"Mojada" Special Cocktails
November 6, 2017
In honor of our 30th Anniversary season, we’ve partnered with Oregon Shakespeare Festival to bring Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles to Portland. This powerful adaptation of Euripides’ Medea is the first OSF production to be presented at Portland Center Stage at The Armory since the two theaters separated in 1994. What better way to celebrate this happy reunion than with four fabulous cocktails created by The Armory Bar?
Bar Supervisor (and resident mixologist) Melissa Larrabee introduces the specialty cocktails inspired by Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles.
The characters of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles come from the Michoacán state of Mexico. For inspiration, I researched the flavors of this region: guava and hibiscus are used for anything from cheesecake to Aguas Frescas – a non-alcoholic drink with a base of sugar and water. The drink combines the two flavors of guava and hibiscus with New Deal’s Dry 33 Gin, and adds a splash of lemon juice and soda water for balance. Named after a term of endearment used to describe Medea in the play, “Mi Medea” is garnished with a dried hibiscus bud that slowly changes the cocktail’s color, just as Medea changes throughout the play.
Another type of Aguas Frescas, popular throughout Mexico, is horchata. To do an alcoholic version of horchata, I turned to Rumchata. It is not a true horchata base as it uses dairy instead of rice, but it still has the creamy flavor of vanilla and cinnamon. I knew I wanted this cocktail to represent “El Guaco,” a type of falcon with a creamy brown chest and dark brown wings referenced throughout the play. Inspired by the rich brown spirit of the falcon, Crater Lake’s Hazelnut Espresso Vodka is paired with both Rumchata and horchata, and garnish with cinnimon to bring it back to its roots. Not only do these flavors create an amazing drink, but the color represents El Guaco beautifully.
When approaching cocktails for a play that incorporates Mexican heritage I didn’t want to do the obvious: the margarita. However, I wanted to do something with tequila! “Bloody Machete” is not a direct line from the play, but it is definitely an image that is implied. Blood oranges are the perfect flavor to pair with Lunazul Blanco Tequila. A riff on the classic tequila sunrise, lime juice and Reed’s Ginger Brew is added to give it a kick fitting for its title.
|Un Mal De Ojo|
Roughly translated, “Un mal de ojo” means “evil eye.” Medea talks about cursing Armida with un mal de ojo. The Michoacán region is one of the world’s largest producers of avocados. Muddling real avocados would be messy business, so I turned to my new favorite bartender’s technique of fat-washing using Crater Lake’s Hatch Green Chile Vodka and avocado oil. Grape tomatoes are muddled with lime juice and a cumin simple syrup using only half the sugar to avoid an overpowering sweetness. The result is a spicy cocktail with layers of flavor. Sadly, real Hatch Chiles are out of season, so its sister chile, the Anaheim is used as a garnish instead.