1216 Prospect Street, La Jolla
According to Duke’s bar manager Peter Stanmeyer, the mango Old Fashioned made at this Hawaiian haven of haute cuisine has as much to do with Waikiki luaus as it does with Wisconsin supper clubs.
He says that while its basic composition owes a nod to the legendary cocktail from flyover country, its more exotic ingredients — mango purée and black-tea syrup — make this drink more than a Midwestern tourist sporting a lei. “I hesitate to say that the mango Old Fashioned is a tropical twist or even a new twist on a modern classic,” Stanmeyer says. “Those words don’t work.”
The cocktail’s architect, Duke’s chef Anthony Sinsay, Stanmeyer says, wanted to modify the best aspects of his favorite drink, the Old Fashioned, in a way that fit Duke’s focus on all things Hawaiian.
“I asked Anthony why he chose mango and he said he really enjoys working with that fruit,” Stanmeyer says. “If you’re looking to use those other tropical flavors, pineapple won’t work (too astringent), guava won’t work (too soft), and papaya won’t work (too much fiber). Anthony also said passion fruit is overplayed — it’s everywhere — so he wanted to do something a little different, and mango was it.”
Besides adding shade to the drink’s sunnier colors, the black-tea syrup, Stanmeyer says, rescues the bourbon’s herbaceous and floral components from the thick sweet of a complete mango wipeout.
“The black tea’s flavors bring out the bourbon and reinforces the bourbon’s flavor,” he says, “so not everything is lost with the mango. You taste the mango Old Fashioned and you get the bourbon and the black tea. The mango is that sweetness that finishes the drink — it’s the last thing that comes to my palate when I taste the drink.”
Duke's Mango Old-Fashioned
- 1 1/4 oz. Bulleit bourbon
- 1/2–3/4 oz. black tea syrup*
- 1 oz. mango purée
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters
- 1 splash soda water
In cocktail tin full of ice, add ingredients, stir, pour into Old Fashioned glass filled with ice,
top with soda, garnish with twist of orange.
- *Black tea syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 black tea bag
Boil water, add sugar, let dissolve, turn off heat, steep tea bag and refrigerate for one hour.