A study in contrasts, the Something Old, Something New cocktail from The Wanderer bar inside Hotel Indigo is the ideal mix of sweet and savory. The unique take on the margarita combines the sweetness of strawberry with the herbiness of bay leaves highlighted by a sugar and salt rim.
"It's a fun, flirty classic with a twist," says Erin Meeker, food and beverage manager at Hotel Indigo, adding that the drink is actually the result of a misunderstanding between her and bar manager Austin Gulledge. While chatting about flavors that pair well with strawberry, she suggested he try basil. "He misheard me, and thought I said bay, which he thought was odd, but I'm the chef so he just went with it," she says. "What he created was beyond all expectations — a little sweet, a little savory and very appropriate for the season."
While the drink's name stems from it being a twist on a classic, the name — like the names of all The Wanderer's cocktails, such as Build Mama a Coffin and The Railroad Man — is also a reference to Meeker's favorite podcast, "Old Gods of Appalachia."
"I got enthusiastic permission from the show creators before I launched our menu, and it's been an interesting theme to play with," Meeker says.
What you need:
1 ounces Espanita Blanco or any silver tequila
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ounce agave
1 large strawberry, chopped, plus 1 for garnish
1 bay leaf, plus 1 for garnish
Salt/sugar blend to rim the glass
What you do:
1. Rim a large rocks glass with salt/sugar mix and fill with ice.
2. In a shaker, muddle strawberry, bay leaf and agave together.
3. Add tequila, Cointreau and ice, then cover and shake.
4. Strain into the prepared rocks glass.
5. Garnish with strawberry and bay leaf.