Kenneth Vanhooser is the beverage director at Present Tense, a Japanese-leaning restaurant and sake bar in Nashville.
Blue Atoll is a tequila blanco and mezcal based drink — an improved Oaxacan Old Fashioned in the style of a Stinger — named after the Pantone color, Blue Atoll. The ice cube is made with artichoke steaming water, blitzed with green and blue spirulina powders.
The addition of white and green crème de menthe in the artichoke cube really makes the color stand out. As the ice slowly melts, the drink transforms from an Old Fashioned into the style of a Stinger.
The inspiration came from making random ice cubes with my kids and loving the color of the water that remained after steaming artichokes. It’s really cool how the blue spirulina tints the water, and the green spirulina percolates to the bottom of the ice cube and creates a fun geometric striation.
- 1 ½ oz. Lunazul blanco tequila
- ½ oz. Mezcal
- ¼ oz. Orange Curaçao
- 4 dashes Orange bitters
- Combine ingredients and stir. Strain into rocks glass over large artichoke ice cube. Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice.
- For Artichoke ice cube: Pour steamed artichoke water into large ice cube molds. Add a dash each of green creme de menthe, white creme de menthe, blue spirulina and green spirulina, and freeze.