Velvet Jukebox

Andrew Meltzer, 15 Romolo |San Francisco

In this sloe gin- and ginger-infused take on a sour, Andrew Meltzer splits the base between blanco tequila and manzanilla sherry. “The benefit of doing a split base,” explains Meltzer, “is it allows manzanilla to shine hand-in-hand with whatever you’re pairing it with.” Here, manzanilla’s inherent salinity complements tequila much the same way a salt rim might in a traditional Margarita formula.


Serving: 1

  • 1 ounce manzanilla
  • 1 ounce blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce sloe gin
  • 1/2 ounce ginger syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 dashes cayenne tincture (see Editor's Note)

Garnish: grapefruit twist

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled.
  2. Fine strain into a chilled coupe.
  3. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Editor's Note

Ginger Syrup:
2 1/2 pounds ginger, peeled and chopped.
2 pounds cane sugar.
1 quart water.

Combine ingredients in a stockpot over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Puree in a Vitamix or food processor. Strain, bottle and refrigerate. Yields 2 quarts.

Cayenne Tincture:
In a 1 quart Mason jar, combine the peels of eight lemons and three tablespoons pink peppercorns. Fill with 750ml of blanco tequila. Shake, seal, and let it sit at room temp for five to seven days. Shake the mixture about once a day. Strain and discard any solids. Add three tablespoons cayenne pepper powder to the jar and shake again. Shake before using.