Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 67: Pinch by Pinch

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  This is my favorite day of the year.  It’s not because I will go out to some hokey Irish pub and drink until I can’t see straight.  That is something I can do any day of the year.  It is my favorite day because I will wear no green and seek large crowds in the hopes that I get pinched.  For many people getting pinched may be an unpleasant experience, but when you are as starved for human contact as I am, a pinch is better than isolation and unfulfilled desires.

I don't think that comes off as disturbing at all, but let’s move on.  We are finishing our run of Irish drinks with the Irish Flag, a shooter made from Irish cream liqueur, crème de menthe, and Mandarine Napoleon orange liqueur. The idea behind this drink is that you can layer the liqueurs and it will end up looking like the Irish flag:

Best Case
The Irish Flag name is a little misleading since there is no way it could look like that. Instead, it would look like the Irish flag if you flipped it on its side and changed the color of the center stripe from white to brown (the actual color of Irish cream).  Our best-case scenario is something that looks like an Irish flag that is dirty and passed out after a night of drinking, so it still seems appropriate after all.   

We had a few things working against us in the Irish Flag.  The first is that it called for green crème de menthe.  Our crème de menthe is white.  It turns out that the only difference between the green and white crème de menthe is some green food coloring. Luckily we always keep our pantry stocked with green food coloring. If we didn’t, how could Mrs. Bottle make me green eggs and ham every Tuesday?

The second problem is that this recipe calls for a specific orange liqueur, Mandarine Napoleon, presumably because of its orange color.  We don’t have that particular liqueur so we substituted Patrón Citrónge orange liqueur and planned to use more food coloring to make it orange.  In retrospect, we probably should have chosen Grand Marnier, which is already orange-colored.

The laws of physics were the only other things in our way. Historically we have had a distinct lack of success with cocktail floats. We recently bucked that trend, though, so we had some hope of success.   Mrs. Bottle poured our “green” crème de menthe into the glass.  So far so good.  It floated on the glass no problem. She then added the Baileys and it floated, too!  A little green seeped through much like the bubbling crude of one Mr. Jed Clampett, but it wasn’t enough to cause any major concerns.

Gulf of Mexico Tea

Irish Flag Cocktail
Irish Flag?
 Then came the moment of truth.  Would our Patrón substitute for the Mandarine Napoleon as seamlessly as Replacement Becky filled in for Original Becky?  Would it float on the Baileys and create a sort-of version of the flag of Ireland?  In a word, “no.”  Mrs. Bottle’s pouring technique was flawless, but the laws of physics defeated us again.  The orange liqueur immediately started sinking through the Baileys.  Eventually it sank completely below the Baileys and formed a layer between it and the crème de menthe, representing the flag of nowhere.

Although we were not shocked by this development we were saddened.  We hoped that the drink would cheer us up, but suspected that orange, mint, and Baileys were probably picked more for their aesthetics than their complementary flavors.   It turned out that our concerns were baseless, though, because once again the Baileys overwhelmed the other flavors. We couldn’t taste any mint or orange. It tasted like Baileys with a faint burning in our mouths.  The burning was probably because the Irish Flag is almost 30% alcohol.  A couple of these and you won’t notice or even care that the colors are in the wrong order.

When we make the Libya Flag we will get it right
Overall Rating for the Irish Flag

Taste: 3
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 2
Drinks Until Blackout: 4


1 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
1 oz Crème de Menthe
1 oz Mandarine Napoleon

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