Drinks like the Rum and Coke, Gin & Tonic, and Vodka Soda are often pigeonholed as rudimentary dive bar staples. They may be wildly popular, but does a spirit, a splash of soda, and an obligatory lime wedge constitute a bonafide cocktail or just a one-way ticket to inebriation?
Could the Vodka Soda be the reason that vodka continues to rank as one of the best-selling spirits in the U.S.? Is it serving as the main factor behind the overwhelming success of brands such as Tito’s? With such a simple composition, can you create a flavorsome, interesting version of this drink while staying true to the essence of a classic Vodka Soda? These are all questions we’re answering today as we’re joined in the studio by Ignacio “Nacho” Jiménez, co-owner of the recently opened, must-visit NYC bar Superbueno.
As Jiménez says, “Vodka is a blank canvas.” So for his Vodka Y Soda, he paints quite the masterpiece, taking the simple two-ingredient drink and pushing it to the nth degree. It’s a cocktail of epic proportions and its guava salt rim is the only visual tip-off that this drink might be a bit different from your usual dive bar go-to. Listen on to learn Nacho’s Vodka Y Soda recipe.
Ignacio “Nacho” Jiménez’s “Vodka Y Soda” Recipe
- 1 ½ ounces pasilla and guajillo pepper infused Grey Goose*
- ¼ ounce Velvet Falernum
- 5 ounces guava water**
- Garnish: Guava salt
- Rim a chilled highball glass with guava salt.
- Combine all ingredients and charge with carbonation either in a soda stream or using an ISI with a CO2 soda charger.
- Serve in the highball glass over an ice spear or regular ice.
Pasilla and Guajillo Grey Goose*
- 1 liter Grey Goose vodka
- 20 grams deseeded Guajillo peppers
- 10 grams deseeded Pasilla Peppers
- Add vodka to a container/pitcher.
- Add deseeded peppers.
- Infuse from 30 mins to overnight before straining through a fine mesh strainer.
- 1 liter clarified guava purée***
- 7 grams tartaric acid
- 8 grams malic acid
- 15–20 grams sugar
- Combine all the ingredients together and, if possible, use a Brix refractometer while adding sugar until you reach 15–20 sugar Brix.
- Store in the refrigerator. (Will last for a couple of weeks.)
Clarified Guava Purée***
- 850 grams Le Boiron guava purée
- 200 milliliters water
- 130 grams Pectinex
- 2 grams Agar Agar
- Mix the guava purée with Pectinex in a large pot and let it sit for 20 minutes.
- Add water and cook until it boils, stirring continuously so it doesn’t catch.
- Add Agar Agar and dissolve.
- Strain through a coffee strainer into a sealable container.