Day 11: Yoi-Yoi-Comber
"Double Yoi!" Hey there readers, are you ready for another cocktail? We currently find ourselves in day 11 of this ordeal, and I'm feeling a bit homesick and nostalgic. Something about not working and having all of this free time reminds me of summer vacation when I was younger. I think that's the last l had so much down time. The perfect recipe for nostalgia, at least for me, is combining some cocktail history with a little bit of your own history. With that being said, today's cocktail takes inspiration from two people who've impacted my life, tropical drink-wizard Joe Scialom and Pittsburgh broadcasting legend Myron Cope.
I guess we should probably start out with Joe. If you were a jet-set world travel in the 1940s, chances are, you visited the Shepheards Hotel in Cairo. This was the place to be before global travel became the norm decades later, and the force behind the famed Long Bar was a man named Joe Scialom. We remember him most for his Suffering Bastard cocktail, but Joe's list of accomplishments is a mile long. It was said he spoke several languages fluently, never forgot a face, and was, at that time, the most famous bartender in the world. “You see,” says Joe, “I am a healer at heart. I started out as a chemist – studied in France–and got bored with it. Merely changed bottles.” By 1959, we find Joe heading the bar at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. This is where he made the, somewhat oddly presented, cocktail Cou-Cou-Comber. Served in a hollowed-out cucumber, this is one of those drink generally forgotten by most modern bartenders.
We can't forget about Myron! For those of you who don't know, I grew up in the Pittsburgh area, before heading out on my own nomadic adventures like Scialom himself. If there was one voice I recall from my childhood, almost even more than my parents, it was broadcaster Myron Cope, the voice of the Pittburgh Steelers. If you've never been to the steel city, Pittsburghers eat, sleep and breath their three major sports teams. For 35 years, Cope was a voice of hope for a city going through a big change, as the always relied upon steel industry was closing up shop in it's home and being out-sourced to other countries. He's credited with creating the citie's most iconic sports symbol, the "Terrible Towel." Nobody raised spirits in the city of three rivers like Cope. His most iconic phrase of "Yoi" being extra emphasized during a big play with a "Double Yoi."
2oz Vodka (I used Boyd & Blair, straight from Pittsburgh)
.5oz Cucumber Syrup
5 dashes Absinthe
Whip shake all ingredients.
Pour unstrained into mug.
Top with crushed ice.
Garnish with pineapple fronds, pineapple half moon, and cucumber rosette.
Juice 2 fresh cucumbers.
Fine strain the cucumber juice removing as much solid particulate as possible.
Combine and equal amount of sugar to juice.
Stir until fully dissolved.
Having a Pittsburgh tiki mug from the folks over at Hidden Harbor doesn't hurt for good measure either. These guys have really been killing it, reshaping their whole business model to facilitate take-out business during quarantine. If you're in the area, please be sure to show them some love.
And there you have it, a combination of two things I take inspiration and comfort from in my life. I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling homesick lately. This whole ordeal is taking its toll on us all. Hopefully this refreshing cooler helped brighten you day as much as it did mine. I'm really beginning to look forward to these posts every day. What's everyone else's routine for getting a sense of normal in their lives? Feel free to leave feedback. Until tomorrow everyone, shake this one up for good measure. It'll be sure to have you saying "you betcha!"