Keeping it Fresh
With house-made ingredients and his own recipes, Mat Garofalo creates seasonal cocktails that match the farm-to-table fare at Kennebunk’s 50 Local
Mat Garofalo has come a long way since he started bartending in his home state of Texas. “It was putting things from plastic bottles and powders into a machine,” he says. Now, as the bar manager at 50 Local in Kennebunk, Garofalo makes his own syrups, bitters, and limoncello. His mixology toolbox includes a cluster of jars holding the usual citrus wedges, along with fresh herbs and a loaf pan full of bitters he calls his “liquid spice rack.” Garofalo changes his inventive cocktail menu with the seasons, and for spring he created a sprightly tequila cocktail that he mixes with his own twist on sangrita. Commonly sipped in Mexico alongside top-shelf tequila, sangrita (“little blood” in Spanish) is a blend of citrus and tomato juices with a good kick of spice. Garofalo makes his with roasted grapefruit juice, which complements mellow reposado tequila in a tall cocktail—the liquid equivalent of a bracing breeze off the water on a hot day.
• 2 ounces Espolòn reposado tequila
• 1 ounce roasted grapefruit sangrita (see recipe)
• ½ ounce lemon juice
• ½ ounce simple syrup
• 1 sprig cilantro, plus more for garnish
• Lemon slices
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, sangrita, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cilantro. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Garnish with lemon slices and additional cilantro.
Roasted Grapefruit Sangrita
Makes a pint of sangrita, which will last for at least a month in the fridge.
• ½ cup tomato juice
• ⅓ cup water
• ¼ white onion, peeled
• ½ fresh jalapeno, seeded
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 4 dashes of your favorite hot sauce
• ½ cup roasted grapefruit juice
Add the first six ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined. Strain through a coffee filter and add the roasted grapefruit juice. For an easier sangrita variation, strain V8 Spicy Hot Vegetable Juice or your favorite Bloody Mary mix (without horseradish) through a coffee filter and add the roasted grapefruit juice.
NOTE: For the roasted grapefruit juice, cut two large grapefruits in half and roast, cut side up, at 400 degrees until tops are black-ened. Let cool and squeeze the juice.