For Industriel s Jeremy Allen, who calls himself Beverage Director, Liquids Curator or Booze Monkey, as the mood strikes, there's inspiration in everything. "I might read something and think, 'That sounds interesting.' For a lot of things, it's music." That was certainly the case with his Little Joy Jr., inspired by the supergroup of the same name (minus the junior), with whom he is friends.
Little Joy's cross-cultural roots - the band is made up of a Brazilian (Rodrigo Amarante of Los Hermanos), an Italian (Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti), and an American (L.A.-based musician Binki Shapiro) - gave Lake ample fodder for his drink. Originally, it used cachaça, a spirit distilled from sugarcane juice, and amaro, an Italian bitter liqueur, but Allen has since made it more L.A.-centric while retaining its international soul. Now an L.A.-based organic rum (Crusoe) stands in for the cachaça, and the bitter notes of Grand Poppy liqueur, from the Greenbar Collective, serves admirably for the amaro.
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The final result pleased Allen, who explains, "it's softer than the original and it won't mess with the food." Indeed, the Little Joy Jr. is an easy-drinking sipper that offers a gentle bitterness to stimulate the appetite. And with its soft peachy tone and effervescent body, it's a drink that looks as good as it tastes.
If this tipple isn't your style, try Allen's Portland Hippie Juice, made from Douglas fir eau de vie and crème de cassis. Either way, you will be intrigued by the flavor combinations, a perfect illustration that, as Allen says, "ideas can come from anywhere, and from there, it's what tastes good."
Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book "Gin: A Global History." Email her at email@example.com. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.