In order to make this sublimely simple drink, which comes from San Francisco mixologists Greg Lindgren and Jon Gasparini, you’ll first need to make an oleo saccharum, a mixture of citrus oil and sugar that is the signature ingredient in classic 19th-century punches. Although the recipe makes more oleo saccharum than you will need, it will keep in the refrigerator for about a month.
- 5 lemons
- 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) superfine sugar
- 2 oz. (60 ml) aged rum
- Dash of Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
To make the oleo saccharum, using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons, leaving the white pith behind. Set aside one strip of zest for garnish. Place the remaining zest strips in a resealable plastic bag and add the sugar. Shake to combine, then set aside at room temperature until the zest has released its oils and a thick syrup has formed, 4 to 6 hours.
Pour the mixture into a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl, pressing on the peels with the back of a spoon to extract any remaining liquid. Discard the zest and transfer the liquid to a clean glass jar.
To make the drink, put a large ice cube in an old-fashioned glass. Pour in the rum, bitters, and a dash of the oleo saccharum. Stir until well chilled, garnish with the reserved lemon zest and serve immediately. Makes 1 drink.
Greg Lindgren and Jon Gasparini, Rye on the Road, San Francisco, CA