Good old Gatorade is having a cultural moment. I know this partly because my 16-year-old son, who generally guards his hard-earned cash wisely, just spent an ungodly amount on a must-have pair of Gatorade-edition sneakers dunked in the drink's familiar teal and orange hues. I also know this because the most refreshing cocktail I've tasted in the last few weeks turns out to be inspired by Gatorade, too. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. The Limón Pepino cocktail I sipped at W/N W/N Coffee Bar while waiting for my deep-dish Pizza Gutt pie was an emulsified green froth that looked like an illuminated shot of wheat grass plugged into the power grid.
I would not have guessed the inspiration based simply on W/N W/N's general affinity for all things organic and house-fermented. The cocktail's recipe list includes cucumber-infused tequila, lime, a splash of French liqueur, and vivid green simple syrup steeped from fresh basil the cafe had bartered compost for with a local urban farm. So natural!
But, of course, any sports beverage connoisseur (and I admittedly am not one) would immediately have recognized Limón Pepino as the cucumber-lime sensation that's become something of a cult classic from Gatorade's G-Series "Nuestro Sabor" line. This hard-to-find cucumber-lime flavor even has its own Facebook fan page, which, of course, sparked the mixology imaginations of the meme-loving millennials behind W/N W/N, who do not bother with such 20th-century niceties as a phone number. Whatever. The point is, this drink caught me by total surprise. I saw a neighbor drink it and had to have it. Then when I took a sip, my eyes flapped open — it was so vibrantly citrusy and herbal, yet perfectly balanced, with a shot of gentian-powered Suze liqueur boosting its electric glow. I would have had another had my pizza not shown up hot and ready to roll.
So now? That cocktail suddenly has me craving Gatorade.
— Craig LaBan