Rainbow Road (A4cade)

Alexis Jesup

Saying a drink “tastes like candy” isn’t typically the best compliment. But we make an exception for A4cade’s Rainbow Road, a bright, juicy drink that recalls a throwback sweet.

“I wanted to make a drink that tasted like the watermelon Sour Patch,” says bar manager Tainah Soares. “It’s my favorite candy—it’s what I get when I go to the movies.”

The drink, named after the notoriously difficult Mario Kart course, manages that feat by matching a tart grapefruit liqueur called Crème de Pamplemousse with a refreshing watermelon syrup. Soares goes with Giffards’ liqueur because of its brightness (if using a Crème de Pamplemousse made by another brand, the bar manager recommends upping the recipe’s lemon juice quotient from ½ oz. to ¾ oz. to compensate).

Powerful fruit flavors are grounded by Sipsmith Gin, a juniper-forward version with a heavy citrus backbone. According to Soares, its botanicals pair particularly well with grapefruit and watermelon.

Rainbow Road
1½ ounces Sipsmith Gin
½ ounce Giffard Crème de Pamplemousse
¾ ounce sour watermelon syrup*
½ ounce lemon juice
Lemon peel, to garnish

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a double rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon peel.

*Sour Watermelon Syrup (yields 2 quarts)
¼ of a large watermelon, diced
1 cup sugar
2 ounces lemon juice

Add watermelon pieces to blender and blend until juiced. Add watermelon juice, lemon juice, and sugar to a large pan and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for ten minutes over medium-high heat, then remove from heat. Once mixture has cooled, strain syrup through a chinois to remove pulp and refrigerate in a sealed container. Syrup will keep one month, refrigerated.

Brian Samuels

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