Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 81: Making Betty Botter's Bitters Batter Better

Fox River Cocktail
Maybe the Fox River is murky?
It is hard to keep coming up with ways to introduce the daily drink and list its ingredients.  Invariably it ends up being a variation on “today’s drink is the XYZ, a mixture of some alcohol and some other ingredients.”  Every once in a while we might get creative and/or bust out the thesaurus, but even that only gives us so many options.  The first step towards solving any problem is recognizing that you have a problem, though, so I think we are well on our ways towards finding a solution. Don’t think for one minute that a boring sentence or two or three or four means that we are mailing it in.  Care and thoughtfulness are put into every wird in this blog.

Today’s drink is the Fox River Cocktail, a mixture of bourbon (or rye) whiskey, brown crème de cacao, and bitters (oops, we did it again). Even with two ounces of bourbon, the Fox River Cocktail was not the worst drink we’ve ever had.  It actually was almost good despite the fact that it was extremely strong, coming in at over 37% alcohol.  It is one of those drinks that makes your stomach and throat warm when you take a sip.  That is the feeling of protective lining rotting away, so it might even be an effective weight loss measure. The primary flavor was of course the bourbon, but the crème de cacao did manage to take a little of the edge off and the bitters was definitely noticeable. This drink had four dashes of bitters, which is four more than most drinks have, and three more than most drinks with bitters have.

Bitters is alcohol infused with aromatic herbs.  The Angostura Bitters that we used is 44.7% alcohol.  Even though it is typically very strong, you can buy it in the grocery store and as far as I know you don’t get carded when buying bitters.  I am not advocating that our underage readers go load up on bitters, though.  Vanilla extract is a tastier option.  If you’ve ever had Jägermeister then you know what bitters tastes like: cough syrup.  I happen to love cough syrup, so I find the bitters flavor quite pleasant.  Bitters isn’t always bitter, though, it can also be bittersweet. That makes “bitters” a terrible name not only because it ends in “s” making subject-verb agreement confusing, but also because it is a bit misleading.
The giant label does not hide the bitterness
(Img: © Chriusha (Хрюша) / CC-BY-SA-3.0)
If you do happen to find bitters too bitter there is new hope.  Researchers have recently discovered a chemical that blocks the taste buds that are receptors for bitterness.  The chemical is called GIV3616.  The people who named it couldn’t even get over the incredibly low bar for naming that “bitters” established.  At any rate, I am looking forward to the day GIV3616 becomes commercially available. On that day I will make a drink that has both bitters and GIV3616 and let them fight to the death.  It will be glorious. I will also liberally use GIV3616 to cut down on the bitterness of vegetables.  It will probably be a better option than my current bitter blocker of cheese sauce.


Overall Rating for the Fox River Cocktail




Taste: 2 – Just missed a 3
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 3 – 37% Alcohol

Ingredients

2 oz Whiskey (Bourbon or Rye)
1 tbsp Crème de Cocoa (Brown)
4 dashes Bitters

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 80: Exciting iPhone 5 News

Robin's Nest Cocktail
It is perfectly obvious why
this is called the Robin's Nest
Today’s drink is the Robin’s Nest. Its ingredients are vodka, crème de cocoa and cranberry juice.  The flavor was surprisingly good.  We have had crème de cocoa and vodka before so we knew those flavors would work well.  Adding the cranberry juice seemed odd, but it served to add a pleasant fruity note at the finish and cut down a little on the harshness.  Even so, this seemed like kind of a strange combination for a drink.  Strange enough that I became determined to learn more.  And by determined, I mean I spent two or three minutes doing Google searches.  I didn’t see anything on the first page or two of results, so I gave up.  It is probably good that I am not in charge of finding the cure for cancer.

Speaking of web searches, I have noticed something strange ever since we posted our tribute to Rebecca Black, the Internet sensation. It turns out that if you search for “we we we so excited” on Bing that our post is the second result returned.  It used to be first, but after two weeks Bing must have decided that iheartalkradio.com’s tribute was more relevant than ours.  Clearly Bing has no understanding of humor. We were also the top result for “we so excited” but we have since slipped to the bottom of the first page. We aren’t in the first two pages on Google, so I have no idea where we are in their results.

What does this mean?  It means that our “We We We So Excited” post has the most hits of any of our entries, even if the people who land here hoping for some Rebecca Black info are probably so so so disappointed.  It also means that Bing results are either crap or genius, depending on your point of view.  The third thing it means is that if we want to generate more traffic, we need to be topical.  It has to be meaningful commentary, though. It would be bad form to just list stacey dash, carlisle, adhd, drugs, the game tv show, wiz khalifa rolling ..., brooke burke, espn, honda cbr250r, winrar download just because they are the top Google trends at the moment.  It wouldn’t be any better to just list top Twitter trends like #indvspak , #uknoyoughettowhen , #idontunderstandwhy , RIP Jackie Chan, Arts Council , TRANSMISSION GAGAVISION, Poonam Pandey, Saeed Ajmal , José Alencar , UDRS, either.  You can be sure we will avoid those types of transparent attempts at traffic generation.

I guess some people
could find this motivating
A final learning is that I don’t know what most of those top trends even mean.  In case you don’t know either, I will help you with one of them.  It turns out that Poonam Pandey is an Indian model.  She said that she will get nekkid if India wins the Cricket World Cup, which is currently underway.  I was heartened to hear that she isn’t doing this for publicity; she is just doing it to motivate the team.  She is a true patriot.   I hope it works out for her and the Indian team.  I know how motivating the promise of nudity can be, because I made the same offer to the VCU basketball team if they could make the Final Four and we know how that turned out.


Overall Rating for the Robin’s Nest


 

Taste: 4
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 6 – 21% alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Vodka
.5 oz Crème de Cocoa
1 oz Cranberry Juice


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 79: How About a Nice Game of Chess?

Remember the movie WarGames? At first David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) is excited to break into the WOPR and play Global Thermonuclear War.  After he realizes that he almost causes World War III he throws everything away and hopes no one finds out it was him.  Then the WOPR calls him back.  At that point David realizes he is in big trouble.  No matter what he does he can’t get away. That is kind of like our relationship with vermouth.  I don’t want vermouth to call me back, but it keeps showing up.  That connection might be a stretch, but man I love WarGames and it was on TV last night.

Poor quality assurance
Anyway, today’s drink is the Bronx Cocktail, a mixture of gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, and orange juice.  It is called the Bronx Cocktail because A-Rod has about four of these before every Yankees game. Actually that isn’t true.  As far as I know David Wells is the only Yankee to play while drunk. And A-Rod only admitted to using PEDs while with the Rangers.  There are no PEDs in the Bronx Cocktail so he is in the clear.
Bronx Cocktail
That orange is sucking in its gut for the photo
I am really distracted today and keep forgetting that the point of this thing is that vermouth tastes funny.  And not funny ha-ha, but funny weird. Unfortunately vermouth is a common ingredient in cocktails, so we will be having a lot of it.  Since the Bronx Cocktail has two kinds of vermouth, I was a little worried.  At first the weird vermouth flavor was a little off-putting in this drink.  After a few sips, though, it seemed okay.  We think we may be developing a taste for vermouth and that eventually we will appreciate it.  It actually went well with the orange juice and the gin making the Bronx Cocktail reasonably palatable.  It wasn’t great, but it was certainly more palatable than the Yankees. 


Overall Rating for the Bronx Cocktail



Taste: 3
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 3
Drinks Until Blackout: 5 – 25% alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Gin
.5 oz Dry Vermouth
.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Orange Juice

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 78: My Body is a Temple

Shirley Temple Cocktail
Shirley Temple,
you can't be serious
Today is a day of great shame at the Bottle Wonderland Estate.  And no it is not because the blog is late again today or because this entry isn’t going to live up to the phenomenally high level of our 88 previous posts (spoiler alert!). It is because today’s drink doesn’t even have any alcohol.


(I’ll pause while you finish gasping)

The Mr. Boston Platinum Edition contains over 1,500 recipes.  39 of those are non-alcoholic.  Mathematically that works out to about one non-alcoholic drink for every 38.5 days. So if you look at it like that, we are way overdue to have a drink sans alcohol.  We don’t look at it like that, though.  When we started this blog, Mrs. Bottle said, “we’re not doing any of those non-alcoholic drinks; they are a complete waste of time.” The waste of time part might be true, but here we are anyway.

As Mrs. Bottle mentioned yesterday, one of our friends turned 40 on Saturday and we went out to celebrate.  We agreed to go out even though we are both much younger than our friend.  I am in my late mid-30s and Mrs. Bottle said not to reveal her age under pain of death.  Regardless, even at our young ages our recovery time from a night out is a bit longer than it used to be.  As a result, neither of us was really in the mood for a drink on Sunday.   We had to provide a post though, so we decided to go non-alcoholic.  The sound you hear is my liver exhaling a sigh of relief.

We decided to go with the Shirley Temple, the classic favorite of cookie crunchers everywhere.  I doubt you were wondering, but a Shirley Temple is made from grenadine and ginger ale.  The Mr. Boston guide cares as little about this drink as I do, since it doesn’t even bother to put measurements for the ingredients.   We did our best to make it anyway.  The drink looked nice I suppose.  I think it tasted like ginger ale but I wasn’t really paying attention.   I would keep going but I’ve already wasted enough of your time.

They should rename this drink the
Miley Cyrus, the modern equivalent
of Shirley Temple's innocence
(Img)


Overall Rating for the Shirley Temple




Taste: 3
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: ∞

Ingredients

Grenadine
Ginger Ale

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 77: OMG WTF BBQ

First things first, in response to Mr. Bottle’s blog from yesterday, I want to unequivocally state that I do not and never have used a Shake Weight. That is not a look I’m going for, and I’m not referring to the advertised muscle buildup after the workout.

Mr Bottle doesn't see anything wrong with this look
(Img: blippitt.com)

Oh My Gosh, today’s drink, is perfect for how I feel as I write this. As in, oh my gosh, I just can’t hang like I used to. Last night, Mr. Bottle and I went for a night on the town to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. At the end of the evening as we reviewed the bill for the beverages consumed, I realized with some amazement that I had racked up a total of seven drinks. Seven??!! “What the hell was I thinking?” one might ask. But I think it’s safe to say that after drink number four there’s not much thinking going on. I tried to be reasonable, sticking to my old friend, the vodka tonic. It’s my contention that the tonic water helps keep you hydrated although maybe consuming five negates any of those benefits. What also negates any chance of an easy recovery is a tequila shot. However, another contention of mine is that you can’t have a milestone birthday celebration without some form of shot consumption. The last thing which may (and I emphasize the word may) have put me over the edge was the Root Beer Bomb, a combo of root beer flavored vodka and Red Bull. And unlike other legendary combos like rum and coke or vodka and OJ, this was not so legendary tasting.
Oh My Gosh Cocktail
Oh My Gosh it doesn't look that good
So despite the adventures from last night, I’m still able to discuss today’s drink without feeling too unsteady as I think about the flavors. Oh My Gosh is a shooter with equal parts peach schnapps and amaretto. Originally Mr. Bottle and I thought this was going to be a terrible drink since neither of us loves these alcohols. However, we each had the same reaction after tasting it. Oh my gosh! It actually tastes pretty good. So I guess peach schnapps and amaretto really complement each other and do make a good combo. Maybe not legendary, but definitely better than that root beer disaster.

Overall Rating for the Oh My Gosh




 
Taste: 4
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 7 – 18% Alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Peach Schnapps
1 oz Amaretto

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 76: Goober ‘til the Last Drop

Goober Cocktail
This is about half a Goober
Last night started off pretty chill at the Bottle Wonderland Estate.  I was parked on the couch watching television trying to relax after an exhausting session of Angry Birds.  Mrs. Bottle was heating up some food in the kitchen.  Then suddenly everything changed.  Mrs. Bottle started assembling bottle after bottle of liquor, liqueur, and fruit juice on the counter.  She frantically pulled dozens of glasses out the cabinet, proclaiming each one more worthless than the prior. She started eyeballing our cocktail shaker with a look of concern and then finally threw up her hands in disgust and shouted “why me, why me?!?!”  I am used to that yell each year on our wedding anniversary, but it seemed oddly out of place last night.

Why the kerfuffle?  It was all because of our next drink, the Goober.  The Goober is a mix of vodka, black raspberry liqueur, melon liqueur, triple sec, grenadine, pineapple juice, and orange juice.  That is lot of ingredients. That is also a lot of volume.  13.5 ounces to be exact.  That is ridiculously large for a beverage not served via drive-through window or convenience store.  We didn’t have a single glass large enough to hold 13.5 ounces.  Unless of course you count our margarita glasses or our massive stadium cup collection or our flower vases, but none of those would be appropriate for a drink as sophisticated as the Goober.  It was also a lot more than our cocktail shaker could hold.  We had to bust out our decorative shaker, but those are the types of sacrifices we make for our art.

Giant Cocktail Shaker
Look at the size of that thing!
Once we had filled the shaker with the cornucopia of liquids, it was time to shake it.  Last year at this time Mrs. Bottle might not have been able to lift such a heavy drink, but she has been using her shake weight religiously for months. This gave her the proper upper body strength and technique necessary for a good mix.  The shaking must have worked because the Goober turned out to be very good.  For me the tastes that were most prevalent were the melon liqueur and the orange juice.  Mrs. Bottle thought the raspberry liqueur was the star.  Either way, it was pretty fruity.  Not there’s anything wrong with that.  The one thing neither of us tasted was a goober pea, leaving us slightly confused about the drink’s name. We didn’t let that stop us from downing the whole thing, though.


Overall Rating for the Goober




 
Taste: 4
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 1
Drinks Until Blackout: 10 – 10% alcohol.  You’ll never get there, though, since that would be a gallon of Goober

Ingredients

1.5 oz Vodka
1.5 oz Black Raspberry Liqueur
1.5 oz Melon Liqueur
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Grenadine
3 oz Pineapple Juice
4 oz Orange Juice

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 75: Silence Is Not Golden

I think that Mrs. Bottle and I are getting used to drinking these horrible drinks.  The last time we gave a drink a rating of one was on day 48 which is just over a month ago.  Never mind that 75-48=27, just trust me that it has been a month since we have rated anything a one.  I don’t know if TBIAW is suffering from grade inflation or if our palates are getting more refined.  I suppose a third option is that our taste buds are shutting down as a defense mechanism.
Silent Third Cocktail
The third of the glass that is empty is the silent third
The more astute of you may suspect that I am bringing this up is because our latest drink the Silent Third is going to get a rating of one.  Would we ever have a set-up that was so completely obvious?  The answer is a resounding “yes”.  The Silent Third is our fourth drink with Scotch and the third that has earned a one.  The other one rated a two.  We have had better luck with Irish whiskey and bourbon so it seems that not all whisk(e)ys earn ones. I think we may have discovered that having Scotch in a drink and the drink having a poor rating are highly correlated.  We know that correlation doesn’t equal causation, but in this case it does.

Another bad third
Besides Scotch, the Silent Third also contains triple sec and lemon juice.  I don’t know if it was a lack of will or a lack of ability, but the additional ingredients couldn’t help.  The Scotch overwhelmed them and made the drink taste odd. Mrs. Bottle thought it tasted like feet. She also didn’t understand why anybody would drink Scotch on purpose.  She said a few other witty comments about how terrible the drink was but I didn’t write them down and now I can’t remember them.  Sadly, I do remember what the Silent Third tasted like.



Aha! Scotch ruined Superman III, too!
 
Overall Rating for the Silent Third




Taste: 1
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 5 – 25 % Alcohol

Ingredients

2 oz Scotch Whisky
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Lemon Juice

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 74: Taste My Finger

Lady Finger Cocktail
Drink looks like a lady (finger)

Today we present the Lady Finger, a combination of gin, kirschwasser, and cherry brandy.  This is the third drink we’ve made using kirschwasser but the first one that actually called for it. We decided to have it because Mrs. Bottle is still annoyed by the confusion caused by the similarities in cherry brandy, maraschino liqueur, and kirschwasser and she was determined to find a drink that actually called for kirschwasser.  In an unrelated note, this paragraph just set the Guinness World Record for the most mentions of kirschwasser.

When I hear the term lady finger, the first thing I think of is yummy dessert.  When I think of yummy desserts, the first thing I think of isn’t an Easy-Bake Oven, but it might be in the first 100 things I think if.  Probably not, but I had to have some way to segue into this next bit.  In case you don’t know what an Easy-Bake Oven is, it is a toy oven that uses a 100 watt light bulb to bake little cakes.  I never had one as a child, probably because I was a boy when I was a child.  Some might say I am still a boy, but those people are doo-doo heads.  I did have a set of dishes I played with, though, so I know my parents raised me in a gender-neutral way.  That probably explains why I watch Glee. 

I was always a little jealous of anyone who had an Easy-Bake Oven.  It was not because I wanted to bake a cake. It was because I wanted to eat a cake because I liked to eat cakes.  In fact I still like to eat cakes but now I can just buy a cake if I want one.  Back then I had no money so baking and eating a cake was an attractive option.  Sadly, children today may not have that opportunity.  Starting in 2012, you will no longer be able to purchase a 100 watt bulb.  Since that is the heating element in an Easy-Bake Oven,  this will instantly make 50 years’ worth of Easy-Bake ovens obsolete.  I am sure Al Gore did not understand this particular unintended consequence of the light bulb ban.

This one doesn't use a light bulb,
but we will ignore that inconvenient truth
Image:msn.com
Look, I am as green as the next guy. Mrs. Bottle and I have replaced most of the Bottle Wonderland Estate’s light bulbs with compact florescent lights.  We did this even though our kitchen is now dark for five minutes after we turn on the switch.  We keep the thermostat at 68 in the winter and 80 in the summer even though this means I wear a hoodie from mid-September until mid-May.  I wear a Speedo from June-August, not just because I want to, but also because it is hot in our house. My car gets an eco-friendly 16 MPG and we recycle everything.  What I am trying to say is that we get it.  Incandescent bulbs are bad.  But now we have to give up crappy cakes baked by 6 year olds? That is asking for too much sacrifice.

It was also a sacrifice to drink the Lady Finger just so 8 or 10 people could read this stupid blog.  The drink sucked and we did not enjoy it.  It was cloyingly sweet due to the cherry brandy.  With cherry brandy, much like peach schnapps and Irish cream, a little goes a long way.  This went too far.  That lady should keep her finger to herself.


Overall Rating for the Lady Finger



Taste: 2
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 3 – 37% Alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Gin
1 oz Kirschwasser
1 oz Cherry Brandy

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 73: Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby

Grape Nehi Cocktail
Looks neither grape nor Nehi
I read last week that Diet Coke is now the second best selling soft drink in America.  It supplanted Pepsi, the previous #2.  Pepsi spokesperson Joe Jacuzzi indicated that Pepsi was not worried about the drop but that they will be ramping up advertising this year nonetheless. Coke spokesperson Steve Sauna could not be reached for comment.  It also turns out that four of the top ten sodas are now diet varieties.  This is up from only two in 2001.  This trend away from sugary soda towards zero-calorie diet soda should have been obvious to me given how thin Americans have become in that same time period. 

The real shocker in the data is that the number ten soda is Fanta.  This raised a lot of questions for me. What flavor of Fanta are they talking about?  In the US, it is known for its orange soda, but they have seven different flavors here and over 90 worldwide.  On the top ten list it just says “Fanta”. Did they get to lump all those flavors together?  If so, then Pepsi should get to do the same.  If they added Crystal Pepsi sales to Pepsi’s maybe they could reclaim the coveted #2 slot.  Then I needed to know who the hell drinks Fanta?  Besides the Pope, that is.  Apparently he drinks four cans a day.  I always thought that Jesus Juice was white wine, but maybe it is Fanta.  Maybe if the Pope appeared in a Fanta ad during the Super Bowl, they could move up to number nine.  Especially if he appeared with the Fantanas.

Yummy yogurt-flavored Pepsi would push them to the top
Image Source 
Nowhere to be found on the list was Nehi.  This isn’t a big surprise since I can’t remember the last time I saw Nehi in a store.  I probably haven’t had one since my last trip to the Texas Tavern in 1992 so I was pretty excited to try our latest drink the Grape Nehi.  I thought it might bring back a lot of childhood memories and also give me a buzz.  Those two things are not related.  The drink is made of vodka, raspberry liqueur, and lemon juice.  It really tasted nothing like its namesake. In fact, you couldn’t taste anything but lemon.  It wasn’t bad, really, but when you name it the Grape Nehi you set certain expectations. And those expections do not include lemons. Maybe my memories are a bit flawed, but I don’t remember a strong lemon flavor in Grape Nehi soda.  Maybe the Cheesy With messed up my taste buds. 


Overall Rating for the Grape Nehi





Taste: 3
Presentation: 2 – In our guide, it says this drink is also known as the Purple Hooter but this looked more brown than anything
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 7 – 19 % Alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Raspberry Flavored Liqueur
1 oz Lemon Juice

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 72: Is This Post More Carrie or Samantha?

Today we have the Cosmopolitan Cocktail, a combination of vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice.  I was as intrigued by this drink as I have been by any of our previous offerings.  The combination of exotic ingredients sounded exciting and delicious.   The name really piqued my interest as well. After all, “cosmopolitan” implies that this drink is worldly and worldliness is something we strive for here at TBIAW.  After all, if we are not worldly, we cannot know our enemies and continue our fight against the one world government.
Cosmopolitan Cocktail
It looks huge until you notice the lime

We were not let down by the Cosmopolitan Cocktail.  The drink had a nice flavor with a hint of orange and cranberry.  The lime juice added a bit of sourness, but it was not so much as to overwhelm the other ingredients.  It was so tasty that I was a bit taken aback that this drink is not more popular than it is.  I was commenting to Mrs. Bottle that we should make a special effort to let the world know about this fabulous Cosmopolitan Cocktail. Mrs. Bottle told me that the drink had a brief measure of notoriety ten years ago when it was frequently mentioned on a TV show called Sex and the City.  It probably didn’t catch on since they did not refer to it by its proper name.  Instead of calling it the Cosmopolitan Cocktail they called it the Cosmo, but I ‘m not sure why. I guess they were Seinfeld fans.


I worry about any woman who needs
a magazine to find a man's G-spot
(Image: http://bit.ly/3nwLNn)
I also learned that Mrs. Bottle had tried this drink before and has actually ordered it when we have been out together.  I should probably pay more attention to what she does.  At any rate, she thought that our Cosmopolitan Cocktail was better than the ones you would typically find in restaurants.  She said that restaurants use too much cranberry juice relative to the other ingredients.  This might be because the International Bartender Association’s  (IBA) official recipe calls for twice as much cranberry juice as triple sec or lime juice whereas the Mr. Boston recipe calls for equal parts of all three ingredients.  That might explain why our drink was so pale.

The other difference between the recipes from Mr. Boston and the IBA is the total volume of the drink.  Our version only has 2 ounces but the IBA’s has 3.4 ounces. Of course the Mr. Boston recipe has more alcohol, so that give it a slight edge.  Tiny drinks have been a common theme in our journey, but this time we were ready. I happen to be an expert at making things look bigger than they are so we poured this into a shot glass so make it appear to be normal sized. If only it were always that easy.


Overall Rating for the Cosmopolitan Cocktail




Taste: 4
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 4 – 28% Alcohol

Ingredients

1.25 oz Vodka
.25 oz Triple Sec
.25 oz Cranberry Juice
.25 oz Lime Juice

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 71: Buongiorno, Amigos!

What do you get when you combine coffee liqueur, amaretto, and coffee?  The Mexitaly Coffee, our latest drink.   The “Mexitaly” in the name is a bit presumptuous since it assumes that we will use Kahlúa coffee liqueur from Mexico and Disaranno Originale amaretto from Italy.  In our case, we did use Kahlúa, but our amaretto is made in Ohio under license from DeKuyper, a Dutch company.  For those of you in the 50% of Americans who cannot find Ohio on a map, it is in the United States.

This is the United States
Since amaretto originated in Italy we can probably still safely the drink the Mexitaly Coffee even though ours was Mexitaliameridutch.  Here at TBIAW, we do not see ethnicity; we just see a drink that needs to be rated.  And rate it we did.

Of course before we could rate it, we had to make it.  And by "we", I mean Mrs. Bottle.  Even though she has made 95% of the drinks so far, this one provided her with a challenge she had yet to face: Using maraschino cherry juice to moisten the glass before rimming it with cinnamon sugar.  If I made the drink, I would have tried to pour some juice on a plate and dip the glass in it or maybe suck up some juice in a turkey baster and then spray it on the glass.  Whatever I did, it would have been a disaster.  Luckily Mrs. Bottle is smarter than I am and she just dipped a paper towel into the jar of cherries and then used that to moisten the glass.
Mexitaly Coffee Cocktail
All these coffee drinks kind of look the same

After applying the cinnamon sugar, she added the liqueur and the coffee.  Since this drink is only 5% alcohol, it needed a little show to make up for its weakness.  Fortunately the recipe called for it to be topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  As we usually do, we substituted chocolate jimmies for the shavings.  You really can't go wrong with jimmies. For the whipped cream we used Reddi-Wip whipped cream instead of our usual Cool Whip.  We switched from Cool Whip to Reddi-Wip for several reasons:

1. Reddi-Wip is easier to apply to a drink than Cool Whip since Reddi-Wip has a spray nozzle
2. Reddi-Wip is easier to apply to a lot of things, if you know what I mean.
3. Reddi-Wip shows a rakish disregard for spelling rules. We luv that.
4. Reddi-Wip is made with nitrous oxide.  In a pinch you could use it to anesthetize yourself and/or boost the speed of your Honda Civic. It is the Official Whipped Cream of MacGyverTM
5. Our tub of Cool Whip was filled with mold, which I noticed right after I put a big spoonful of it in my mouth.  On the bright side, any infections I may or may not have had are now cleared up.

The drink itself was very good.   The primary flavor was of course the coffee.  There was a slight almond note from the amaretto that added flavor complexity.  I am not a huge fan of amaretto but in this case it was pleasant. It also had a slight cherry taste at the finish due to the juice on the rim.  Of course that taste only lasted for the first few sips.  After that I had to give the rim a big lick to get any of that delicious cherry flavor.  I had to stop licking the glass, though, because it was was either grossing out Mrs. Bottle or making her aroused.  It is a fine line that I often have trouble discerning.


Overall Rating for the Mexitaly Coffee



Taste: 5
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 1
Drinks Until Blackout: 17 – 5% Alcohol

Ingredients

.75 oz Coffee Liqueur
.75 oz Amaretto
Coffee

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 70: The Martini Supremacy


Homestead Cocktail
Beauty isn't everything
Mrs. Bottle here for my weekly dissertation and today’s libation is the Homestead Cocktail. This is a concoction that consists of gin and sweet vermouth with a garnish of an orange slice. Mr. Bottle and I both slightly liked it but there was an odd flavor, which we attributed to the vermouth. The Homestead Cocktail is a take on the traditional martini, but after flipping through Mr. Boston, there appear to be an abundance of these takes. I’m thinking that instead of blogging about each of these individually, maybe we should have martini night so we don’t have to figure out why having 0.25 ounces less gin and 0.25 ounces more vermouth makes a damn difference. This isn’t Top Martini.  I might not be able to discern the different flavors imparted by less juniper berry juice like Tom Colicchio but I could be Padma

Speaking of Padma, I want to spend a few moments discussing the glass you see housing the Homestead Cocktail. It’s really quite lovely and elegant on the outside but a real pain to deal with. Why would we buy such a glass? You know how at Christmas time all the liquor stores sell those packages of your booze with fancy glasses you don’t really need? Well, one year we got a package of Bombay Sapphire gin and it included this glass. I got suckered in by the beauty, not realizing that the glass was as deep as Paris Hilton. You can hardly fill the saucer glass with any liquid before it’s in danger of spillage. But it sure does look good, right?

Let me rein it back in to discuss vermouth. Vermouth is fortified wine and there are actually three different basic types: extra dry, bianco/white, and sweet/red. I also just learned that sweet vermouth is drunk as an aperitif, straight up. Um, I think if you’ve tasted it straight up, as we do with each new liquor that we purchase, you’d be quick to disagree. According to Martini & Rossi, the makers of our sweet vermouth, their Martini & Rossi Rosso is “like a symphony” and “each herbal extract hits the palate in a different way to provide intrigue and taste”. Intrigue?  Like Jason Bourne? I thought it was just fortified wine. I guess it is mysterious why anyone would drink vermouth straight. Again, that’s why I’m not Tom Colicchio. I’m sure his palate would appreciate that intrigue.


How can I move without spilling this?

Overall Rating for the Homestead Cocktail


 
Taste: 2
Presentation: 5 – It’s hard to beat that shallow glass
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 3 – 37 % Alcohol

Ingredients

1.5 oz Gin
.75 oz Sweet Vermouth

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 69: Blog Post for Day 69

Polynesian Cocktail
Caption for Polynesian Cocktail Picture
The Polynesian Cocktail is made from vodka, cherry brandy, and lime juice.  The origins of this drink remain unclear, but it was probably born during the tiki bar craze in the 40’s and 50’s.  During this time many classic drinks such as the Mai Tai and Zombie were invented.  These drinks usually have exotic recipes and frequently feature rum and tropical juices.  You may have noticed that the Polynesian Coktail is not as famous.  There are a few reasons for this.  The first is that it contains neither rum nor tropical juices, the two key components of a tiki drink.  A lime might qualify as tropical, but it is hardly exotic.  How many exotic fruit juices come in a plastic container in the shape of the fruit?

Another fame-limiting aspect of the Polynesian Cocktail is the name.  It just isn’t very creative.  Couldn’t they have called it the Tonga Donga or the Tuvalutti Frutti?  I guarantee that if you ordered a Tonga Donga that you would remember it.  Really, almost anything is better than Polynesian Cocktail.  I wonder if the original name was Regional Drink and Polynesian Cocktail seemed like a big step up. Between the non-tropical ingredients and the boring name I think the bartender was having an off day when he came up with this. I’m not sure he even understood the concept of a tiki drink.


Can of Beer
Image: http://bit.ly/b07xpf
Actually, I’m not really sold on any drink that has “cocktail” as part of the name, either.   We have had a string of them lately. In addition to the Polynesian Cocktail, in the last few days we’ve had the Quaker’s Cocktail and the Olympic Cocktail, too.  Tomorrow’s drink is the Homestead Cocktail.   Do they really have to tell us that a drink is a cocktail?  Usually when I am served something in a cocktail glass and it has tons of alcohol I am able to deduce that it is a cocktail all by myself.

The final, and probably most important, reason that the Polynesian Cocktail did not become famous is the taste. It was not good.  I actually didn’t find it that bad, but Mrs. Bottle really disliked it.  It was also the rare drink where she felt that the sugar-rimmed glass actually made the taste worse.  To me it tasted mostly like the cherry brandy with a bit of lemon.   The sugar didn’t make any difference to me either way which is unusual because I love sugar.  If the sugar does nothing then we are probably in trouble.  Regardless, I am sure that this drink is not as good as a Tonga Donga.


Overall Rating for the Polynesian Cocktail




Taste: 2
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 3 – Sugar rim always costs a point
Drinks Until Blackout: 6 – 26 % Alcohol

Ingredients

1.5 oz Vodka
.75 oz Cherry Brandy
.75 oz Lime Juice


Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 68: We We We So Excited

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the fantastic song “Friday” by Rebecca Black, especially since we linked it a few days ago.  I’ve become strangely obsessed with it.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you watch it now:


In honor of Ms Black, and since today is Friday, Friday, our post is a little ditty written in the same style and sung to the same tune.  Please sing as you read.  For a more authentic sound, it will help if you have autotune.

Seven PM making drinks in the evening
Gotta make them, gotta post our blog
Gotta have a glass, gotta have alcohol
Mixin’ everything, my mouth is waiting
So thirsty ‘cause it needs a drink
Gotta go take the picture
Gotta taste it, we’ll write a post (a post)

Adding in the light rum,
Adding in the brandy,
Adding in the lemon juice
Will it taste good?

It’s drink time, drink time
Gotta love that it’s drink time
We’re lookin’ forward to the tasting, tasting
It’s drink time, drink time
Gotta love that it’s drink time
We’re lookin’ forward to the tasting

Drink it up, drink it up, yeah
Drink it up, drink it up, yeah
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the tasting

7:45, we samplin’ our drink
It’s called the Quaker’s Cocktail I should mention that
Rum, rum, it’s made with rum,
You know that it is
I drink this, she drink this
The shaker’s by my right, ay
I drink this she drink this
And you read it

Mix it in the shaker
Pour it in the glass
Gotta make a rating
Three or four stars?

It’s drink time, drink time
Gotta love that it’s drink time
We’re lookin’ forward to the tasting, tasting
It’s drink time, drink time
Gotta love that it’s drink time
We’re lookin’ forward to the tasting

Drink it up, drink it up, yeah
Drink it up, drink it up, yeah
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the tasting

Yesterday was Irish Flag,
Today is Quaker’s Cocktail
We we we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a drink today

Tomorrow is Polynesian Cocktail
And Homestead Cocktail comes afterwards
We don’t want this blog to end

Quaker's Cocktail
Today is Quaker's Cocktail
Sadly it must end, but I would guess that we will have more musical blogs, especially on days I can’t think of other gimmicks.

We should probably mention that we both enjoyed the Quaker’s Cocktail.  In addition to the aforementioned rum, brandy, and lemon juice it also contains raspberry syrup.  Mrs. Bottle doesn’t like raspberry but she didn’t think the drink had an overwhelming raspberry flavor.  She thought the lemon juice made it a little tart, but I thought the syrup provided the right amount of sweetness.  At any rate, this drink was one of the better ones we have tried lately, and it also packs a bit of a punch at 26% alcohol.  We shouldn’t have been surprised, because everyone knows that Quakers are party machines.


Overall Rating for the Quaker’s Cocktail




Taste: 4
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 5

Ingredients

.75 oz Light Rum
.75 oz Brandy
.5 oz Lemon Juice
2 tsp Raspberry Syrup

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