"I don't really dig on Budweiser products in general," Josh Martinez of the Franklin Room says. But an assignment is an assignment, so when Laura Green of Bernie's Lunch & Supper challenged him to make a cocktail with Bud Light Lime, that's what he did. He even got fancy, choosing Budweiser Lime-a-Rita—a margarita-flavored beer (or, to be technical, malt beverage)—mainly on the basis of its availability at the closest 7-Eleven.
Martinez started by making falernum—a syrup he usually makes with lime juice, cloves, and a little alcohol—by reducing the Lime-a-Rita with cloves. "At that point, it kind of tasted like Froot Loops," he says. What it tasted like originally, he couldn't say—he'd elected not to taste it straight—but he did take a sip during our interview. "I don’t think there's any lime in there at all—it's all citric acid," he said. "There's a little bit of barley and regret on the back end." A minute later, he added, "Oh man, that's awful. I kind of wish I had pickled herring [as his ingredient] now."
The cocktail Martinez made—which he called Down for Whatever—had two components. The first was a mai tai with two types of rum, triple sec, lime juice, and orgeat syrup he'd infused with hops to give it a beer component. Then he topped the drink with a foam made with the Lime-a-Rita falernum, blackstrap rum, lime juice, and Angostura bitters—a classic cocktail called Corn 'n' Oil. "It's not bad," he said, tasting the cocktail—then added jokingly, "It's fine as long as you don't drink it."
Martinez has challenged Damian Arms of the J.W. Marriott Lobby Lounge to make a cocktail with huitlacoche, a fungus that grows on corn and is common in Mexican cooking.
Down for Whatever
1 oz Smith & Cross rum
.5 oz Flor de Cana white rum
.75 oz triple sec
.75 oz lime juice
.3 oz hop-infused orgeat syrup
Corn 'n' Oil foam*
Add all ingredients except the foam to a cocktail shaker with ice; shake and strain into a glass. Top with foam.
*Corn 'n' Oil foam
2 oz Cruzan blackstrap rum
6 oz Lime-a-Rita falernum syrup
6 oz lime juice
.5 oz Angostura bitters
14 oz egg whites
Add all ingredients to an iSi canister and shake.