Adventures in Alcohol

Passion Baby at Penthouse is a mojito with a hefty twist

Tracy Villegas, bartender who devised the cocktail, describes it as 'good for ladies', but it works on men, too, as the writer can attest

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 July, 2015, 4:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 July, 2015, 4:03pm

One would expect nothing less from the quiet and unassuming Harlan Goldstein than that his cocktail menu would be elegant and understated.

While cocktails and rude names have a history stretching back decades, the menu at Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein - named, we’re sure, for the rooftop location on the 30th floor of Soundwill Plaza, Causeway Bay, and not for that magazine - takes these names a stage further. Forget your slippery nipples or long slow screws against the wall.

The lemongrass drop made me think of Thai soups. Goldstein obviously had something else in mind, as the menu says: “Give this to your lady and you know what’s next. Drop it like it’s hot!”

While the bar sells a Lady Killer, the wannabe Casanova could try the Hot Fireball ‘Ya Baby’: “Ya Baby, end of story! Pssss… Smokin!”

But how do you keep them coming back for more? Try the Passion Baby. “Yes, we put our passion in making this baby. Have one and you will be asking for more!”

The drink was created by bar supervisor Tracy Villegas, who tells me she likes playing with her alcohols. Based on her experience and feedback, she devised the Passion Baby, which she describes as “good for ladies, sweet, refreshing”.

Villegas, despite the pierced appearance, must be an old-fashioned gal if she’s still dividing the world into drinks and ladies' drinks. This variation on a mojito has a hefty but well-hidden slug of gin. Actually the drink doesn’t taste that strong, and is sweet and refreshing, but it worked for this particular man as much as one imagines it would for any hypothetical lady.

How to make the Passion Baby at home

You'll need:

60ml Gordon’s gin

7ml passion fruit puree (substitute some freshly squeezed passion fruit mixed with sugar syrup)

21ml lemon juice

60ml cranberry juice

Handful of mint

Ginger ale to top up

Muddle the mint and passion fruit puree in a cocktail shaker, then add the gin and juices and shake hard. Pour into a glass containing both cubes and crushed ice and top up with a little ginger ale. Garnish with more mint and a lemon slice.

Villegas says the crushed ice gives an interesting texture while the cubes cool the drink without diluting it, as they take longer to melt.