Alexander Kass - Lion Lion, NY

Rocket War - Rouketopolemos

Roots Mastiha 40%
lemon juice
cucumber slices
arugula
Fee Bros. Peach Bitters

Rocket War - Roots Mastiha cocktail.jpg

I loved watching the fireworks at Pascha. 

As a child in Connecticut, my family would drive over an hour to church to attend the ceremony at midnight mass. The service culminated in a launch of fireworks to celebrate the resurrection. The firecrackers always reminded me of a story that stoked my imagination. 

My theíos Pericles would tell me of a village on Chios, where two rival churches fired tens of thousands of warring rockets across the sky at each other, streaming interwoven light across the whole island.  I dreamed of going to see the rockets. As an adult, I still wish to see them, and see the country of my heritage and not only explore my roots, but experience the dream from my youth.

The story of the Rocket War serves as my inspiration for this cocktail. 

I wanted to refresh the contemporary classic cocktail the Green Beast and create something with the same thirst quenching quality, but replace the anise-y, high ABV absinthe with a more mellow, but uniquely complex spirit. The debut of Roots Mastiha 40% provided me not only with the extraordinary flavor needed to compliment this serve, but also the potency for it to take centerstage in this cocktail. 

The peppery green bite of fresh, farmers market rocket (aka arugula) was inspired by the story of the rockets in Chios as well as my love of wordplay. The cucumber, lemon and dill are all used in our old family recipe for tzatziki my mother would prepare for Easter. My family overseas loves peaches but much to my bemusement call them “Persian apples”, so I thought, why not complement this drink with peach bitters? The bitters add a stone-fruit forward flavor that subtilely meshes with the mustard notes of the fresh rocket, the discreet coconut notes of the Mastiha, and the sweet aroma from the dill sprig garnish. Together with Roots Mastiha 40% this drink is much more than a green beast, but rather a mythic, many headed hydra of flavors. 

I hope you enjoy this cocktail, a drink that connects my roots with Roots!