces crushed ice
Garnish: pineapple, lime peel
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend for 30 seconds and serve in a tall glass.
- Add crushed ice to fill the glass.
- Garnish with a fresh pineapple stick and a channel-cut lime peel.
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
Wash the limes in warm water to remove any wax and allow them to dry. Place the sugar in a bowl and zest the limes over the bowl with a vegetable peeler. Muddle the zest into the sugar with a muddler and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. Juice the limes and measure out 12 ounces of juice. Pour the lime juice into the bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. Strain, bottle and refrigerate for up to one month.