Since it appeared on the menu at Pizzeria Bianco Town and Country earlier this spring, bartender Blaise Faber's Jack Knife cocktail has already become a hit with restaurant patrons. The star of the drink is a tropically-tart, house made persimmon liqueur, which Faber was inspired to make in an unexpected way.
“When Peter Bigfoot tells you he has persimmons, or anything else, you just say, ‘yes,’” Faber says.
At the moment, the kitchen is flooded with Bigfoot-raised bok choy, but months ago the no-questions-asked dealings with the Superstition Mountains farmer left the Bianco team swimming in flats of persimmons, piled high to the ceiling.
“They were about to go bad, and chef Tony [Andiario] asked me what I could with them,” Faber says. “So it was really just an accident.”
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Faber decided to use the fruit to make a liqueur, first by milling the candy-sweet Hachiya persimmons, then allowing them to sit in 86 Co. Caña Brava rum along with vanilla and a handful of other spices.
To make the Jack Knife cocktail, Faber combines the finished liqueur with 86 Co.-brand Fords Gin, sauvignon blanc (for acidity, with flavors of papaya and stone fruit), and fresh lime juice to create a drink reminiscent of a margarita — tart, light, acidic, and a tad sweet. After the drink has been poured and garnished with a citrus leaf, a spritz of passionflower bitters from Workhorse Rye dresses the creation in a summer-ready aroma.
But if you want to try this drink for yourself, you'll have to move quickly. Like spring training season, the Jack Knife will only last about three to four more weeks, Faber says.