There are more than a few drinks that pay homage to the sea: the Sea Breeze and its spin-off, the Cape Codder, are two. But usually the theme is nebulous—the Cape Codder, essentially a Vodka Cranberry, is a reference to the cranberry bogs of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, while the Sea Breeze is just generally refreshing. One could see some connection between the sweet-tart vodka drink and a cool ocean breeze, but that’s being generous. The Ocean Mist, on the other hand, is far more evocative of its namesake thanks to a clever use of blue curaçao—a sapphire hued orange liqueur—and the frothiness of egg whites.
Bartender Kevin Mabry developed the Ocean Mist for the now-closed Boston restaurant Merrill & Co. The cocktail begins with a silver tequila (Mabry uses Milagro, a decently priced premium brand), and also has apricot brandy for extra oomph and richness, as well as sweetness. Mabry uses Rothman & Winter—it’s by far the easiest apricot brandy to come by, and a high quality spirit, but if you happen to have another bottle on hand, feel free to use it.
The liquors are shaken with lemon juice, egg white and, importantly, a bit of Maldon sea salt. This won’t make the drink overtly salty, but rather enhances the other ingredients and provides a subtle nuance of saltiness that suits the name.
After shaking, the drink is poured over a half-ounce of blue curaçao, a crucial step that gives the Ocean Mist its stunning visuals. The cocktail transitions from blue to aqua to sea foam green, with a crest of white foam—an homage to the New England coast. Blue curaçao is an artificially colored orange liqueur made from curaçao oranges; the most well-known producer is DuKupyer, though it can be considered overly sweet or cloying. One trick to really punch up the Ocean Mist—as well as any other blue-hued drinks like the Corpse Reviver No. Blue or the Blue Lagoon—is to make your own blue curaçao. It takes some time (20 days, actually) and labor, but the next time you make a round of Ocean Mists (or Adios, Motherfuckers), your tastebuds will know the difference.
- 1/2 ounce blue curaçao
- 2 ounces silver tequila (such as Milagro)
- 3/4 ounce Rothman & Winter apricot brandy
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 egg white
- 1/8 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
- Garnish: orange twist
Add the blue curaçao into a coupe glass.
Add the tequila, apricot brandy, lemon juice, egg white and sea salt into a shaker and vigorously dry-shake (without ice).
Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
Strain into the prepared coupe glass.
Garnish with an orange twist.
RAW EGG WARNING
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.