Persian Limelet (Juliet)

Alexis Jesup

“The Persian New Year was just around the corner and we were thinking of ways to integrate the bar program with the menu,” says Juliet’s proprietor and wine commander Katrina Jazayeri. That’s how the Persian Limelet was first created.  (After May of 2019, the drink will be a secret off-menu item available by request.)

Initially, bartender Gabe Bellegard Bastos felt inspired to make a daiquiri variant. But the Union Square restaurant’s all-day hours and commitment to avoiding waste raised issues. “Lime juice is delicious within a 24-hour span at most, and then starts going,” Bastos says. “We are open all day, every day, and everything we make we want to make sure is available all the time,” he says.

Bastos decided to use a lime cordial instead, making his from scratch rather than relying on a sticky-sweet premade iteration. To make a shelf-stable version of lime, he used sugar as a stabilizer, and citric acid to preserve the green color and prevent browning.

Mixing one part of that cordial with two parts gin essentially makes a Lime Gimlet, one of the simplest cocktails in the book. To give it some zing, Jazayeri added a rim of dried Persian lime mixed with sugar.

“Persian limes are one of those really indicative flavors from the Persian pantry,” she says. “You can certainly tell its origin as a lime, but this fermented and dried version gives that extra little bit of depth to the cocktail.”

The drink is bright and clean, with a sharp lime zing accented by the garnish. While we included a single-cup cordial recipe below, Jazayeri suggests scaling it up for a month’s worth of entertaining at home.

“If you want to host a cocktail party after work and don’t want to juice and do all that stuff to get ready, you’ll have instant margaritas, instant daiquiris, and instant gimlets ready to go,” she says.
 
Persian Limelet
2 ounces Citadelle Gin
1 ounce lime cordial*
Persian lime rimming sugar, for garnish**

Add gin and lime cordial to a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with Persian lime mix.

*Lime Cordial (yields about 1 cup)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1½ ounces fresh lime juice
1½ ounces freshly grated lime peel
1 ounce citric acid

Add all ingredients to a container and stir to combine. Seal container and refrigerate overnight. Add mixture to a blender and blend for 30 seconds on medium setting. Fine strain into container and refrigerate. Keeps about one month.

Persian Lime Rimming Sugar**
1 dried Persian lime
1 1/8 cup sugar, divided

Crush dried Persian lime with a mortar and pestle along with 1/8 cup sugar. Combine crushed mixture with remaining cup of sugar and let sit overnight. Store in a sealed container. Keeps indefinitely.

Brian Samuels

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