A Bridge to Emerald City (Loyal Nine)

Alexis Jesup

There’s a bridge to the Emerald City, and it’s not in Oz—surprisingly it’s in Maine.

Wiggly Bridge is a father-and-son distillery in York, Maine, the town that’s also home to the world’s smallest suspension bridge. The company makes a white rum using traditional dunder-pit fermentation, a method that uses liquid leftover from distillation to create a big, funky flavor called “hogo,” which is typically associated with Jamaican rum.

Those Jamaican rums—like Wray & Nephew—tend to be on the strong side, but the milder 40 percent ABV of Wiggly Bridge inspired the team at Loyal Nine to create a cocktail that could match its unmistakable funk. A Bridge to Emerald City also features green chartreuse, Dolin Dry Vermouth, vanilla syrup, and a sprig of juniper for an aromatic boost.

This strong, slow sipper melds ingredients that could easily overwhelm in other recipes. The boldness of the rum shines through, but it’s pleasantly smoothed out by the other components, creating a cocktail that’s somehow funky and crisp.

“You have that funkiness that melds with the herbaceousness of green chartreuse and the aromatics from the Dolin Dry, and a bit of the vanilla brings more pronounced flavors out,” says bar manager Jon Theris.

A Bridge to Emerald City
1½ ounces Wiggly Bridge White Rum
½ ounce green chartreuse
½ ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
½ ounce vanilla syrup*
Juniper sprig, to garnish

Combine ingredients in mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with juniper branch.

*Vanilla syrup (yields about 1 quart)
½ quart water
½ quart sugar
2 vanilla beans

Split the vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds. Add seeds directly to sugar, stir to combine, and allow mixture to sit for three hours. Combine sugar (with vanilla seeds) and water in saucepan over medium-high heat and bring mixture to just under a boil. Remove from heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Seal mixture in a plastic container and allow to infuse in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Pass mixture through coffee filter to strain out vanilla seeds, then re-seal and store. Keeps up to three weeks, refrigerated.

Brian Samuels

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