As fate would have it, I decided to go to 2M Smokehouse on the day after online apostle Eater’s sages declared it one of America’s 38 Essential Restaurants. Congrats, guys. The news hadn’t made it to SA yet, given the evidence of the line. Arriving at a little before 11, it took me just shy of 45 minutes to negotiate the order and exit with my bounty — not unusual for the popular barbecue joint.
Service was as friendly as it always is, the peppery pork ribs were sensational, the brisket barky, moist and just fatty enough, the sausages snappy and, well: perfection. Only the chicharroni macaroni disappointed as it usually does: inadequate, too powdery chicharron. IMHO. (Yet I continue to order it.) Included in the self-assembled to-go pack, that also contained the irresistible pickled nopales, were two tiny containers of what 2M refers to as “barbeque syrup.” The barbecue shop’s meats do not need syrup — or any other adulteration.
So, I said to myself, what to do with this irrelevant, yet still compelling, accessory? Here’s where, all modesty aside, the stroke of genius comes in: use it as a cocktail component. Bourbon, with its all-American charred wood backbone, leapt instantly to mind. Char blended with smoke — what could go wrong? Nothing, as it happens. Should you find yourself with excess barbecue syrup any time soon, here’s the recipe:
- 2 ounces bourbon (I used Bulleit)
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ ounce 2M barbeque syrup (stir before measuring)
- ¼ ounce, more or less, agave syrup
- A couple of drops of Jamaican jerk or Angostura bitters
(Feel free to play with all quantities until this works for you. Extra bourbon rarely hurts. )
Shake with ice, double strain into a rocks glass with ice — preferably one large cube, and garnish with a slab of lemon peel. Or, if you have thought ahead as I cleverly did, a skewered slice of 2M sausage with Oaxacan cheese and jalapeño. Brings it all together somehow — especially if consumed with a pork rib in the other hand.
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