Growing Old and Dying Happy is a Hope, Not an Inevitability

Here’s one of many fantastic drinks I had during my first evening at Cure back home in New Orleans, finally getting there about four months after they opened.

Next came the drink that wins the award for the longest cocktail name I’ve ever encountered, which we had difficulty remembering even while sober. Maks apologized for the length of the name but very pointedly did not offer to change it.



(by Maks Pazuniak, Cure, New Orleans)

2 ounces Cynar.
1 ounce Rittenhouse 100 proof rye whiskey.
Pinch of salt.
2 pieces of lemon peel.

Combine the Cynar, rye and salt in a mixing glass and stir briefly to dissolve the salt. Express the oil from the lemon peels and drop into the mixing glass. Add ice and stir, then strain into an Herbsaint-rinsed cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

That said, he did admit that they tend to refer to it as “Growing Old” for short. This is sort of an inverse-Manhattan in which Cynar (“chee-NAHR,” an Italian bitters based on artichokes, in case you’re not familiar with it) is substituted for both the sweet vermouth and the bitters, with a really nice savory element added by the salt, which enhances the flavor of the amaro and gives it more balance. If you try this one at home, make sure you only use the barest pinch — you don’t want to make it taste salty, you want to make it taste seasoned. Both the salt and the lemon oil, as Maks reminded me later, help bring out the “artichokiness” of the flavors in the drink.

2 Responses to “Growing Old and Dying Happy is a Hope, Not an Inevitability”

  1. the campari “martini” :: salt said:

    Jun 09, 10 at 12:59 pm

    […] the application of salt, stuck with me for a while.  I did my own riff on the idea, the Growing old and dying happy, blah, blah, blah, which has since evolved into the Italian Heirloom on the Counting Room menu (just substitute a 1/2 […]

  2. La Paloma « Captain McBoozy's said:

    Jul 02, 10 at 5:16 am

    […] La Paloma Salt.  It’s so hot right now.  Salt.  It’s basically the new black.  Everybody who’s anybody has been mixing with it… remember the Juliet & Romeo at TVH, well that has it, and so does the G.O.A.D.H.I.A.H.N.A.I. […]