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Raise your glass: The Ginger Smash, Hersh's

The Baltimore "speakeasy" offers this hard cocktail loaded with tartness

By Evan Siple

4:42 PM EDT, May 22, 2012

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South Baltimore's own "Speakeasy that sells pizza," Hersh's Pizza and Drinks, with its gray motifs and urbane styling, features some seriously sophisticated cocktails, courtesy of bartender Jamaal Green.

The selection of libations rotates on a regular basis, keeping the flavors interesting and fresh. One such addition to the list: the Ginger Smash.

The Ginger Smash, "a very seasonal rustic drink," as Green describes it, is a hard cocktail loaded with tartness thanks in part to muddled kumquats and an ounce of Clement Creole Shrubb, an aged rum drink flavored with orange bitters. The addition of Milagro Silver Tequila, freshly sliced ginger and lime juice combine to form a powerfully flavored concoction high on the citrus and bite-o-meter, thanks to the ginger on the back end. It's definitely a textbook stiff drink — in the best way possible.

Green adapted the Ginger Smash from a recipe found at Manhattan's Employees Only, but makes it his own and sets it apart with the use of kumquats and tequila. The resulting boldness of the first sip is striking, so be prepared when you decide to try it out. And don't worry if the Ginger Smash doesn't appear on the list when it rotates out; they can always make it for you.

No word yet on which pizza topping best complements the drink. Clearly, more research is needed.

The Ginger Smash

2 small kumquats

2 slices fresh ginger

1 teaspoon superfine sugar

3/4 fresh-squeezed lime juice

1 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb

1 1/2 oz. Milagro Silver Tequila

In the bottom of a pint glass, muddle the kumquats, ginger and sugar into a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and fill the glass with ice, shake 10-12 times with a shaker and pour into a Collins glass. Enjoy.

Where to Get The Ginger Smash

Hersh's Pizza and Drinks

1843 Light St., Riverside

443-438-4948

hershspizza.com

$11