Perhaps there was no greater influence on Bill Monroe’s career than Pendleton Vandiver, his maternal uncle and, importantly, fiddle teacher. In “Uncle Pen,” Monroe remembers his mentor’s life, focusing on his dance-hall rollicks playing tunes like “The Boston Boy” and “Soldier’s Joy” — also the name of a post–Civil War concoction made with whiskey, beer … and morphine.
Eschewing the last of these, our Uncle Pen cocktail is an update of this boilermaker of sorts. Cinnamon and apple are obvious complements, but tequila makes for a vegetal, somewhat spicy addition to this refreshing mix — perfect after a frolic on the dance floor or simply a long day of work.
1 1/2 oz reposado tequila (I prefer Espolón)
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
Dry alcoholic cider (I prefer Harpoon)
Add tequila, lemon juice, and cinnamon syrup to cocktail tin with one ice cube, and shake briefly to incorporate. Strain into high-ball glass or tumbler with ice, and top with cider. Garnish with lemon.