Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 26: Help me, Tom Cruise

Fallen Angel Drink
Maybe the cherry is the angel?
26 days in and today we confront the Fallen Angel, which is made of gin, lime juice, crème de menthe, and bitters.  I am a gin man through and through but this drink made me nervous.  It seemed like gin, lime, and mint were a recipe for disaster.  Mrs. Bottle was even more apprehensive since she isn’t a gin woman.  We each said a small prayer and proceeded with caution.

To prepare ourselves, we first tried the crème de menthe by itself.  Unsurprisingly, it tasted like mint.  Mrs. Bottle thought it tasted exactly like Scope.  I prefer Listerine so I wouldn’t know.  It was definitely syrupier than any mouthwash I’ve had.  Suitably prepared, we made the drink.  Once again our taste buds were hit by the unmistakable sourness of the green plastic lime juice.  This time it was a little different, though, because there was just a hint of mint to cut the acidity.

Mrs. Bottle immediately proclaimed “yuck”.  She thought her taste buds may have been fouled by our taco dinner so she ate a cracker to cleanse her palate.  “No, it just tastes weird” was her conclusion, but I wasn’t so sure.  I had sip after sip and still couldn’t decide if I liked it.  I ate a cracker and sipped some more. I couldn’t fully describe what I was tasting.  The mixture of lime juice, mint, and gin defied rational thoughtEven after I finished the whole thing I was on the fence as to whether I actually liked it or if it was just tolerable. It was the Eyes Wide Shut of  drinks.  Except with way less nudity.  I really cannot emphasize that enough.

That is too bad, because some nudity would have helped.

Even we don't know if we liked this movie

 
Overall Rating for the Fallen Angel



 
Taste: 3 – Completely on the fence
Ease of Preparation: 4
Presentation: 3
Drinks until blackout: 5 – 26% alcohol but a minty aftertaste

Ingredients:

1.5 oz. Gin
1 oz. Lime Juice
1 tsp. Crème de Menthe
1 dash bitters

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 25: Welcome Back, Codder

Cape Codder Drink
Bog-Fog, OMG
Mr. Bottle is taking a rest today because he knows the masses yearn to hear my voice. All 17 of you. So I’m here to give my take on the Cape Codder, which one of our loyal followers requested. First, I’d like to thank this individual for requesting a drink that they obviously didn’t find revolting and gross. There are enough of those drinks in the Mr. Boston book that it’s not hard to find them on our own. We just close our eyes, pick one, and odds are that it will be an unpleasant experience. However, we do love any and all requests, so please keep sending them our way and as long as they’re in the book, we’ll try them out.

Now on to the Cape Codder. This is what I would deem to be a very healthy drink. And I’m not referring to its size, but that it’s actually good for you. It is a mixture of cranberry juice and vodka and as everyone knows, cranberry juice is excellent for the health of your urinary tract. Actually, I’m not sure if everyone knows this, or just women. And not only is it good for you, this drink is quite pretty with its dark red color. Perfect at Christmas or the 4th of July.

Not Actual Size
Apparently the drink has quite the history and has gone by such memorable names as the Bog-Fog, Harpoon, and Rangoon Ruby depending on which part of the country your bar was located. In 1966, Ocean Spray actually printed the Harpoon recipe on its bottles to promote sales. I guess they considered it too risky to rely on Thanksgiving sales for their entire business. They also tried to promote several other failed drink ideas to drum up even more business, including the Firecracker. This combines whiskey and cranberry juice.  This caused a moment of panic while frantically looking through the Mr. Boston index. Thankfully, this horrendous sounding concoction was not listed.

Oh yeah, the drink was tasty.


Overall Rating for the Cape Codder



Taste: 4  - Needed more alcohol because I don’t want to feel like I’m only drinking cranberry juice with a lime in it
Presentation: 5
Preparation: 4 (had to cut that lime up)
Drinks Until Blackout: 10 - Only 9% alcohol but your urethra will thank you

Ingredients

1.5 oz. Vodka
5 oz. Cranberry Juice

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 24: Just the Tip

It is the seventh and final day of the Week of Cream.  Some may rest on the seventh day, but not us.  We are here to share our experience with the Angel’s Tip, a shooter composed of crème de cocoa and cream.  This is the third drink out of seven in the WoC to feature crème de cocoa.  It is the seventh out of seven to feature cream.  We will be pretty happy to drink something without cream or crème.

Even though the Week of Cream has ground us down like the overabundance of Kardashians, we managed to soldier on.  The Angel’s Tip was one of the better drinks we had during the WoC but we had a few issues. The first was the size of the drink.  The drink is only .5 oz. total.  What is the point of that?  I guess that is why it is only the Angel’s Tip instead of the Angel’s Whole Thing. 

Now we are part of the problem
The second problem we had is that you are supposed to float the cream on top of the crème.  That turned out to be impossible.  We tried twice and failed both times.  You know the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try one more time and then give up.”  So we did.  I’m not convinced the specific gravity of cream would allow it to float on top of the crème de cocoa.  The final touch was the cherry garnish.  We will admit it looked pretty nifty, but it is clearly an effort to compensate for the lack volume of the drink.  “Look at me!  I’m a cherry on a stick!”  This too reminded us of Kardashians.


Angel's Tip Drink
Hara-Cheri


To recap the Week of Cream:

Day 1: Toasted Almond – Delicious
Day 2: Pink Creole – Another sour mess
Day 3: Golden Cadillac – Should be recalled
Day 4: Cowboy Cocktail – Just add syrup
Day 5: Golden Dream – Just remove Galliano
Day 6: Russian Bear – Bearly missed a perfect 5
Day 7: Angel’s Tip – Left us wanting more.

Overall Rating for the Angel’s Tip



Taste: 5
Ease of Preparation: 3
Presentation: 4 – Might have been a 5 if we could have floated the cream
Drinks until blackout: 50 – You only get 0.0675 oz. of alcohol per drink.  This is a pop gun, not a shooter

Ingredients:

.25 oz. Crème de Cocoa
.25 oz. Light Cream

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 23: Grin and Bear It

Russian Bear Cocktail
As white as Tattoo's suit
Close your eyes and imagine you just won a vacation. Now open them back up so you can read the rest of this.  You arrive at a lush tropical island in a small sea plane and are greeted by a handsome man in a striking white suit. Adjusting your gaze upward, you notice a taller handsome man dressed identically to his diminutive associate.  You suddenly feel an urge to buy a Chrysler Cordoba with Corinthian Leather.  “Our dear guests, I am your host Mr. Roarke. Welcome to Fantasy Island,” he exclaims.

The man explains that your every fantasy will be fulfilled but warns you that once the fantasy begins even he is powerless to stop it so you should be careful.  Giddy with excitement you ignore his warning and begin your adventure.  You soon learn that everything on Fantasy Island isn’t what it appears to be even though you were just warned two sentences ago. No matter what your fantasy, it will take a dark turn and put you in an uncomfortable place.  It may end well, but you will learn a valuable lesson.  This is exactly the same as the Week of Cream.

For Day 6 of the WoC we selected the Russian Bear, a mix of vodka, crème de cocoa, and cream.  It is pretty similar to the Russian Cocktail we previously reviewed but it substitutes cream for gin.  That is a trade down in my opinion.  During preparation, this drink is stirred instead of shaken.  The reason to stir a drink is that it keeps the ice from breaking down into the liquid and keeps air out of the drink.  This leads to a clearer look and a smoother mouth feel.  Of course the Russian Bear has cream in it so it isn’t clear.  In fact it looked just like milk when we poured it into the glass.
Didn't know he was Russian
The drink was quite smooth and tasty and one of the better ones we have had to date. Mrs. Bottle thought the only way to improve it would be to add Kahlua, which she thinks improves everything.  If she had added Kahlua, the drink would no longer be a Russian Bear; it would be an Alexander the Great.  Maybe we can try that during Cream Week II: The Wrath of Khream. 

Overall Rating for the Russian Bear





Taste: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Presentation: 3
Drinks until blackout: 5 – clocks in at over 26% alcohol


Ingredients:

1 oz. Vodka
.5 oz. Crème de Cocoa
1 tbsp. Light Cream

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 22: New World Order

Golden Dream Drink
All it needs is less Galliano
We are on day 5 of the Week of Cream and today we feature the unwelcome return of Galliano.  The Galliano is joined by orange juice, triple sec, and half and half in the Golden Dream.  You may recall that the last time we tried Galliano we exposed the fact that it looks like lemon but tastes like licorice.  We also blew the lid off their trick bottle that only holds half the amount you might expect.  Those were nothing compared to today’s bombshell.

On the first page of the Galliano web site it says:


Galliano is all that is great about Italy. A love of authentic craftsmanship combined with flair and imagination. A belief in doing things the right way, never cutting corners.
A TBIAW inquiry revealed this nugget cleverly hidden on the front of the bottle:


Product of Holland?  So "all that is great about Italy" is a Product of Holland. I think this may be proof that Galliano is affliated with the Illuminati, the Freemasons, and the Trilateral Commission.  The quest for a One World Government is the only possible explantion to the question "how is Italy=Holland?" Fortunately, there is still hope.  You may have heard that the cast of Jersey Shore is headed to Italy to investigate.  If anyone can get to the bottom of this situation, it is JWoww.  I look forward to reading her report.  I hope it also clears up the difference between Holland and The Netherlands.

Somehow we managed to push this controversy to the back of our minds and prepare a Golden Dream.  The drink had a pleasant canary yellow color and a bouquet of orange and anise.  It had a flavor similar to a Creamsicle with a little bit of a licorice bite at the finish.  Both Mrs. Bottle and I enjoyed it, but she thought it would be better with less Galliano.  I suspect she would support a complete elimination.

Maybe we could replace the Galliano with maple syrup.

Overall Rating for the Golden Dream



Taste: 3
Ease of Preparation: 4
Presentation: 3
Drinks until blackout: 8 – Only 16% alcohol


Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Orange Juice
.5 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Galliano
1 tbsp. Light Cream


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 21: You Can Be My Cowgirl

Giddy Up! It’s Day 4 of the Week of Cream and we are trying the Cowboy Cocktail, a mix of bourbon and cream.  We haven’t had much luck with whisky-based drinks up to this point, but I had high hopes for the Cowboy Cocktail and I wasn’t disappointed. The cream really complimented the smoky malt flavor of the Maker’s Mark.  It was so good that I threw out all my gin and I am starting a campaign to make whisky a required part of the food pyramid.

Cowboy Cocktail
How Now Brown Cowboy

I wrote that last paragraph before we tried the Cowboy Cocktail. I was trying to use the power of positive blogging, but it didn’t work.  We didn’t really like the Cowboy Cocktail, but I think we made some progress because we didn’t hate it.  Actually that’s not quite true.  Mrs. Bottle hated it, but I only found it mildly unpleasant.   I think using Maker’s Mark instead of Wild Turkey may have helped.  It seemed smoother, but maybe I got suckered in by the lovely red wax-dipped bottle. Regardless, the bourbon actually went pretty well with the cream.  You definitely tasted whisky, though.  I could see a real whisky drinker finding this pretty enjoyable.


As for the name, we couldn’t find out why this drink was called the Cowboy Cocktail, so we were forced to speculate.  Is it because cream comes from cows and cowboys love whisky?  A lot of cocktails are invented by the liquor companies to sell more product.  Maybe the Dairy Council ginned up this one in order to sell more cream?  Perhaps two cowboys were sitting around the campfire one night discussing the real danger of osteoporosis and realized that by mixing cream and bourbon that they could both relax and get much needed calcium.  They could then make sweet love in a tent.  That seems like the most likely scenario.

"Your Bones Seem Brittle"

Anyhow, After Mrs. Bottle had moved on to wine, I thought I could make the Cowboy Cocktail more palatable to me by adding one more ingredient.  My first thought was to add the juice from a Polish sausage and call it a Family Tradition.  I didn’t have a Polish sausage handy, though.  My second thought was to add maple syrup. It turns out that is actually a real drink called the Kicking Cow.  I mixed in a little syrup and it was actually pretty good. I suggested to Mrs. Bottle that maybe I could learn to like whisky.

She said, “Sure, just add maple syrup to everything”.  Sounds like a good idea to me.


Overall Rating for the Cowboy Cocktail





Taste: 2 (3 if you add maple syrup)
Ease of Preparation: 4
Presentation: 3 – Pedestrian
Drinks until blackout: 4 – 34% Alcohol.


Ingredients:

1.5 oz. Bourbon
.5 oz. Light Cream

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 20: Gold Drank

At The Bottle Is a Wonderland our main focus is making the reader happy.  When we receive a reader request we make every effort to honor it as long as it fits in with what we already have planned.  We recently received this request:

“I want you to try a Golden Cadillac and let me know if it's as awful as I remember”

You would have to be a callous jerk to ignore such a well-reasoned and thoughtful request. It really tugged at our heart strings.  Not to mention that the Golden Cadillac contains cream and fits right in with our Week of Cream.


Golden Cadillac Drink
Off-White Cadillac

Besides cream, the Golden Cadillac also has crème de cocoa (white), and Galliano. When I saw those ingredients I thought to myself, “Self, this is going to taste good.”  The chocolate flavor of the crème de cocoa would mix nicely with the cream and the banana flavor of the Galliano.  Or does Galliano taste like lemon?  I knew it was yellow so it had to be one of those so either way it would complement chocolate and cream.  It turns out that the yellow is some kind of trick because Galliano’s primary flavor component is anise.  Anise is what you would think of as licorice flavor. When I learned this I thought to myself, “Self, this is going to taste bad.”


We headed to the store and picked up some Galliano, which comes in its famous stupid skinny bottle.  As far as I can tell, the main reason the bottle is so skinny is to disguise that you are paying $21 for a 375 ml bottle of hooch by making it the same height as a 750 ml bottle.  You could get a half gallon of Aristocrat Vodka for $21 and have enough left over for a $5 footlong. Since we are going to need Galliano for many other drinks on our journey, we coughed up the cash (see right sidebar).  As is our custom, Mrs. Bottle and I sampled the Galliano straight before mixing it.  It definitely had a strong anise component, but it wasn’t as strong as Sambuca.  Mrs. Bottle thought it tasted like medicine and I couldn’t fully disagree.  I like licorice, though, and didn’t find the flavor unpleasant.  It was certainly better than Robitussin.

Used in a Purple Cadillac
We tossed the ingredients into the Magic Bullet (a TBIAW first) and combined them with some crushed ice.  After blending, we strained into a chilled champagne flute.  That is actually a lot tougher than it sounds.  It required dexterity and a funnel.  We both thought the drink smelled atrocious.  We were still hopeful that, much like Spaghetti-O’s, the Golden Cadillac would smell bad but taste delicious.  It was not delicious.  It wasn’t horrible, but we just didn’t think the chocolate and anise flavors complemented each other well.   We were hoping it would be a little better.  After all, it was invented at a barbecue stand and most are known for their mixed drinks.

To definitively answer the question, “is the Golden Cadillac as awful as I remember?” we say, “How the hell would we know?”


Overall Rating for the Golden Cadillac


 

Taste: 2
Ease of Preparation: 2
Presentation: 4 – Mostly because the champagne flute classes it up
Drinks until blackout: 6 – At around 21% alcohol it would take a few.


Ingredients:

1 oz. Galliano
2 oz. Crème de Cocoa (White)
1 oz. Light Cream

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 19: Pepto-Dismol

Pink Creole Drink
No coat, no soothe, no relieve
Mrs. Bottle loves Pepto-Bismol.  Our medicine cabinet is fully stocked with regular Pepto, Pepto Max, and Pepto in pill form for those times when a liquid is inconvenient.  She is always trying to get me to take it.  Upset stomach?  Take some Pepto.  Intestinal distress?  Take some Pepto.  Concussion?  Take some Pepto.  She doesn’t even care that it turns your tongue and your stool black.  I thought that she might love Pepto-Bismol more than anyone on the planet, but I was wrong.

The person who invented the Pink Creole must love Pepto-Bismol more. So much so that he (or she) created a drink that is a tribute to it. I don’t know why anyone would intentionally make a drink look like that unless they were in love with Pepto.  You may recall that this is the Week of Cream and all of our drinks this week will contain cream.   The Pink Creole only has a teaspoon of cream.  It also has a teaspoon of grenadine (damn you, grenadine!).  I can’t see any other purpose in adding such small amounts of those ingredients except to change the presentation.  They certainly didn’t noticeably impact the flavor.

The other components of the Pink Creole are light rum and lime juice. We went with real lime juice this time, as we were tired of accusations of being green plastic lime apologists.  I tried the real lime juice and the plastic lime juice straight just to see the difference as well.  The real lime juice indeed tasted better with a more authentic citrus flavor, but I don’t think it was any less sour.  It also didn’t make the drink as a whole any less sour. When Mrs. Bottle tasted the Pink Creole, her first words were “that’s awful”.  I didn’t think it was very good, either, but I wouldn’t say it was awful.  It was quite sour, though, with a strong alcohol finish. 

The recipe also called for a garnish of a black cherry soaked in rum.  I’m not sure why this garnish was necessary since you can’t see it submerged in the milky pinkness of the drink.  We didn’t have any black cherries sitting around, so we substituted a maraschino cherry soaked in rum.  When I bit into it, it reminded me of the first chew of a piece of Freshen-up Gum.  Instead of squirting a cool mint center, there was a rum explosion.


Rum Gum?



Overall Rating for the Pink Creole:





 
Taste: 2
Ease of Preparation: 3 – Requires some forethought to soak a cherry.
Presentation: 1
Drinks until blackout: 5 – A little over 25% alcohol

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Light Rum
1 tbsp. Lime Juice
1 tsp. Grenadine
1 tsp . Light Cream

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Enso Many Words


Does this picture look weird to you?

Even though there is no demand for it, we bring back our semi-regular TBIAW feature where we ignore our premise of making a Mr. Boston drink each day and instead review a drink from a local establishment.  This time we went to Enso, a relatively new Asian restaurant located in downtown Uptown Charlotte, NC.

What prompted this rare journey to a restaurant located more than 5 miles from the Bottle Wonderland Estate?  Charlotte Restaurant Week, also known as Queen’s Feast.  This is where a bunch of restaurants offer three course meals for a fixed price of $30. You have to be careful when selecting your restaurant, though, because in some places you really aren’t getting any kind of a deal for $30.  Since we went to Enso during last year’s Queen’s Feast we knew what we were getting into.  Plus it was fun to reunite with all the other cheapskates who only dine out once a year.

Mrs. Bottle ordered wine with her meal, but I took one for the team and ordered a cocktail.  I tried the Pear Lychee Martini, a mixture of Grey Goose La Poire, lychee juice, and sour mix.  When I ordered it, I pronounced lychee as “lie-chee”, but when the waiter repeated the order he pronounced it “lee-chee”.   Stupid smug waiter.  I’m not even sure his is the correct pronunciation.   I think when paying $14 for a drink, the waiter should just go with whatever I said. 

Hard to drink
$14 for a drink is kind of ridiculous in my opinion, but the Pear Lychee Martini was almost worth it because it was delicious.  Delicious that is, if you like pears.  It was like drinking a pear in a glass.  Other than the price, the only other complaint I can make is that ordering this drink isn’t very manly.  I love to drink girlie drinks, but I have trouble ordering them. The martini glass is a bit of a problem.  Your pinky almost reflexively points out when using one.  That’s not manly.  Solution: Serve the drinks in mason jars. Tougher sounding names would really help, too.  I have trouble ordering a Flirtini, but I would have less trouble ordering a Monster Truck or a Laser Shark.  I ran this idea past Mrs. Bottle and she suggested that Sasquatch Scrotum would be a good name. 

I don’t think I would feel too manly ordering that.


Note: The "Pear in a Glass" image comes from the blog of artist Jeffrey Hayes

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 18: The Glass is Half and Half Full

I said "Week of Cream"!
Mrs. Bottle here once again to kick off the Week of Cream! This sounds kinky, I know, but it actually means 7 days of drinking cocktails made with some form of cream. I’d like to think we’re clever for coming up with a themed week. But we just bought some cream for today’s drink and didn’t want it to go to waste.
Let me first explain the different types of cream. I learned about them while standing in the grocery store looking for the “Light Cream” that wasn’t there. There are several types of cream: Half and Half, Light Cream, Whipping Cream, Heavy Cream, and some others nobody cares about. Obviously ½ & ½ is part milk and part cream. I also learned that even though it’s less fatty than Light Cream (12% vs. 20% fat), they’re interchangeable. I think it’s mainly because Light Cream is just hard to find. Light Cream seems to be the cream of choice in most recipes so looks like it will really be the Week of 3/6 & 3/6 for us.

Today’s cocktail is the Toasted Almond (or TA). Admittedly not a new one for me because I drank these extensively while in college. It’s a mixture of coffee liqueur, amaretto, and cream or milk (or sqrt(.25) & sqrt(.25)). We used Kahlua which is supposed to be the less famous coffee liqueur compared to Tia Maria. That is like saying that Justin Timberlake is the less famous member of  *NSync compared to Joey Fatone. I then learned that Tia Maria’s rise to fame occurred in the 80’s because Iman hawked it in TV ads. As the Tia Maria website explained, she’s sensual and exotic and also David Bowie’s wife.  
Toasted Almond Drink
We stirred it but this looks cooler
At first I really enjoyed the TA because it took me back to all those nights spent at our local college bars when I was youthful and spry. And then I stopped enjoying it because it took me back to all those nights spent at our local college bars when I was youthful and spry. In my opinion, it’s a heavier, sweet, but very tasty drink. Definitely a chick drink as evidenced by Mr. Bottle’s 2 swigs before declaring he was done. Luckily for the TA, I’m rating it today.

I’m just sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see how Mr. Bottle enjoys his week of 0.5 & 0.5.

Overall Rating:




Taste: 5
Ease of Preparation: 5
Presentation: 4
Drinks until blackout: 8 - At only 15% alcohol it would take a lot.  Do not try if lactose intolerant.

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Coffee Liqueur
1 oz Amaretto
1.5 oz Half and Half

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 17: It’s Not Easy Being Midori

Green Demon Drink
Not Radioactive
Shooters are fun.  When you are out with friends and someone brings over a tray of shooters, everyone gets excited because they know things are about to get crunk.  With their often sweet and fruity flavor and the ban of Four Loko, shooters also provide the easiest way for non-drinkers to get drunk fast.  Ed. Note: The writers of The Bottle is a Wonderland do not condone excessive drinking. Or underage drinking. Please enjoy responsibly. The Bottle is a Wonderland is produced in a facility that processes tree nuts.

Even when a shooter tastes horrible, you can usually choke it down since it is compact.  If you currently have trouble swallowing something unpleasant, you should learn how to do it, since it is an important life skill.  Luckily with our latest drink, the Green Demon, that skill doesn’t need to be deployed.  Its combination of vodka, rum, melon liqueur, and lemonade tastes pretty good.  We learned that the taste is affected by the way you drink it, though.  If you sip it, you get melon flavor with a strong alcohol finish.  If you shoot it (the way FSM intended), you just get the melon flavor without the alcohol finish. As a bonus, the bright green color is pretty boss.
WWFSMD? Shoot it!
When I saw that the Green Demon used melon liqueur, my mind started racing.  Surely there would be lots of interesting things to write about Midori, the most recognizable melon liqueur. I might observe that “midori” means “green” in Japanese and sarcastically praise the company for such a clever name and mention that I was looking forward to trying their grape liqueur, Purple.  Since Midori is a product of Suntory, I could link to the great Bill Murray’s Suntory commercial from Lost in Translation. I might pretend to be confused as to why a violinist has her own liqueur and hilarity would ensue.  With all of these ideas swirling, I went to the liquor cabinet only to find DeKuyper’s Melon liqueur. 

I couldn’t use any of those ideas. I was so sick I turned midori.

Overall Rating:




Taste: 3 – It is very close to a 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Presentation: 5
Drinks until blackout: 5 – About 27% alcohol


Ingredients:

.5 oz Vodka
.5 oz Rum
.5 oz Midori Melon Liqueur
.5 oz Lemonade

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 16: Sucks and the City

Manhattan Drink
Cherry Bomb
Neither Mrs. Bottle nor I had heard of most of the drinks we have tried so far, so for today’s drink we decided to go with something classic, the Manhattan.  The Manhattan consists of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. It tastes more like it is made out of ass.

Okay, that may be a bit harsh (just like this drink…rim shot!).  We suspect that we didn’t like the Manhattan because we don’t like whiskey.  We both thought the drink mostly tasted and smelled like straight bourbon.  In order to test this, we poured a little Wild Turkey into a glass and tried it straight.  It turns out that the Manhattan is much better than straight bourbon, similar to the way a punch in the stomach is better than a punch in the junk.

I wondered how this drink became a classic so I did some research and it turns out the Manhattan was invented some time in the mid to late 1800’s.  Then it became clear to me: The people of the late 1800’s had no idea how to have fun.  A popular leisure activity of the time was hoop and stick.  Wee! No wonder this drink became popular.  It bested the current champion, Gin and Soot.

Time for a Game of Hoop and Stick
We still hope that we can develop a palate for whiskey.  Obviously a lot of people like it so it must be possible to enjoy it.   Until that happens, it will be tough for any of the whiskey drinks to earn a high score.

Luckily for us, there are at least two more variations on the Manhattan left for us to try.  We can hardly wait.


Overall Rating:




Taste: 2 – Only because we are giving the benefit of the doubt to whiskey fans.
Ease of Preparation: 4
Presentation: 4 – It has a cherry!
Drinks until blackout: 4 – A little over 35% alcohol


Ingredients:

2 oz Whiskey
.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 15: Tequila À La Mode

Alamo Splash Drink
Where's the Rest?
When Mrs. Bottle and I decided to undertake this grand and important project, we agreed that it would be a collaborative effort.  Up until now it has been.  Last night, though, Mrs. Bottle was at some play about a dancing boy while I was home alone.  I’m not sure where she gets off having a life, but much like Billy Elliot, I was able to triumph over adversity and mix, photograph, taste, drink, and rate the Alamo Splash all by myself.  And just like Billy Elliot, I did it completely nude.  Or was that The Full Monty?  Either way, I was nude.

The Alamo Splash is a mix of tequila, orange juice, pineapple juice, and lemon-lime soda.  We found the recipe for this drink a bit puzzling.  After mixing the ingredients, we were told to strain the drink into a chilled Collins glass.  There are only about 3 ounces of liquid in an Alamo Splash so it looks pretty ridiculous in the glass without any ice.  The only person in the world who would think that drink looks right is John Stockton.

"I'll Take Two"

I was intrigued by this drink because the ingredients list looked pretty good, similar to a Tequila Sunrise.  Unfortunately it was a bit of a let down.  It seemed like the orange juice, pineapple juice, and lemon-lime soda clashed a bit.  I poured additional soda in the glass in an effort to improve it but even extra carbonated goodness couldn't save it.

I’m not sure about this drink’s name, either.  Presumably it is called the Alamo Splash because of the splash of lemon-lime soda and not because Davy Crockett and Sam Houston liked to playfully fight in the tub while sipping tequila. 

Overall rating:




Taste: 2
Ease of Preparation: 4
Presentation: 2
Drinks until blackout: 7 – A little over 20% alcohol

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Tequila
1 oz Orange Juice
.5 oz Pineapple juice
Splash Lemon-Lime soda

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 14: Hawaii Five-Oh No

Mrs. Bottle was watching the Golden Globes the other night and I looked over at the TV and wondered “why is there a life-sized cardboard cutout of Carson Daly on the red carpet?”  It turns out that it wasn’t a cardboard cutout; it was the actual Carson Daly.  I felt pretty stupid because I should have known that a cardboard cutout would have been less stiff.  I seriously do not understand why he is famous and was shocked when I realized his show has been on since 2002. I head a rumor that the only reason he is on TV is because Ryan Seacrest has a clause in his contract that there must be at least one host on screen with less personality than he has.

Hawaiian Cocktail Drink
Yeah, It's Mostly Gin
The previous paragraph has as much to do with our latest drink as the drink has to do with its own name.  The drink was the Hawaiian Cocktail. When Mrs. Bottle told me we were having a Hawaiian Cocktail, I imagined a tropical ambrosia with a cute little umbrella.  What we got instead was something that a fire breather would drink before shooting a three foot long flame from his mouth.  Hopefully onto Carson Daly.

The drink is composed of gin, triple sec, and pineapple juice.  I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that pineapples grow in Hawaii so the name Hawaiian Cocktail is appropriate.  You are wrong.  There is only a tablespoon of pineapple juice in the drink and the pineapples, they did nothing. I also thought the drink smelled a lot like Windex. I asked Mrs. Bottle if she thought it smelled like Windex and she informed me that she didn’t know what Windex smelled like.  Don’t read too much into that.

I Hope It's Before Labor Day
The drink looked attractive, though. It was simple, frosty and white.  It reminded me of Tilda Swinton in The Chronicles of Narnia.  Or in The Limits of Control. Or at the Golden Globes.  Or in this photo shoot. Or this one. 

You get the idea.

Overall Rating:


 

Taste: 1
Ease of Preparation: 4
Presentation: 4
Drinks until blackout: 4 – 40% alcohol and you will definitely know it

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 13: You Got Your Apple in My Cinnamon


K-Fed Gives it a 3

Take any number.  Now double it and add ten.  Divide it by two and subtract your original number. Did you end up with an answer of five?  If so, congratulations, you now know the maximum score of the new and improved TBIAW drink rating system.  We are scrapping our ten-point scale for a streamlined five-point scale.  This will allow you to better differentiate how good each drink is.  It also lets you display the rating using only one hand, leaving your other hand free to flash gang signs.

Our first drink that aspires to a perfect five is the Hot Cinnamon Roll.  It is hot apple cider and cinnamon schnapps.  Our favorite cinnamon schnapps is Goldschläger, which contains actual gold. I’m not sure what the point of the gold is, but it does give you the rare opportunity to both consume and excrete real gold. Just like Russian billionaires and Oprah.  For the apple cider we used Alpine Spiced Apple Cider.  Don’t think too much about mixing instant cider and Goldschläger or it might cause cognitive dissonance.

After preparing our drink, we topped it with Cool Hwhip and stirred with a cinnamon stick.  According to Mr. Boston, the Hot Cinnamon Roll should be served in an Irish coffee glass.  Since we don’t own an Irish coffee glass, we instead went with a clear acrylic Freddie Mac mug.  It used to be opaque but became transparent in an effort to stay ahead of pending legislation.

Hot Cinnamon Roll Drink
Our Fannie Mae Mug Was Dirty
This was our first hot drink and the good news is that it didn't set the bar impossibly high so all others are let downs.  I thought the cinnamon overwhelmed the cider.  Mrs. Bottle said that “if it didn’t have that weird apple-cidery taste to it, it would be good.”   I can't believe I married someone so different from me.

She also pointed out that cinnamon sticks are ridiculously expensive. I'm not sure if that has any bearing on the drink, but it needed to be said. Maybe next time we will skip the apple cider and the cinnamon stick and just drink straight Goldschläger.

Overall rating: 


Taste: 3
Ease of Preparation: 3
Presentation: 3
Drinks until blackout: 10 - At only 8% alcohol, it would take a lot of these.  Oh, and this metric is on an point scale
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