Being a huge from of The Clash, the name immediately made me think of one of the many enjoyable songs on the iconic, proto-punk first album. Its name, from an ancient nursery rhyme about the Great Fire of London of 1966, has the opening lines:
All across the town, all across the night
Everybody's driving with full headlights
Black or white, you turn it on, you face the new religion
Everybody's sitting 'round watching television
London's burning with boredom now
London's burning dial nine-nine-nine-nine-nine
It turns out that this song has, unquestionably, no connection to the cocktail. Even so, exhorted by Rusty and Teresa, the owners of The Duck whom I’ve gotten to know in recent years, and knowing that the bar does a very good job with cocktails, I ordered it. Just reading the list of ingredients, I could tell that it had absolutely nothing to do with the song nor London, nor any place near London. It begins in the kitchen with a puree of jalapeños, that have been seeded and roasted, along with avocado, cilantro and lime juice. Then at the bar when ordered, some of the puree on hand is mixed with some syrup and lemon juice. The result is green with flecks of dark cilantro scattered about. I would never consider ordering a drink that looked like that if I hadn’t been strongly touted on it. Avocado in cocktail, too. I don’t believe that I’ve ever had a drink featuring an avocado.
When it arrived in front of me, I thought it looked like the product of an aggressive cleanse recipe from a juicer. I loved it. The taste of the roasted jalapeños shown through providing a bit of smoke and spice that was nicely muted and complemented by the avocado and sugar. It wasn’t a sweet drink, more on the piquant side, but balanced, with the gin working well in a subtle alcoholic concert with the verdant ingredients for very pleasant long taste and was easily drinkable. Maybe too easily.
Teresa told me that the name comes, in part, from the London Dry gin that gives it is alcoholic interest. The ‘Burning’ from the jalapeños, I assume. OK, the moniker does actually make some sense. The name could change in the near future as she mentioned they are thinking about replacing the London dry gin with Hendrick’s. Its prominent cucumber notes could make this different-looking cocktail even more enjoyable in the future.
McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
2425 Norfolk (a couple of blocks east of Kirby), 77098, (713) 528-5999