Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Pale Deacon

While searching for inspiration for this weeks greatest drink. I came across The Pale Deacon. When I am researching a drink for the blog I will experiment with five or six cocktails, sometimes tweaking them here or there while taking suggestions from the Greatest Drink expert Panel, (or whatever bar flies happen to be in on a Sunday night.) The Pale Deacon came out the winner this week by far. In fact, the Pale Deacon went down so well it produced both tears and group hugs from the panel of experts. I also saw some exchange of phone numbers and at least one episode of knee squeezing.

One question that came up was what does the name the Pale Deacon actually mean? Nobody including myself could come up with a reasonable answer. If anyone out there knows what it means please let us know by commenting on this blog.

The Recipe:

Into a cocktail shaker full of ice add

- a 4 count of Tanqueray Gin

- a 4 count of grapefruit juice

- a dash of simple syrup, (sugar,)

- 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

- Shake religiously!

- salt to taste, (3 hearty shakes came out nice!)

Joe the Bartender's notes: Many, many years ago when I was just learning my trade in London, I worked at a well known "Gentleman's Club," (by this I mean a club for gentlemen; high backed leather chairs, brandy snifters and cigar and pipe smoking kind of club, and NOT the pole dancing, over-priced drink kind of gentleman's club).

This club was frequented by those who held the political and financial power in London. I remember a group of four ministers from the Church of England who frequented the club regularly.

This party consisted of three upper level ministers and one young deacon. It seemed to me that the three ministers where introducing their young colleague to the powers that be, (political and financial, that is, not heavenly, I think they already had that base covered.) Almost as if they where preparing this young man of the cloth for advancement within the Church of England. My conspiracy theory paranoia wonders if this young deacon is now wielding some authority among his flock from some upper level of the church, still controlled by the three original ministers.

Could this be a Pale Deacon?

Chris the Barfly's notes: As far as The Pale Deacon, the drink, is concerned, this cocktail seems to be on a completely different flavor palette from other drinks, perhaps it was the grapefruit juice as a core.

The heart of this drink is the grapefruit juice: so different, tart and bitter, Maybe that is why it stands out so from the typical bar fare. The combination of flavors; the grapefruit, the bitters, sugar, Tanqueray's and salt make this just a delicious drink, and nothing sweet or candy-like about it.

And apparently, good for you, too! Grapefruit juice is loaded with Vitamin C, and antioxidants, helps to lower cholesterol and to metabolize fat. In fact, grapefruit has been called one of the 'Seven Wonders of Barbados,' since its introduction there, shortly after being invented in the 1800's.

So, it was extremely fortuitous, (at least for continuity’s sake,) that we had guest research assistant, Michael B., our resident Barbadian, (and frequent "Greatest Drink" taste tester,) on hand for this evening’s consideration. Michael commented immediately of how the flavor reminded him of home, with the saltiness and the tang of the juice. He took it a step further and suggested that this cocktail accompany kettle-cooked salt & vinegar-flavored potato chips.

This is an unusual drink, but one that I wouldn't hesitate to order again, no matter what flavor chips were served.


  1. I promise i'll try it, just for the health effects. Although i'm not a grapefruit fan.

  2. Heck, if your in the area, I'll buy it!
    Swing by some Friday night at 5:00 and it's on ME!