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MOTHERSHIP’s Warbird: Captain’s grog

Jungle Bird meets Klingon warships

Warbird
Warbird
David Kinsey

Captain’s log: Earthdate 2022. A man wearing a NASA hat welcomes me inside the newly-launched MOTHERSHIP. I traverse the cavernous interior, noticing the gorgeous stained-glass egg pods hanging from the ceiling. “They’re like the ‘fruits’ of the planet,” comments David Kinsey, as I strap in for a cocktail voyage.

Kinsey explains that MOTHERSHIP was born out of the idea of “permanent vacation” — hence the tropical cocktails, except that vacation is in outer space — hence the intergalactic ambiance, “as opposed to going for like the tropical aspect of a tiki bar.”

Place

Mothership

2310 30th Street, San Diego

Looking over the menu, I steer toward the Warbird. It’s so named, he says, because it’s “a riff on the old Jungle Bird cocktail. And then, also, the Klingon warships, and Star Trek… sort of brings it all around.” To set expectations, Kinsey recommends this cocktail “if you like to have those kinds of experiences — those kinds of drinks — that are a lot more to unpack, that have a lot more going on.”

He continues, “With this one, it’s bold flavors, on top of bold flavors, on top of bold flavors. It’s definitely complex, but still approachable. There’s a lot of flavor there, a lot of very rich flavors, but it’s not overwhelming.” He observes that certain palates simply gravitate (space word!) toward “big, bitter, and kind of weird.” And when it comes to bitter flavors, the Warbird — well, here’s how he puts it: “What I always compare it to is — if you love black coffee, you’ll love a drink like this. Your palate’s going to be excited in the same way.”

Detailing the components of the cocktail, Kinsey starts with “that big molasses flavor you get. We’re using Cruzan black strap rum — just super dark, molasses, rich, delicious. The bitter element in there is the Campari. And then just to add a little citrus pop, we use the Marie Brizard yuzu liqueur.” He notes, “What I like about yuzu is it’s bright, it’s citrusy, it’s dry — but also has a little custardiness to it. So, it kind of adds to the richness.” Building on top of that, he blends caramelized pineapple with pineapple juice and finishes with “lime for that nice acidity to balance off that yuzu. And then we use a little bit of blood orange syrup in there.”

On the quest for a garnish that looks out-of-this-world, Kinsey says “I went into ‘little kid science experiment’ mode, where I was just putting things in the dehydrator to see what happened. And the dragon fruit just got rad!” He landed on the red and white fruit for its balance of colors against pinking-sheared piña plumes. “It definitely feels familiar, but alien.”

Mothership
  • Mothership’s
  • Warbird
  • 1.5 oz Blackstrap rum
  • .75 oz Campari
  • .25 oz Yuzu Liqueur
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • .75 oz caramelized pineapple purée
  • .5 oz blood orange syrup
  • Add all ingredients to a mixer tin. Fill with crushed ice. Flash blend and open pour with gated finish into a stein. Garnish with three piña plumes and dried dragon fruit.
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Warbird
Warbird
David Kinsey

Captain’s log: Earthdate 2022. A man wearing a NASA hat welcomes me inside the newly-launched MOTHERSHIP. I traverse the cavernous interior, noticing the gorgeous stained-glass egg pods hanging from the ceiling. “They’re like the ‘fruits’ of the planet,” comments David Kinsey, as I strap in for a cocktail voyage.

Kinsey explains that MOTHERSHIP was born out of the idea of “permanent vacation” — hence the tropical cocktails, except that vacation is in outer space — hence the intergalactic ambiance, “as opposed to going for like the tropical aspect of a tiki bar.”

Place

Mothership

2310 30th Street, San Diego

Looking over the menu, I steer toward the Warbird. It’s so named, he says, because it’s “a riff on the old Jungle Bird cocktail. And then, also, the Klingon warships, and Star Trek… sort of brings it all around.” To set expectations, Kinsey recommends this cocktail “if you like to have those kinds of experiences — those kinds of drinks — that are a lot more to unpack, that have a lot more going on.”

He continues, “With this one, it’s bold flavors, on top of bold flavors, on top of bold flavors. It’s definitely complex, but still approachable. There’s a lot of flavor there, a lot of very rich flavors, but it’s not overwhelming.” He observes that certain palates simply gravitate (space word!) toward “big, bitter, and kind of weird.” And when it comes to bitter flavors, the Warbird — well, here’s how he puts it: “What I always compare it to is — if you love black coffee, you’ll love a drink like this. Your palate’s going to be excited in the same way.”

Detailing the components of the cocktail, Kinsey starts with “that big molasses flavor you get. We’re using Cruzan black strap rum — just super dark, molasses, rich, delicious. The bitter element in there is the Campari. And then just to add a little citrus pop, we use the Marie Brizard yuzu liqueur.” He notes, “What I like about yuzu is it’s bright, it’s citrusy, it’s dry — but also has a little custardiness to it. So, it kind of adds to the richness.” Building on top of that, he blends caramelized pineapple with pineapple juice and finishes with “lime for that nice acidity to balance off that yuzu. And then we use a little bit of blood orange syrup in there.”

On the quest for a garnish that looks out-of-this-world, Kinsey says “I went into ‘little kid science experiment’ mode, where I was just putting things in the dehydrator to see what happened. And the dragon fruit just got rad!” He landed on the red and white fruit for its balance of colors against pinking-sheared piña plumes. “It definitely feels familiar, but alien.”

Mothership
  • Mothership’s
  • Warbird
  • 1.5 oz Blackstrap rum
  • .75 oz Campari
  • .25 oz Yuzu Liqueur
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • .75 oz caramelized pineapple purée
  • .5 oz blood orange syrup
  • Add all ingredients to a mixer tin. Fill with crushed ice. Flash blend and open pour with gated finish into a stein. Garnish with three piña plumes and dried dragon fruit.
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