Friday drinks: smith

Happy Friday! This week we have a dessert of a cocktail with a citrus-y kick. It tastes like key lime pie. Until now, you could only find it at Jeff Stewart’s home bar. He calls it the smith.

The smith created and mixed by director Jeff Stewart. Photo courtesy of Jeff Stewart.

Jeff and I have a ritual: Thursday movie night. Whatever is playing that we each haven’t seen on the weekend (“The Dark Knight Rises” – opening weekend, baby! Just got my tickets!) we check out at our local cineplex. Last night it was Pixar’s “Brave,” which was pretty crowdy for a week night. Last Thursday, it was “Safety Not Guaranteed.”

“Safety Not Guaranteed” is an indie flick from the producers of “Little Miss Sunshine” starring Mark Duplass, Aubrey Plaza, and Jake Johnson (Nick on Fox’s “The New Girl”). The movie is about cynical magazine employees who want to get the story behind this classified ad:

One-sheet for the film “Safety Not Guaranteed.” Courtesy of Big Beach Films.

The film embraces the idea that life is not a test – it’s an actual emergency. We try to not to skin our knees. We try to plan for every contingency. We try to execute everything perfectly. But there is no guarantee everything will come out as we hoped, especially not if you want to do something amazing. In life, love, friendship, and Hollywood, we take risks. Being a glass half-full kind of person, I think many of those chances pay off. I’m not suggesting being foolish. As “Safety Not Guaranteed” suggests: You need to go through the training, you need to build trust, and you need to bring your own weapons. It also helps if your calibrations are “flipping pinpoint.”

When you shoot for the amazing, you could crash and burn, BUT you could also create something magical. In the film, the Mark Duplass character goes from the misunderstood oddball with an insane vision to an unlikely hero with a potentially wondrous idea. The audience ends up rooting for him to succeed. We all love the underdog because there’s a little bit of him in all of us.

So let’s talk about taking something odd and making something wonderful. That’s what Jeff Stewart did with the smith. Here’s the scoop.

A while back, Jeff bought advocaat, an eggnog-like liqueur, without knowing what he was going to make with it. Advocaat is a liqueur made from eggs, sugar, and brandy. Weird, right? Intrigued by this Dutch treat, Jeff experimented. He set to work mixing all sorts of advocaat drink recipes, but none appealed to him. So he decided to follow his own palate and come up with a taste he loved: key lime pie. But this is pie with a kick.

While the smith has a sweetness to it, it also has a bite of citrus and alcohol. It makes the drink much more complex than a fruity, sugary drink. You’ll find several tastes to enjoy as it travels over your tongue. A crowd pleaser, it makes a great party drink. Trust me, I first tried this drink at one of Jeff’s soirees. Folks love to describe what they’re tasting. The smith was a major topic of conversation.

The smith gets its dreamy, creamy good looks from the advocaat and a smidge of egg white. Even though it appears like you’d eat it with a dessert spoon, it is a fluid drink perfect for sipping.

Wanna try Jeff’s smith? Here’s his personal recipe.

1.5 oz. of vodka
1.5 oz. of lemonade
1.5 oz. of advocaat
1/2 oz. of key lime juice
~ 1 teaspoon of egg white

Shake vigorously in shaker over ice for 25-30 seconds, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Jeff recommends Bols brand advocaat. He says it’s by FAR the best for the smith. He also suggests Stoli or other higher end vodka. As always, he suggests fresh key lime juice. The egg white can be left out; the texture of the drink is less smooth and less frothy but the taste will remain true.

Whether you’re taking a chance on a film, script, novel, comic book, play, or a new recipe – keep your glass half-full. And always drink responsibly. We want to see you here next week.

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