Here's another Toby Maloney great that's nice to have at the ready for anyone who says they want a good vodka cocktail. It's also an opportunity to play a little switch-a-roo on your friend to demonstrate how much better it is with gin! This is called Part & Parcel, and it's something we have been making for years, ever since Mr. Maloney shared the recipe online.
Plymouth gin is a good choice for the substitution, but we used locally distilled Aviation from House Spirits which has a similar flavor profile. St-Germain liqueur is made from elderflowers and it mixes so wonderfully with fresh grapefruit juice. The acid gets a boost with a little lime juice brought into balance with the simple syrup.
The bitters is tricky because, according to Maloney, he uses his own house grapefruit bitters at the Violet Hour and commercial bitters are not quite the same. You can make grapefruit bitters yourself, but he suggests obtaining the potent citrus kick by using a big fat twist of grapefruit peel to express as much of the oil as possible. We followed his advice and then dropped the peel into the shaker—what a difference that makes!
Part & Parcel by Toby Maloney
2 oz gin (or vodka if you must)
.75 oz St-Germain
.75 oz grapefruit juice
.25 oz lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup
5 drops grapefruit bitters
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Over the years, we have tasted several of these with vodka and it's a fine drink. It really is, especially if you love the flavor of St-Germain but dislike the sweeter tendency of drinks that use it. Here, the sugar is completely under control—but it's the gin version of this drink that really shines. Even if you don't like gin, this cocktail may change your mind. The citrus-forward botanicals of a variety like Plymouth combine with the other ingredients in some kind of chemical reaction that we can't begin to understand. We do know that the the effect is completely missing with vodka, but with gin, there's definitely something interesting going on in the way it boosts the other flavors. No, you don't taste juniper, but everything else in the drink is more floral and enhanced. Also, shaking the grapefruit peel releases enough oil to induce a tingling sensation on the tongue that we haven't felt since our last Whiskey Smash. Even on a rainy day, this is one helluva great drink!