This drink has your name on it, Eagle County
Eagle County CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Communities pay homage to outstanding citizens in many ways. They name schools after funding donors, or erect statues depicting war heroes.
But let’s be honest: You haven’t truly made a mark on the Vail Valley until you’ve had a drink named after you. Local bar menus are packed with subtle shout-outs to locals. Pay attention to cocktail names and you’ll see references to the bartenders who invented them, the tasters who approved them, and even regular customers who are brave enough to order the same drink, every time.
The drink: Teaver Fever
The bar: La Tour, Vail
Named after: Steven Teaver, manager at La Tour
The story: When Steven Teaver lived in Georgia, all his friends had their own margarita recipes. They were always these complicated concoctions with 15 ingredients. After tasting plenty of these complex brews during trips to the beach, Teaver decided to go back to the basics. He created a traditional margarita with just tequila and fresh lime juice, and eventually added agave nectar to the mix. When the drink debuted on La Tour’s cocktail menu last summer, Teaver picked a simple name for it.
“I actually wanted to call it the agave nectar margarita or something like that,” Teaver said. “I took two days off, and came back, and Paul DeMaurio (La Tour’s wine director) had changed it to Teaver Fever.”
Teaver Fever is the nickname Christy Callier, a server at nearby Pazzo’s Pizzeria, had come up with for Teaver. She had been known to shout the nickname across the parking lot as a greeting. Teaver said he tried to change the drink’s name back to agave margarita, but Teaver Fever kept reappearing on the menu.
1 1/2 ounce silver tequila (such as Milagro)
3/4 ounces of agave nectar (such as Madhava)
2 ounces of fresh lime juice
Mix arbol chili with salt and grind them in a coffee grinder. Rim the glass with the chili-salt mixture. Shake all ingredients with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
The drink: Purkisset
The bar: Restaurant Avondale, Avon
Named after: Richard Purkiss, general manager for food and beverage at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa
The story: Richard Purkiss has a good job at the Westin. Aside from his regular duties, he’s the official new cocktail taste tester.
“He seems to have a good palate,” Avondale bar director Brian Harker said. “Usually what he likes, the general public likes.”
That’s how Purkiss became the final authority on the lychee-flavored martini that became the Purkisset. This past summer, Harker had been working on the martini menu for Avondale when he arrived at a tasty combination of Scottish gin, lychee-flavored liqueur, lemongrass syrup and lime juice. Purkiss, a self-described “big gin drinker,” became the drink’s number one fan.
“It’s probably the most well-balanced cocktail with regard to acidity and sweetness,” Purkiss said.
Thus, bartenders decided to name the drink after Purkiss.
“He earned it,” Harker said. “He definitely had to taste 20 different mixes until we got the right ratio.”
2 1/2 ounces of gin (such as Hendricks)
1 ounce lychee-flavored liqueur (such as Orchid)
1 ounce lemongrass/rosemary syrup
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
Shake ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and rosemary sprig.
The drink: The Richardson
The bar: Vin 48, Avon
Named after: Austin Richardson, web editor for the Vail Daily
The story: Avon resident Austin Richardson, 39, is a big fan of Campari. The movie “The Life Aquatic” turned him onto the Italian aperitif (That’s what lead character Steve Zissou drinks in the film). Richardson started ordering a mix of Campari, club soda and orange juice at Toscanini, a Beaver Creek restaurant, and pretty soon, all Richardson had to do was ask for “the usual” and the bartenders knew what to make.
Those bartenders at Toscanini also happened to be Richardson’s friends, and they went on to open Vin 48 in Avon. In mid-December of last year, Vin 48 co-owner Collin Baugh decided to name the drink after Richardson.
“We knew that our friend Austin Richardson had a passion and love for Campari, all things Campari,” Baugh said.
The drink remains on Vin 48’s menu. Note the large orange wheel that serves as a garnish.
2 ounces Campari
4 ounces club soda
The juice from half an orange
Combine in a highball glass with ice. Garnish with an orange wheel.
The drink: Kelly’s Favorite Fresh Orange Negroni
The bar: Restaurant Kelly Liken, Vail
Named after: Executive Chef Kelly Liken
The story: Liken proudly claims this drink as her winter favorite. It’s a twist on a traditional Italian cocktail called the Negroni.
“I’m really into classic cocktails and old-fashioned cocktail books,” Liken said.
Legend claims the Negroni appeared in 1919 when Italian Count Camillo Negroni asked a Florence bartender to add gin to his Americano, according to “The Ultimate A to Z Bar Guide” by Sharon Tyler Herbst. Liken improvises on the standard recipe ” gin, Campari and sweet or dry vermouth ” by swapping tangerine-flavored vodka with the gin and adding fresh-squeezed orange juice.
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Johnny Love Tangerine Vodka
Half an orange, freshly squeezed
Splash of club soda
In a large rocks glass, add the Campari and sweet vermouth. Add the fresh squeezed orange juice. Fill the glass to the rim with ice. Top with a splash of club soda.
High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or email@example.com.