It’s winter, which means citrus season approaches, one of the few bright spots in the otherwise endless gray of a Cleveland winter. Donna brought home some oranges with beautiful deep, deep orange-colored flesh. I’d needed them for a duck recipe I was developing. I asked her to get more next time, planning a Screwdriver post and a celebration of citrus. She returned with thick-skinned, stupid old navels, probably from last year. “Sorry,” she said. “That was all they had.” But she did pick up some tangerines because she thought they looked cool.
Aha! I’d made a vodka–tangerine juice before and loved it. A helpful check on Twitter found no proper name for this very sunny elixir. It is sunny—sunny in the mouth. It made Donna smile and say, “Mmmmm! It feels healthy!”
So, to brighten this wintry Friday, may I introduce The Robertson, equal parts vodka and tangerine juice, garnished with a wedge of lime. Feel free to increase the juice as desired but not too much. My tangerines each gave me 1/2 cup, just. The juice is intensely flavored and sweet, and is nicely balanced with the neutral spirit and the bite of the lime.
When I asked on Twitter, several people suggested calling it a Phillips Head. Good, but a little cute. And another suggestion, Socket Wrench, was too heavy-handed. (No one made any Greyhound—vodka with grapefruit—or Cape Codder—vodka with cranberry—associations.) But a different juice demands a different name. And as it is so close to a screwdriver, I’ll keep that association, without being overly obvious, by suggesting it be named after P. L. Robertson, the Canadian who invented and patented the screwdriver with a square tip. The name also keeps the pretty, fruit-juice cocktail somewhat manly sounding. It’s really hard for a dude to sidle up to a bar and say, “I’ll have a Pink Lady.” Even though that’s a great drink. So The Robertson it is.
Happy Friday to all!
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces tangerine juice
- Wedge of lime
- Combine fluids in a double old fashioned. Add ice and a squeeze of lime.
Other links you may like:
- My past cocktail posts with vodka: the Madras, Sea Breeze, Cosmo, Lemon Drop, and Moscow Mule.
- The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto, by Bernard DeVoto, is a lovely meditation on that heavenly time of day.
- Check out the Evans & Peel Detective Agency, independent cocktail bar and restaurant in West London.
© 2014 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2014 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.