By way of Jalisco, Mexico, a smooth, deceptively ‘light on its feet,’ tequila-based cocktail proves a knockout success within East Los Angeles’ bar culture.
A Legend Is Born
The Golden Boy is a punchy cocktail, meticulously crafted by innovative bartender Dan Rook, that pays homage to boxing legend, Oscar De La Hoya. A career mixologist, Dan – much like Oscar – has fought his way through the ranks to become a nationally recognized figure within his industry. Having begun his trade slinging drinks in Chicago pubs, Dan recently left the Windy City for Hollywood’s bright lights with a sole mission: to educate Angelenos in the art of mixology and authentic craft cocktails that transcend the ordinary.
Cocktails are the product of a specialized craft that, like boxing, requires dedication, focus, and daily practice. Just as De La Hoya’s story epitomizes the spirit and tenacity of hard-working Angelenos, The Golden Boy cocktail represents a labor of love born of the same grit and raw determination.
Garcia, also a native of East Los Angeles, carries an impressive undefeated record at the early age of 21. As a talented businessman, Oscar is always looking to those who can exuberate the qualities he often saw in himself.
Oscar De La Hoya will forever be a part of the pantheon of all-time boxing greats. A generational trailblazer for the sport, De La Hoya won titles in 6 different weight classes and a gold medal in 1992. After retirement from the rings, De La Hoya went on to become a legendary promoter and business entrepreneur. Today, he is a role model for young people everywhere who have to work vigorously to beat the odds stacked against them.
‘I owe everything to my cultural heritage, how I grew up, where I grew up, and the values my parents instilled in us, which I still live by. To this day, I work as hard as I can every single day, but make sure I’m always well balanced and happy.’- Oscar de la Hoya
A Flip Expression: Fiery, Well Balanced, and Happy
When trying to emulate such a man in an iteration of a craft cocktail, one should consider his DNA – examine what makes him tick. Many good tequila-based cocktails build their flavor profile from a well-balanced canvas of agave nectar, tequila, and lime. As the 2002 title bout against Fernando Vargas taught us, De La Hoya is a fiery fighter, a trait Dan expressed through the heavy influences of cinnamon and spice in our bitters and chocolate shavings.
A flip, differs from a sour, as it includes the entire egg – the yolk plus the whites. It’s an exploration of the palate, through texture and accentuated sour notes – which is one of the reasons why Dan Rook loves flips. He has been a skillful artist at recreating classic recipes with an unexpected spin. This creation will be no surprise to those who have followed Dan throughout his career (in some of the top establishments in Chicago and Los Angeles).
Choosing the Right Tequila – a lightly aged Reposado
There are advantages to using a Reposado to mix with agave and lime, as compared to drinks employing Reposado’s more youthful relative, the Blanco.
An old bartender once said that your shade of tequila should match the time of the day you’re imbibing it. The earlier, the clearer? That’s one approach, but in this case, the Reposado’s light profile of cinnamon makes it most suitable for what Dan’s trying to emulate. Oak aging, even for a mere six months, will do wonders to open tequila’s minerality, indicating the highland agave used in the distillery process.
In the end, you want to leave the drinker speechless, free of any preconceived notion they might hold against trying something light and novel.
Touch of Spice and Melancholia: Shaved Abuelita Chocolate
The Conchita is optional but highly recommended.
Most Mexican pan dulce recipes will ask for some cinnamon, and the combination of the spicy Firewater Bitters, and silkiness of the egg make a perfect pair. Plus, the Mexican chocolate shavings garnished on top make The Golden Boy a sweet afternoon pick-me-up. Flips offer a delightful dessert alternative.
And for those feeling adventurous, one whole premium coffee bean, crushed among the chocolate, can prove to be the energetic boost most of us need towards the end of an arduous battle in the daily ring of life.
The Golden Boy
Yield Makes 2 servings
- ⁃ 4 oz. Casa Mexico Tequila Reposado
- ⁃ 1 oz. agave nectar, undiluted
- ⁃ 1.5 oz. lime
- ⁃ 2 eggs
- ⁃ 4 dashes Peychauds Bitters
- ⁃ 4 dashes Firewater Bitters
- Add all ingredients to a tin, seal tightly, and dry shake (The objective here is not only to mix the ingredients but also to aerate so shake as long and hard as you can).
- Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over).
- Grab a pair of pre-chilled glasses and strain cocktail into both glasses. Garnish with shaved chocolate and conchita if desired and serve.
- When dry shaking, be sure to hold both parts tightly as the air will expand the mixture.
- Practice makes perfect. The secret to aerating (by dry shaking) without getting tired quickly is practice, just as a boxer must spar before a big fight. Repetition over time will yield improved results.
- Chill your glassware for a minimum of 30 minutes before you plan to use it, but ideally for a few hours whenever possible.
- Wait until the last moment to pull your glassware from the refrigerator or freezer to allow for maximum chill.