Boss Colada

Today, we’re doing something unusual and removing a recipe from Modern Classics. That recipe is for the Boss Colada, which, according to its creator, can no longer be made successfully, as the base spirit has changed too much.

Although the recipe will disappear from the app, it’s being replaced with Erick Castro’s Piña Verde. Meanwhile, if anyone is looking for the Boss Colada recipe, here it is:

Boss Colada
Shake with ice:
1.5 ounce fresh pineapple juice
1 ounce Bäska Snaps
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce orgeat
½ ounce Banks 7 Rum
Fine strain into a pilsner glass filled with crushed ice.
Top with 21 drops Peychauds.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
Serve with a straw.
—Nick Detrich, Cane & Table, New Orleans, 2013

This odd, tall tropical contraption became an early and durable hit at this vaguely tropical New Orleans bar and restaurant. The key is the Scandinavian bitters Baska Snaps, which is mollified by the pineapple and orgeat. A singular drink.

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So it was Bäska Snaps that changed? What has changed about it? I have to admit I haven’t had it in a while.

@RobertSimonson can better explain, but apparently the snaps were reformulated to be much more bitter than they originally were, and Cane & Table were never able to figure out a substitute or adjustment to the recipe that would work around that.

Yes, what changed was that the critical ingredient in the cocktail, Baska Snaps, a Malort-like Scandinavian bitters made by Bittermans, shifted its production site and, after that, the flavor profile of the product changed to such an extent that it no longer worked within the formula of the Boss Colada cocktail. According to Cane & Table owner Neal Bodenheimer, the new Snaps was too bitter. They couldn’t find a way to make the drink work anymore, so they eventually dropped it from the menu.

So, Boss Colada–a drink that was very popular at the bar and in New Orleans during its short life–can, at this point, be considered something of a phantom classic, never to be experienced again. It’s an odd situation, but perhaps one we will encounter more as the years go by. A great many new spirits have been introduced to the market since the cocktail revival hit full steam in the late '00s. And bartenders experimented with those products, creating new cocktails. Of course, every new spirit can’t succeed, so some of them–probably many of them–will disappear. And the drinks that required them will also disappear. We may end up with a situation much like what we had back in the early '00s, when we were desperately looking for lost ingredients in order to make pre-Prohibition cocktail recipes.

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