My friend Rob lives down the road with his wife, Martha. Rob has the temperament of an actor which is to say he can be very quiet but you know he is absorbing all the nuances of those around him for later use in his craft. When I think of the best way to describe him I realize he is a dead ringer for William Hurt both in voice and demeanor. Neither William nor Rob are bouncy kind of people; they are dry-witted, introspective and very cool.
Rob makes excellent non-alcoholic cocktails. At Rob and Martha’s Easter party, I was lucky to try his latest which includes unsweetened cranberry juice, grapefruit and maple syrup topped with a bit of seltzer. It was tart and refreshing but not puckery and most certainly not a kiddie drink. I asked if I could list it as an official Runamok recipe and he graciously gave me the nod. But what to name it? Attaching a frivolous name to Rob and his drink would be like having a Hemingway Slushie or Leonard Cohen Daiquri. The man is just too composed for a dippy cocktail name. He is not without a sense of humor, however so I came up with a name that has a touch of nobility and purity with wink to the fact that he has been happily married for decades. Thus, I present The Virgin Rob. If you are inclined, you can add some vodka but then the name changes to Martha Fast and Loose.
The Virgin Rob
3 oz. Unsweetened Cranberry Juice (I am partial to Super Tart from the Vermont Cranberry Co.)
2 oz. Runamok Sugarmaker’s Cut Maple Syrup
6 drops Grapefruit Extract (Essential Oils) or 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
Dash of Orange or traditional Bitters
In a 12 oz glass, shake or stir all ingredients, except the seltzer and pour into tumbler containing ice. Add seltzer or club soda to top off. Stir very gently to mix.
Martha Fast and Loose
Add 2 oz. vodka to the above and stir gently