My home lies on a ridge. To one side sits the neighborhood of Echo Park, on the other Elysian Park, an actual park that fills with smoky barbecues, families rejoicing in music and company, and picnics. Years ago, these hillsides were dotted with hunting lodges, and I imagine fields of gold and whatever shrubs and trees were native to Southern California at the time. In this cute white house with the black roof, I have Johnnie Walker Black Label and I want a cocktail that blends all of this imagery.
Sage is native to California and its herbal nature reminds me of the hills. No citrus fruits originate from this state, but somehow it has become famous for them as well as Tiki cocktails, which clearly also have their true origins in distant and disparate locations. But like everyone in Los Angeles, all of these things have settled here. Finally, there’s Sherry. It’s another herbal element, but in some way calls forth both memories of Spanish colonialism and the large Latino population that gives this area some true sense of community. On top of the ridge, the only noise comes from the crows jawing.
Johnnie Walker Black is the more mature brother of the world’s most popular Whisky, Johnnie Walker Red. Known for its balance and iconic striding man logo, it manages to be both somewhat highbrow and common. Despite its Scottish origins, its natural honey gold color fits perfectly with dried grass-covered hillsides. Putting all of these together, we make a cocktail we’re dubbing Fields of Gold, and no, it’s not a reference to the Sting song.
Fields of Gold
- 1.5 oz Johnnie Walker Black Label
- 1 oz Manzanilla Sherry (Lustau)
- 0.5 oz Muddle & Wilde Sage – Lemon syrup
- Juice of half a lime
Fill a cocktail shaker with the Johnnie Walker Black Label, Manzanilla Sherry, Muddle & Wilde Sage – Lemon syrup, juice from half a lime, and ice. Shake till properly chill and pour into a Martini glass. Enjoy the views.