Cocktail of the Week: The Palm's Chad Skrbina Mixes a Berry Nice Off-Menu Special
The Fiffitini at the Palm
“I’ve been doing this drink for about eight years now,” says Chad Skrbina of a drink that isn’t even on a menu at The Palm. Nearly a decade ago, a group of people wandered into his bar and requested that he make a drink just for them. “So, I just came up with this, last-minute,” he continues. “And now it’s pretty popular.” What he made was a version of a lemon drop martini that was spiked with crushed blueberries. The group came up with the name, the Fiffitini ($13), and they still order it to this day — and so do a lot of other people, too.
Here’s the recipe he came up with that night:
1.5 ounces Stolichnaya blueberry vodka
.5 ounce Limoncello di Capri
.25 ounce house-made sweet and sour mix
.25 ounce simple syrup
Method: Skrbina muddles blueberries in a shaker tin — along with simple syrup and housemade sweet and sour mix — to release their juices. He then adds limoncello, blueberry vodka and ice and shakes the mixture vigorously before straining it into a sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.
Garnish: a skewer of sugar-coated blueberries.
Solichnaya blueberry vodka: Skrbina loves the flavored varieties of this Russian vodka. “I find that their flavors are pretty well balanced,” he says. “I will always strive to use Stoli products, as much as possible.”
Limoncello di Capri: Skrbina uses this lemon-flavored liqueur from Italy, which adds a sweet and bright citrus flavor to his cocktail. This particular version of limoncello is an infusion of fresh, hand-picked lemons from the Islands of Capri and Sorrento in a base of sugar and alcohol.
Chad Skrbina, making a cocktail you wont find on any menu, behind the bar at The Palm.
Sweet and sour mix: “We make our own sweet and sour here at The Palm,” Skrbina says. It's nothing fancy — just a combination of fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice, sugar and water.
Blueberries: We use organic blueberries,” Skrbina says. Some of the berries are crushed and incorporated into the drink, but for his garnish, he skewers a few berries, rolls them in sugar and rests the skewer on top the the cocktail glass.
“When I make it, and it goes through the dining room,” he continues, “people will see it, and then they’ll order it.” The group that named the cocktail still come in about every three months and enjoy the drink to this day. You’ll have to order it by name, since it’s not on the official menu.
“It’s a little sweet, especially with the sugar rim,” Skrbina explains, “but for people who like a lemon drop, this is just a different variation because it’s fresh fruit.”
Food Pairing: Skrbina recommends the big chocolate layer cake ($10), a seven-layer dark chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. “It’s a perfect pairing dessert,” Skrbina says. “It is one of the larger desserts in town, but it’s perfect for two or three people. It’s rich, it’s succulent, it’s delicious.”
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