Let me tell you about my friend Richie.
Every great once in a while in life you encounter a kindred spirit, someone whose own personal interests and passions and eccentricities not only dovetail with yours, but drive the both of you to even further depths and distances within yourselves than you may have ever found on your own. Every once in a while you find an ally, a person who seems to be looking in the same direction you are, who seems to be walking the same path. Another solider in an army you never realized you’d enlisted in. Another passenger on a train you never realized you’d boarded.
And then sometimes someone you work with puts the juice from mexican sausage into gin and you drink it out of a tiny lightbulb.
Notice me keeping my distance.
I won’t even attempt to explain the long, complex string of missteps that led to where I’m sitting right now, staring into the face of one of the most foul things that has ever (and hopefully WILL ever) cross my lips. Suffices to say that I love a bad idea and as soon as I heard that someone that I knew personally had decided to infuse a pint of Beefeater with a link of spicy Mexican sausage, I was there. And as soon as I recovered from the experience of actually tasting the stuff (which took several minutes, to be sure), I knew I had to share it with the world. My friend Richie’s dark genius must be made known to you all. I am but the humble messenger. If you ever end up actually trying this stuff, please don’t shoot me. Remember: I Warned You.
So. Where to begin with this nightmare brew. “How is it made,” some of you will probably be wondering by this point. The actual process as it was explained to me isn’t that dissimilar from the popular bacon-infused vodka that some people will make at home if they don’t feel like paying good money for it. What makes this exceptional is the stroke of mad inspiration to combine the salty, zesty, spiciness of chorizo (which is only vaguely palatable on an average day) with the dry, occasionally herbaceous, biting tart berry flavor of gin.
“ENOUGH WITH THE DRY ANALYSIS WE WANT TO SEE YOU VOMIT” okay okay, let’s get down to business.
Pungent, to be sure, but not overwhelming. It’s funny, the small amounts that had spilled out on my hands and my shirt in my effort to transport this stuff home from work (a tiny glass lightbulb not exactly being the IDEAL container) actually grossed me out more than smelling it up close did. Maybe that’s a commentary on the vessel or the method of ingestion more than the actual beverage itself, I don’t really know. Maybe I’ve gotten used to it already.
Here we go.
You know… I would compare the experience of tasting this stuff to riding a roller coaster. The anticipation builds as you approach the initial drop, then it’s followed by a blur of sensations that pass too quickly for you to register much of anything but excitement and terror, and there’s a long, slow, confusing comedown that only makes you want to get in line to take another spin.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not for beginners by any means. Your average palate might find chorizo to be somewhat offputting to begin with, and I know from experience that gin is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re comfortable with both tastes individually, I would say why not roll the dice and see how you like them together.
This, then, I suppose, is my point – it takes a special kind of person to imagine a concoction like this. While several people that I described it to suggested that perhaps tequila would have been a more obvious candidate for infusion with the juices from mexican sausage than gin, that’s not the direction my friend chose to take. And that’s what makes this remarkable. It’s counterintuitive. Does it work on every level? Could I drink it every day? Lord, no. But if you don’t at least keep one eye open for off the wall, fringe combinations and possibilities like this, in whatever venue you prefer (it doesn’t have to be homemade infused liquors, although I personally recommend it) then I can honestly tell you that you’re missing out.
“BUT WAIT YOU DIDN’T FINISH IT” alright already, for fuck’s sake.