|1⁄4 inch||Red jalapeño/fresno chili (10,000 SHU) deseeded & chopped|
|1 2/3 fl oz||Absolut Vanilia vodka|
|5/6 fl oz||Elderflower cordial|
|5/6 fl oz||Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)|
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above.
Rich vanilla with sweet elderflower balanced by zesty lemon and enlivened by chilli heat.
Adapted from a recipe created in 2004 by Myles Cunliffe, then a young bartender at Brownes Bar and Restaurant in Brighton, England. This cocktail earned Myles Cunliffe third place in the Stolichnaya sponsored UKBG Cocktail Challenge held in London's Sosho Match bar on 13th June 2004.
Like so many cocktails, even prize-winning cocktails, the MyZo was quickly forgotten. That was until years later when another similar cocktail, the Spicy Fifty, created soon after the competition by the famous bartender Salvatore Calabrese, began to be featured on websites (such as this one) and in books. Indeed, the Spicy Fifty first appeared in our Difford's Guide to Cocktails Twelfth Edition published in 2016. The similarity in ingredients with the Spicy Fifty reminded Myles' of his proud win as a young bartender and that it was Salvatore who presented Myles with his winning cheque [pictured here along with an photo of Dale DeGroff drinking a MyZo].
Myles tells the story, "In 2003 I had been familiar with vanilla vodka and elderflower having played around with that combo for a while, it took a messy chilli filled Sunday afternoon whereby I was trying chilli in everything and this combo worked. Originally it was a long drink (just add soda). I found the Stoli comp on the UKBG website and decided to enter. I submitted the drink and then forgot about it until I received an email from them asking to amend the recipe as it was a short drink recipe (read the comp rules is key to comps) so I removed the soda and resubmitted. This followed with an additional email inviting me to Sosho for the heats. Then the rest shall we say is history. The name however was supposed to be half Myles half Zoe as in MyZo however at the comp I was asked for the inspiration behind the drink (my girlfriend) and the name of my girlfriend (Zoe) and everyone assumed I had named it after her.... (still dining out on that one)."
This story has a happy ending as the MyZo is now not only recognised on this website but also in an letter from Salvatore Damiano, President of the UKBG saying "The United Kingdom Bartenders Guild confirms that the MyZo cocktail by M. Cunliffe has been archived in the UKBG national database." The letter confirms the official recipe as follows:
50 ml Stolichnaya vanilla Vodka,
25 ml fresh lemon juice,
25 ml elderflower cordial
1 cm piece red chilli
shake hard over ice and double strain into chilled cocktail glass"