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A Deliciously Queer Drink Recipe

A Deliciously Queer Drink Recipe

Lesbian Top Chef alum Preeti Mistry shared a taste of The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook, which is a love letter to her wife of 20 years.

With the release of The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook, the world is about to know why Oakland, Calif.'s lesbian chef Preeti Mistry is such a star. Born in London and raised in Ohio, Indian-American Mistry is a Top Chef alum who helms one of the few chef-driven Indian restaurants in the world. Amongst the recipes in the book -- think hybrid Indian food meets Oakland soul -- are local faves like Masala Fries, Manchurian Cauliflower, and the Bollywood Baller Pav (a lamb meatball slider).

The Juhu Beach Club is hugely popular, always super queer (think San Francisco's Mission District in the 1990s), and political (every time they sell a bowl of their Black Dal Solidarity Soup, a dollar goes to Black Lives Matter). The Cookbook is also a love letter to her wife of 20 years, Ann Nadeau, with a whole chapter on their wedding and many notes on how Nadeau encouraged her to become the chef she is today. Here's our favorite (read: tasty and easy) cocktail recipe from JBC's kitchen.

Drink-750xThe Elephant's Fury

Makes 8 drinks
1/4 cup fresh turmeric root, roughly chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 dried chiles de arbol
1 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup Indian red chili powder
1 lime for garnish
8 ounces mescal (brand of choice)
8 ounces tequila (brand of choice)

This cocktail was created by a JBC server, Liv, who has worked at the restaurant for several years. It's a winning combo of earthy turmeric, smoky mescal, citrus tartness, and a little chile heat at the finish. (Substitute bourbon for mescal, if preferred.)

Place the turmeric and 1/4 cup of water in a blender and puree until smooth. In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of water with the sugar and pureed turmeric and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar as the water comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the liquid steep in the pot for at least 2 hours. After steeping, strain the solids by pouring the mixture through a sieve. Retain the liquid and compost the solids. Soften the dried chiles in a bowl in a small amount of warm water. Remove the chiles from the water and blend with 1/4 cup of lime juice, and strain into the turmeric syrup. Add the remaining lime juice. Cool the mixer in the refrigerator until it is totally chilled, about 1 hour.

To make the drinks:

Combine the salt and chili powder on a small plate. Cut the limes into rounds and run a lime around the rim of each glass. Dip the rim of each glass into the salt and chili powder. Make the drinks one at a time in a cocktail shaker. Measure 1 ounce each of mescal and tequila into the shaker per cocktail. Add 2 ounces of the turmeric mixer and a few cubes of ice, and shake until the shaker is cold on the outside. Strain the drink into a salt-rimmed glass and garnish with a lime round.

Before she was a chef, Mistry was a barista, video store worker, and a filmmaker at Frameline. Her short, based on a poem of the same title, Junk Box Warrior, blends spoken word with black and white images. It was written by and starred trans slam poet Marcus Rene Van (of Deep Dickollective) and addresses his fears and sheer alienation over not fitting into society's gender binary system. (Watch it here:

Reprinted with permission from The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook (c)2017 by Preeti Mistry with Sarah Henry, Running Press.

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