One of the main characters in my new book, The Best People, is a very successful venture capitalist named V.J. Simon, who is half-Jewish and half-Indian. In the book, V.J. frequents Eleganté, the finest restaurant in Houston where “The Best People” hang out.
His favorite drink is called the HinJew, which is half-Bombay Sapphire gin, half-Slivovitz plum brandy, straight up with two olives stuffed with mango chutney.
After the final version of the book went to the publisher I thought, “Oh (expletive deleted), I don’t know what a HinJew tastes like. It could be terrible.” I tried mixing one at home and made my olives using a hypodermic syringe with the needle removed to extrude the chutney from the bottle. Turns out, it was pretty good.
A Fabulous Drink
A few days later, I had dinner at Tony’s Restaurant, my favorite place for fine dining. It is the restaurant that Eleganté is modeled after. I brought the Slivovitz, the mango chutney, and the syringe with me and asked that they make the drink for me. Scott Sulma, the General Manager himself, mixed the ingredients and poured the mixture into a chilled martini glass in which the olives were waiting.
Voila! It tasted better than mine. In fact, it was fabulous. (My friend and I each had two!)
Scott told me his secret was that he washed the olives to get rid of the brine.
So, if you find yourself in Houston, stop by Tony’s and order a HinJew – it’s not on the menu, but the bartender knows how to make it. I know you’ll love it.
The HinJew Drink
Try it for yourself at home:
Rinse two pitted olives. Extrude mango chutney (I use a syringe after removing the needle) and inject into the olives.
Place the olives into a chilled martini glass.
Combine one ounce of Bombay Sapphire Gin with one ounce of any brand of Slivovitz plum brandy over ice in a cocktail shaker, shake and pour into the martini glass through the strainer in the top of the cocktail shaker.