October 4 is National Vodka Day.
Now, that doesn't mean you can't have a beer or some whiskey.
Nor does it mean you can't drink vodka the other 364 days of the year.
In fact, it doesn't mean much of anything.
But when vodka's special day happens to fall during... fall, it seems like a good time to pair your drinking with some warm-you-to-your-core Vietnamese soup. In one unique shot.
Raise your glass for the Pho-King Champ, a cocktail that's part soup, part liquor, and all delicious. You can find it at Midnight Rambler, a subterranean cocktail den located inside the Joule Hotel in Dallas. Or, if you're feeling ambitious, you can try making it yourself with the recipe you see below.
The drink was created by Chad Solomon, co-owner of Midnight Rambler, and draws inspiration from the classic bull shot, which combines vodka and beef broth. But rather than reaching for a can of Campbell's, he channeled the life-giving soup that is pho.
"The resulting Pho-King Champ is a bull shot reimagined through the lens of Vietnamese pho with the umami turned up to eleven," says Solomon. "The name is a nod to the now defunct San Francisco avant rock band, the Fucking Champs, who were forced to change their name from 'The Champs,' when the original band of 1950s fame called them out."
The drink itself calls upon aromatized beef stock that is based on San Francisco chef Charles Phan's pho recipe. The beef stock is infused with oven-roasted onion and ginger, black cardamom, green cardamom, star anise, cassia bark, black pepper and allspice. From there, a bit of sugar, fish sauce and additional spices are employed for an extra kick of flavor. The broth then gets mixed with vodka, sherry and lime.
All that's left to do now is resist the urge to mix up a large bowl and drop in some rice noodles.
1.2 ml fresh lime juice
30 ml pho stock
7.5 ml Dry Sack 15-Year Oloroso Sherry
20 ml Absolut Elyx Vodka
2 drops mineral saline
Serve in a shot glass or small old-fashioned glass and garnish with a cilantro leaf.