If you’ve spent time around LA — or really any part of Central to Southern California — during June, then you’ve experienced the oddity that is June gloom. You’d think because it’s summer, the days would be amazing sun-washed experiences of brilliant glory. However, the sad reality is that coastal clouds overhang and put a damper the mood, hence June gloom. We decided it was time to turn that gloominess into a drinking opportunity. Get ready for the June Gloom (in cocktail form)!
The first thing that I knew we needed with this drink was to give it the appearance of gloominess. Then, we’d have to counterbalance that with a bright, tart, exciting flavor. See? Bringing the fun. Defying expectations, that’s us.
I’d been playing with activated charcoal as an ingredient for cocktails for a little while, but hadn’t found the perfect application — until now! While it’s not the most common of ingredients, I think you’ll find the charcoal in the cocktail provides (no flavor) a medicinal quality. It’ll help cleanse you. See that? A health drink! You’re welcome.
Once I’d keyed in on how to make this June Gloom cocktail bitchin’ looking, I just needed to decide the flavor. For me, when it comes to California inspired, I couldn’t help but riff on a Margarita. While states don’t technically have cocktails, if we did, I’d vote for the Margarita.
As we were riffing, I added some lemon simple syrup to the mix — so we have three full citrus flavors: orange, lime and lemon. In case you missed the memo, simple syrup is a one-to-one mix of water to sugar. To make a lemon edition, just add lemons peels to it while you boil it. Cool it, bottle it and add it to your drinks for a subtle lemon flavor.
Then, since we’d already kicked up the citrus, I figured we needed to add more. Because more is more. It’s simple math. Plus, to balance the tartness and sweetness, I figured we needed some bitters to round out the flavor. Hence, I added a splash or two of orange bitters.
From there, we were set!
What you get with this June Gloom cocktail of excitement (and intrigue) is a dark, moody looking drink that hides its bright, cheery nature.
Now, let’s get to the June Gloom!
- 3 oz. tequila
- 1 oz. Grand Marnier
- 1½ oz. lime juice
- 1 oz. lemon simple syrup
- Dash of orange bitters
- ¼ tsp. activated charcoal
- Lime round
- Glass type: coupe
- Make your lemon simple syrup and cool it.
- Add tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice (fresh), lemon simple syrup, orange bitters and activated charcoal to your shaker with ice.
- You're now creating a gloomy cocktail.
- But it's gonna taste bright.
- Mind = blown.
- When you're done shaking, pour into your coupe.
- Garnish with a lime round.
- Looks gloomy.
- Tastes bright and delicious.
- Suck on that clouds!