Credit: Shot on an iPhone
“I jumped out of a plane when I was 20-years-old and now I’m so afraid of heights” Kim Kardashian recently told me (via her eponymous web portal’s 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Me section). Like Kim Kardashian, I too jumped out of a plane albeit when I was 25-years-old, and now I’m so indifferent toward heights.
Like Kim Kardashian, I have also technically ‘met’ Kim Kardashian, inasmuch as you can say you have ‘met’ someone you once encountered in a hermetically sealed press vacuum wherein one is permitted to ask five publicist-vetted questions in as many minutes (at least half of which must be about Kardashian Kollection™).
To this day, it remains the most interesting thing about my personal brand.
So when Thalita Alves, an award winning mixologist at Sydney’s Bulletin Place and the Australian delegate to Campari’s annual Red Diaries compendium, asked that I provide her with “one awesome memory” to spur on the creation of a bespoke cocktail, it would have been rude of me not to mention the event that is invariably invoked each time I’m introduced to someone new. I also cited my recent experience skydiving, a predilection for short and sharp drinks and a desire to revisit Italy because I have problems where restraint is concerned and wanted to give Alves a challenge.
“When you mentioned skydiving, the first thing I thought was of breathtaking heights,” Alves, a teacher turned bartender from Curitiba, Brazil told me while she concocted a cocktail around those esoteric elements.
“It’s very intense, isn’t it, the adrenalin? So we have a breathtaking mint tincture. It’s an infusion [of a neutral spirit] balanced with a touch of sugar. Add some grappa infused with some cocoa nibs [prepared sous vide], then add the Campari – its orange notes work well with the chocolate, the bitterness and mint. Stir your ingredients over ice and serve in your fanciest coupe. Before we pour the drink, bruise the mint against the coupe to [release the oils and evoke] the experience of the skydive.
“I also put down a little red carpet and a mirror for where your drink will be served, because it’s Kim. And there’s your drink: the Red Fall.”
The Red Fall
20 ml Campari
20 ml Cinzano Branco Vermouth
15 ml Raw Cocoa nib sous vide in Grappa Di Moscato
22.5 ml Breathtaking mint tincture
Mint sprig (to garnish)
Tile and cover image: Instagram