The terrific Portland, Oregon bar Teardrop Lounge posted its new cocktail menu to the web and I was instantly drawn to the drink called House of Balloons.
In the first place, that is an excellent name for a drink.
Secondly, it has a flavor combination that can't fail: The slightly bitter orangey Aperol (which you can also use in these three drinks) pairs wonderfully with also-bitter grapefruit juice. To that, the drink's creator Sean Hoard added honey as a sweetener, a touch of grapefruit juice to increase the tartness, and vodka to give it some kick. I asked Sean for the recipe and he was kind enough to oblige.
The House of Balloons is super refreshing with lots of zing from the grapefruit juice and not too much sweetness from the liqueur or honey. It's as tasty and fun as its name would lead you to believe.
You'll note that the recipe calls for a minute amount of a few ingredients. The easiest way to approach that is to make two drinks at a time, because after you try it I'm pretty sure you'll want a second round.
House of Balloons
By Sean Hoard of Teardrop Lounge in Portland, Oregon
1.25 fl. oz. Belvedere Vodka
.75 fl. oz. Aperol
.75 fl. oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
.25 fl. oz. Honey Syrup*
About 1 fl. oz. Soda Water
Shake all ingredients except soda water in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into a rocks or Collins glass filled with ice. Add soda water, give it a quick stir, and garnish with an orange peel twist.
*Honey Syrup: Add 2 parts honey to one part boiling water and stir until honey is fully dissolved. Store in refrigerator between uses.