Some things in life are worth celebrating. And it is only proper to toast new beginnings: champagne on the New Year, and the Baracktail on tomorrow's inauguration. As I was creating this, I wanted it to be redolent of Barack Obama, a little tribute in booze. It begins with gin, of Chicago bootlegging fame. Hawaiian hibiscus flowers infuse the syrup that sweetens and stains it. Lime is added for a touch of acerbic rhetoric, and the tang of hard times. And mint, tons of mint, remind us there can always be a very, very fresh start. This cocktail is like spring cleaning: flowers, mint, and citrus to scrub away the dirty past and welcome a clean, fresh beginning.
This drink is strong, sweet, unexpected, innovative, vivacious, and really, really good—just like our 44th president. Here's to something different, and to you, Mr. President. Cheers.
Can we drink this tomorrow night? Yes, we can!
In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, drop the leaves of 2 stems of mint, and add some ice. With the back of a wooden spoon, muddle the mint leaves until they are bruised and broken.
Pour in the hibiscus syrup, lime juice, and gin. Shake the cocktail until cold.
Pour a thin layer of sugar onto a rimmed baking sheet. Run squeezed lime around the rim of a martini glass; invert glass and dip in sugar to lightly coat the rim. Pour the cold Baracktail into the glass, and take a sip.