Thursday, June 30, 2011

Drink 151: Something Borrowed, Something Ew

We frequently try to find the origins of the cocktails we review.  It gives us something to write about and it might give you a nugget of knowledge to drop on someone Cliff Clavin-style when the time is right.  We frequently come a cropper, though, due to the inability of Google to give me what I want.  Instead I get a list of recipes copy-and-pasted from each other or a dozen dumb questions from answers.com or Yahoo Answers where one anonymous dummy gets his or her question answered by some other anonymous dummy. 

Today’s drink the Miami Beach Cocktail was no exception. Since its recipe of Scotch whisky, dry vermouth, and grapefruit juice is similar to the Manhattan’s combination of bourbon, sweet vermouth and bitters I thought we might find an answer.  I figure some very lazy Miamian Miamier Miamiite bartender from Miami named Sonny Tubbs wanted to create a signature drink for his city.  Instead of coming up with something original, he just decided to steal someone else’s recipe and change it a little.  “Oooh, I’ll add grapefruit juice. That will really bring home the beach flavor.”

Someone decided to take
the Manhattan's talents to South Beach

Maybe the drink was actually invented by a bartender in Miami, Ohio, because it didn’t seem very Florida to me.  The grapefruit juice did a reasonable job of masking the Scotch, but it wasn’t enough.  The overall effect was tart feet.  I can see why the inventor might want all evidence scrubbed from the Internet. There wasn’t even a maraschino berry garnish to punch it up.  You might be wondering what a maraschino berry is.  Luckily we have the answer.
 
Maraschino Berry
This image which I named
"maraschino berry" is now
the only place on the web
that references a "maraschino berry"
that does not contain a recipe
from the Absolut web site
During our fruitless (heh) search for the Miami Beach back story, we found a (different) recipe for the drink at the Absolut web site.  Absolut’s drink is garnished with a maraschino berry, which turns out not to be a typo but instead is the name they use for a maraschino cherry.  I think it is also a clever plan to find all the web sites that steal share their recipes since the only references I can find to maraschino berries are all just copies of the Absolut recipes. Can’t these web sites do anything more useful than copy someone else’s work?  They are just lucky that you can’t copyright a list of ingredients.

Ingredients
0.75 oz Scotch Whisky
0.75 oz Dry Vermouth
0.75 oz Grapefruit Juice

Overall Rating for the Miami Beach Cocktail



Taste: 2
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 7 – 19% Alcohol

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Drink 150: Sesquicentbibial

Today is our one hundred fiftieth drink so we have something very ordinary planned.  That’s because TBIAW feels that celebrating the 150th post is like celebrating your two week anniversary.  That is, if you are older than 13 and/or you are not Drew Barrymore, you should probably wait for a bigger accomplishment before marking the occasion.  Let’s try to stay focused on the big picture, people. This also applies to parents who insist on telling me their kid’s age in months once the little cookie-cruncher can walk.  For the record, I don’t really care if your kid is 38 months old. I was just being polite when I asked his age and I’d prefer not to have to do math in my head to figure out he is four.

Ruby Red Cocktail
The garnish is supposed to be a tangerine.
We don't feel bad about it since the
drink isn't exactly Ruby Red either.

 Now back to the topic at hand, the Ruby Red, a mix of grapefruit-flavored vodka, triple sec, grapefruit juice, and orange juice.  Grapefruit-flavored vodka is one of those extremely specific ingredients that would usually send us to the liquor store and leave me grumbling about having an entire bottle of something that we will never use again. Fortunately we happened to have a bottle of Absolut Ruby Red in our bar.  We have it because Mrs. Bottle bought it a few years ago and made one drink with it, leaving me grumbling about having an entire bottle of something that we never used again. Until today, our one hundred and fiftieth drink!

Also tastes like grapefruit
img

The primary flavor was grapefruit (who woulda thunk it?) with a slight orange note.  You could definitely taste the vodka as well.  Some vodkas may have been hidden by the juice and triple sec but the Absolut shines through. I think this is because it is made in Åhus, Sweden and distilled an infinite number of times (according to their web site).  I am fairly sure that infinite distillation is impossible, but maybe the Swedes know something we don’t.  Maybe that little o above the A in Åhus gives them special powers.  I thought that o was going to have a name like an umlaut or a cedilla, but it is actually part of the letter.  As far as I know the letter doesn’t have a name, either.  Since Åhus looks pretty close to Ånus, I propose that Å should be from this point forward known as a “gooch”.

Overall Rating for the Ruby Red




Taste: 4.2342
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 6 – 22% Alcohol

Ingredients

2 oz Grapefruit-flavored Vodka
1.5 oz Triple Sec
1.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 splash Orange Juice

Monday, June 27, 2011

Drink 149: Oil of Ole

Today we have the Tequila Matador, a mix of tequila, pineapple juice, and lime juice.  We used our trusty Tres Generaciones Plata tequila which almost always leads to a good drink, and this was no exception. Lime and tequila is always a great combination and adding in some pineapple juice was a nice touch adding enough (but not too much) sweetness. This drink was delicious and it was an easy decision to give it a five even in light of our recent hard line approach to high grades.

Tequila Matador Cocktail
This was a little plain
so we added a
Chris Berman bobblehead
The drink was good enough that I could have it frequently, but I probably wouldn’t drink it every day.  That’s because I like some variety in my diet.  Not everyone feels the same. We saw a show on TLC last night called Freaky Eaters where they highlight people with strange eating habits.  The episode we watched featured a guy who only eats French fries. Side note: He blogs about his French fries.  Who wants to read a blog about what some dude is eating?  So narcissistic.

Anyway, it turns out that he doesn’t eat only French fries, he has them once or twice a day. What’s so freaky about that?  I’m pretty sure that in the summer of 1990 I ate a Quarter Pounder with cheese meal every day for three months and no one did a TV show about me.  I guess no one would want to watch someone eat McDonald’s every day. Plus in 1990, TLC hadn’t yet figured out that airing shows about cakes and weirdoes was the key to high ratings.  At that point, their highest rated show was about boat safety.  Riveting!

As far as I know, did not
base Super Size Me on my
summer of 1990
img: David Shankbone 


Don’t worry about the French fry guy, though, as the show reached a happy conclusion.  The two doctors held a pizza party at a skate park for the French fry guy.  Now seems like a good time to mention he is 29, married, and has three kids. At the party he ate some pizza, which he normally finds disgusting.  When he tried the pizza his mother said it was the happiest day of her life.  She better check with this guy’s mom before she gets too excited.


Overall Rating for the Tequila Matador




Taste: 5
Presentation: 4 – Hard to argue with a champagne flute
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 9 – 12% Alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Tequila
3 oz Pineapple Juice
0.5 oz Lime Juice


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Drink 148: Throwing Stones

Glass Tower Cocktail
What is up with that orange?
It’s Sunday so that means it’s time for Mrs. Bottle to wow you with another fabulous review of a mediocre (at best) adult beverage. Today’s drink is the Glass Tower, a combination of many, many ingredients. First, you throw in some vodka, followed by peach schnapps. Next comes rum and then triple sec. Finally you add sambuca and finish it off with some lemon-lime soda. In case you haven’t kept count, that’s six ingredients. But don’t forget the last touch of the garnish, which is an orange slice and cherry. So technically you have eight ingredients. I just want to say, that’s a lot of crap to throw into a drink and still expect something tasty to come out in the end. Maybe that wasn’t the expectation, and if that’s true, then it actually DID live up to expectations. Did you follow that logic?

Since my parents are here visiting the sprawling TBIAW estate, I’m going to keep this relatively short. Here’s the reaction from Mr. Bottle, my folks and myself after tasting this drink, in no particular order: “That’s weird”, “It’s just weird”, “I don’t like that. Tastes weird”, “How can this only taste like Sambuca with all these ingredients?? I’m not drinking this weird thing”.  So I like to compare the results of drinking the Glass Tower to a moment from the 70’s blockbuster movie, The Towering Inferno. As he looks up at his Glass Tower building in ruins, Paul Newman tells Faye Dunaway that maybe it should be left as a symbol of all that is wrong in society. What? Maybe that’s a little strong, but at the very least the Glass Tower should remain as a symbol of all that’s wrong with society thinking it’s ok to have so many ingredients in one drink. It’s just too weird.

Overall Rating for the Glass Tower




Taste: 2 – Mr. Bottle said he could drink it if push came to shove
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 2 – You did see the ingredients list, right?
Drinks Until Blackout: 7 – 17% Alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Peach Schapps
1 oz Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
½ oz Sambvca
Lemon-lime Soda

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Drink 147: Drinflation

I have spent a lot of time recently worrying about inflation, but I’m not talking about end of Quantitative Easing 2 and how it might impact the future of the worldwide economy. I’m talking about something much more important.  And that thing is the nagging suspicion that there is rating inflation at TBIAW.  Lately it has seemed like we have been giving the drinks higher ratings than we used to and it has become a growing concern.  We understand that the vast majority of the Internet gets its drink rating information from TBIAW and we give our rating duties the requisite amount of consideration.

Since we maintain a complete database of all of our rated drinks, we decided to conduct a thorough TBIAW investigation to determine if the Fed needs to step in to reduce rating inflation or if we should continue to allow market forces to shape the scores. Plus, there are few things on this Earth I love more than making charts.  Also, whenever I can’t think of a post idea it seems like there is some way we can just talk about our favorite subjects, us.

With that in mind, we produced this chart showing the cumulative average of our drink ratings:


You can clearly see that the average rating has been steadily trending upwards, a troubling sign.  I also noticed that the standard deviation of the ratings is shrinking.  At some point down the road all three lines will converge.  This could lead to some kind of poltergeist-like black hole where the world swallows itself.  Probably not, but it is still something to keep in the back of your mind as we reach December.

We also took a look at the running totals for the number of drinks with each rating:


You can see that our twos, threes, and fours were fairly consistent, and then some point around drink 80 our twos start to fall behind.  It also appears that around drink 100 we start to hand out fives like they were free kisses.  The combination of these factors appears to be the cause of our creeping average score.

What is causing these changes?  I can think of three possible explanations:

1. Our tastes are changing. This seems like a likely candidate. As we’ve tried more drinks we have become more accepting of certain flavors and flavor combinations. This became evident when we recently revisited some old drinks and realized that we would have given them higher scores if we rated them today.

2. We are selecting drinks with a “success bias”. That is, Mrs. Bottle has been picking out fewer bad drinks. There is some basis in truth here as well as Mrs. Bottle admitted that she has been avoiding the 371 different varieties of the Martini that Mr. Boston uses to pad its pages. There would be a lot of opportunities for low scores had we tried those drinks.

3. We are trying to raise the drinks’ self-esteem. We love our drinks and we feel bad when we have to give one a low score. Therefore we may have become more likely to give a drink the benefit of the doubt.

4. It can all be blamed on random noise. Maybe we are just on a run of good drinks and over time things will even out. If things do even out, it certainly will not be because I purposely start down-grading drinks to level the score.

You are probably wondering how all of this will impact our latest drink, the Kentucky Blizzard, a combination of bourbon, cranberry juice, lime juice, grenadine, and sugar.  We chose this particular drink not only because it isn’t a Martini but also because Mrs. Bottle’s parents are visiting us here at the Estate and her father is a bourbon man.  He found the drink pleasant enough, but didn’t express a lot of opinion either way.  Of course, he is pretty low key about most things.  When he found out his only daughter was getting married he just raised an eyebrow and proclaimed, “hmm.”   It signaled happiness, disappointment, or indifference.  I choose to believe it was happiness.

Kentucky Blizzard Cocktail
When I think "Blizzard" I think bright red with an orange

Mrs. Bottle and I both thought the drink wasn’t bad, especially considering it had 1.5 ounces of whiskey, our least favorite spirit.  If anything, it could have used a little more bourbon because it was a bit too sweet.  It probably could have used less grenadine or sugar, too.  We both thought a little lime juice wouldn’t hurt, either.  Ultimately, we gave it a three.  It may have gotten a four last week before we installed our new rating austerity measures.  The grade of three didn’t stop us from finishing it, though.  Shortly after the last drop was consumed, Mrs. Bottle’s father came into the room and asked where the rest of his drink was.  I guess he liked it more than we thought.


Overall rating for the Kentucky Blizzard

 




Taste: 3
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 8 – 14% Alcohol

Ingredients
1.5 oz Bourbon Whiskey
1.5 oz Cranberry Juice
0.5 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Grenadine
1 tsp Sugar

Friday, June 24, 2011

Interrection

We do not have a review for today.  Mrs. Bottle was out last night with her "friends" having a "happy hour" so we didn't have "time" to do a "drink".

I tried to do something productive, though, so I updated the All Drinks, the Top Drinks, and the Bottom Drinks lists.  I’m sure most of our readers keep up every day with TBIAW so they never consult those pages.

Before we conclude our brief intermission, we leave you with one last note, a correction if you will.  Mrs. Bottle has been quite upset that the blog has said she was "pwnd" the last two days.  She would like the record to reflect that she was not pwnd.  So let the record reflect that I considered her position and I am leaving things as-is.  Pwnd again!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Drink 146: Umami Weer All Crazee Now

We frequently discuss our taste buds here at TBIAW.  It is because taste is an important part of any cocktail and when one talks about taste, one will occasionally mention the body part responsible for delivering its sensual experience.  It is not because the blog is in any way repetitive or bereft of new ideas. We do not want to be repetitive.  While repetition is good for learning a new skill or an idea, it isn’t great for a blog.  We are firmly in the anti-repetition camp.  We feel the same why about repetition that we do about redundancy.   I don’t know about you, but when something gets repetitive I start to tune out and I might miss out on something interesting. No danger of that happening here!

For example, we used this picture once before.
We wouldn't use it again because that
would be repetitive
Oh yeah, I forgot the point I was trying to make about taste buds.  For many years, so-called “scientists” told us that the four basic tastes were sweet, sour, bitter, and salty and that different regions of the tongue had receptors for detecting each taste (ed. note: the taste-map thing is one of many lies perpetrated by “science”).  Then along came a Japanese scientist who discovered a fifth taste called umami.   He then dedicated the rest of his life trying to become the next Ninja Warrior.  Umami roughly translates to a “pleasant savory taste”. I am a fan of umami.  You would know this if you ever saw how much soy sauce I put on white rice.

Warsaw Cocktail
We agreed to never try
this drink again. We
are calling this agreement
the "Warsaw Pact"

Alert readers may have noticed that we haven’t yet brought up today’s drink, the Warsaw Cocktail.  They may also wonder what a drink made from vodka, blackberry-flavored brandy, dry vermouth, and lemon juice has to do with umami.  Everything, my friends.  Everything.  My first reaction when I tried the Warsaw Cocktail was that it tasted like soy sauce.  The umami was strong in this one.  That is not generally considered a positive quality for a cocktail. 

I don’t enjoy drinking straight soy sauce, (unless it is Kikkoman, that stuff is delicious!), but I thought the Warsaw Cocktail was safe for consumption if there were no alternatives.  Mrs. Bottle really hated the drink, though, and called it many things unfit for a family blog.  She thought it was so bad that maybe our blackberry-flavored brandy had gone bad. It is definitely at least 8 years old as it was purchased when we were caught up in the great Rum Runner craze of the early 2000s. I’m not sure how wide-spread this craze was, but it certainly engulfed the previous Bottle Wonderland Estate.  You can be sure that there will never be a Warsaw Cocktail craze and if there is one, we will abstain.

Overall Rating for the Warsaw Cocktail




Taste: 2 – Mrs. Bottle fought hard for a 1, but she got pwnd again
Presentation: 1
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 4 – 32% Alcohol

Ingredients

1.5 oz Vodka
0.5 oz Blackberry-flavored Brandy
0.5 oz Dry Vermouth
1 tsp Lemon Juice


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Drink 145: Pwner's Manual

What's vp with
the "v"s?
Did yov notice?
Today we bring you the Stalactite, a mix of sambuca, black raspberry liqueur, and Irish cream liqueur.  Since the Bottle Wonderland bar isn’t normally stocked with sambuca, Mrs. Bottle had to make a run to the liquor store to get some.  Some people might think of this as a chore, but for Mrs. Bottle it is one of the small pleasures in life.  When she is in the liquor store she sees a world filled with possibilities.

Since sambuca is a new liquor in our repertoire, we had our traditional pre-cocktail tasting.  Mrs. Bottle was not looking forward to it since the primary flavor component of sambuca is anise (see: Galliano). This is similar to the flavor of black licorice.  Mrs. Bottle does not like black licorice.  She claims it should not even be considered candy. It led us to a long discussion of the merits of black licorice as compared to those of strawberry Twizzlers.  I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that I pwnd Mrs. Bottle.

Since I like black licorice I found the sambuca tasty as expected.  Surprisingly, Mrs. Bottle also thought it was good. In the battle of anise-flavored alcohol, sambuca pwns Galliano. Taste test completed, we proceeded to make the drink. This drink had some of the more complicated instructions so far.  We were supposed to float the Irish cream on top of the sambuca, and then “carefully pour the raspberry liqueur, drop by drop, as top layer.”  The idea is that each drop of raspberry liqueur will pull the Irish cream down making little stalactites in the drink.  (Remember, stalactites cling “tite” to the roof while stalagmites “mite” make it up there one day. Knowledge is power.)

Not a stalactite
 in site
We don’t have an eye-dropper, so pouring something drop by drop was pretty much an impossibility. Mrs. Bottle gave it her best shot but it just wasn’t meant to be.  She was pwnd by the instructions.  Apparently a lot of people get pwnd by those instructions since I couldn’t find a single picture of a successful implementation of this drink online.  Of course, the taste of the drink is much more important than the looks.  In this case, the taste was surprisingly good.  I thought for sure that the raspberry and Irish cream would be gross mixed with sambuca but they were fine.  It is probably due to the fact that those flavors where muted compared to the sambuca and you couldn’t really taste them until your post-drink burp.  You do have a post-drink burp, right?


Overall Rating for the Stalactite




Taste: 4
Presentation: 1 – Probably a 5 if we did it right
Ease of Preparation: 4 – Probably a 1 if we did it right
Drinks Until Blackout: 3 – 35% Alcohol

Ingredients

1.25 oz Sambuca
0.25 oz Black Raspberry Liqueur
0.25 oz Irish Cream Liqueur

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Drink 144: Two Posts, One Day

Since I was too lazy to post an entry yesterday, we are posting twice today.  The good news is that for our second drink we will keep it brief.  Then I don’t have to write too much and you don’t have to read too much.  Yet another TBIAW win-win-win.
Rattlesnake Cocktail
I have had it with
these mothereffing
snakes in this
mothereffing glass!

Today’s second drink is the Rattlesnake, a shooter made from equal parts coffee liqueur, crème de cacao, and Irish cream liqueur. In theory the ingredients are supposed to be floated on one another, but, as is usually the case, the float did not work. Regardless, we pressed on and tasted it. 

Both Mrs. Bottle and I enjoyed the Rattlesnake, but it had some shortcomings that kept it from a flawless victory.  The drink was a little too sweet for our taste, which isn’t too surprising considering all the ingredients are liqueurs.  The drink is also served at room temperature. This makes sense in a way when you consider that a rattlesnake is an ectotherm.  Unfortunately the sweetness was magnified by the warm nature of the drink.  Maybe if we kept the thermostat at the Bottle Wonderland Estate below 80 degrees the Rattlesnake would have been a bit cooler.

Finally, the liqueurs and the warmth also gave the drink a motor-oil-like consistency.  I’m thinking around an SAE 40.  While I like to stay as lubricated as the next guy, I would definitely not be able to drink too much of this one.  It didn’t bother Mrs. Bottle though.  She thought it would make a good dessert.  Of course, she says that about most potent potables. 

Hurm.  It turns out that this entry wasn’t short like I thought it would be.  I’m okay with that, though, since I like to under-promise and over-deliver. I guess I should have left this post to Mrs. Bottle.  She summed up the drink in one word: dessyrupy


Overall Rating for the Rattlesnake




Taste: 4 – A little too dessyrupy for a 5
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 3
Drinks Until Blackout: 5 – 23% Alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Coffee Liqueur
1 oz Crème de Cacao
1 oz Irish Cream Liqueur

Drink 143: Hot Fizz

Sometimes I wish our blog had more comments.  We currently have 159 posts and 59 comments.  I created a spreadsheet and determined that we have less than one comment per post:

See?
Other times I read the user comments on different web sites and I realize that comments might not be the best thing in the world.  In the local paper the editors frequently have to shut down the comments due to abusive posts.  I make a game out of guessing before clicking a link if a story will have the comments disabled. If you want to try, here is a hint: It happens in every story involving a hot-button topic like crime, immigration, pool parties, government, NASCAR, rainbows, or The Bachelorette.

For some reason I can’t help myself and read the comments even though I can feel myself getting dumber with each comment read.  It seems like spelling, grammar, and capitalization rules are mere guidelines when one posts a comment.  I admit that I will flub my righting from time to time, but I at least make an effort.  I guess when you are foaming at the mouth because some anonymous person has the opposite political views than yours that you don’t have time to run a spell check or use the shift key.

Sometimes I can empathize with that urgency, though.  For example, when we tried today’s drink I was fully prepared to immediately take to the Internet and proclaim that the liberal media was to blame.  There is no real basis for that assertion, but I did not like the drink and felt the need to vent. I did not do so because I was kind of tired. 

Pineapple Fizz Cocktail
A glass too big
The drink is called the Pineapple Fizz and it is composed of rum, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and club soda.  It tasted like a big ol’ glass of club soda with a wisp of pineapple flavor.  If you halved the amount of club soda the Pineapple Fizz might be good.  Unfortunately it is one of the many recipes in the Mr. Boston guide that doesn’t have a proportion listed for an ingredient.  It just says to fill the glass with club soda. What kind of a recipe is that?  We need more government regulation on recipes!  No, the free market will take care of it! Or I could just use a smaller glass.

To summarize, I will quote a comment I recently saw on YouTube: 82xfpg 833ec3 78wu5 6437gk b5wg 


Overall Rating for the Pineapple Fizz




Taste: 2
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 9 – 11% Alcohol

Ingredients

2 oz Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup
? oz Club Soda

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tighty Whities

Last night we were transported to gay Paree where I left Mr. Bottle so I’ll be updating our dozens of readers on the events that transpired. A friend of ours was turning 40 and decided to have a “Le Diner en Blanc” to celebrate. If you’re wondering, this translates to “Dinner in White” but I had to spend several minutes explaining to Mr. Bottle that it was not a party for only white folks. Apparently in France, people meet up in a grocery store parking lot wearing all white and then travel to a surprise location for a meal together. Then what happens is that the hosts get caught in traffic due to a downed power line from a thunderstorm but since they’re the only ones who know where you’re going, you spend a lot of time in the parking lot waiting for them while getting a lot of stares. Possibly because a group of people dressed in white standing in a circle in a parking lot looks a little on the cult-y side.   Maybe they were trying to figure out why we weren’t chanting.

This isn't us, but we looked about the same
img: accesshollywood.com

So I did do a little research on white parties and what I learned from this extensive time reading Wikipedia is that in America they seem to mean something slightly different than in France. Aside from weddings at the beach, when people in America are dressed in all white, they may be participating in a circuit party as part of the LGBT community. Huh. Ultimately, I’m not sure why you have to be dressed in white for the French party, but maybe it’s just because “blanc” sounds better than “verte”.

What all this does mean is that we didn’t have an opportunity to compose a beverage from Mr. Boston for today. However the hostess did offer up a peach flavored sparkling wine which I’ll be happy to comment on. Each plastic cup was served with a small slice of peach and the flavor was actually pretty tasty. Both Mr. Bottle and I consumed several half-filled cups all by ourselves. But the important thing to note about this particular product is the name: Amour de Paris. While at Commerçant Joes, our birthday girl caught sight of the proper noun on the label and without knowing if it was tasty, she snagged several bottles of the bubbly. Since it turned out to by quite yummy, I think I’ll pick up some next time instead of the Deux Buck Chuck.


Le background en blanc

And even though so many of my friends have been turning the big 4-0 this year, I think I’ve learned the most from this particular birthday party. I am a bit younger than all of my friends so it will be a long time before I will be celebrating, but I’ll write things down here in the meantime. First, definitely make everyone wear a color that they might not look good in but makes you look smashing. Our hostess looked gorgeous in white so I’m picking orange for my soiree since it complements my autumn complexion. Actually, that’s what I’ll tell everyone but then I’ll wear black and look super cool while they look like pumpkins. The second thing I’ve learned is that I am younger than all my friends.  There is no third thing.

So I now realize that Mr. Bottle and I are in serious trouble.  At some point we hope to go to Paris and now I understand we will need more white clothes to bring with us. Only then will it be parfaite, merci.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Asked and Answered

Today we feature a new featured feature called “Ask Mr. Bottle” where we answer questions from our readers. 

Our first question comes from Barry in Georgia who asks, “Could you revisit some of the drinks that you tried and thought were bad?”


Dear Barry,


Hawaiian Cocktail
This predated our
"all black background"
policy
Are you mad at us or something?  Why would you want us to re-try a drink that we don’t like? We did it, though, since we can’t afford to lose any readers. We decided to revisit the Hawaiian Cocktail, a combination of gin, triple sec, and pineapple juice.  We originally thought it was ridiculously strong and that you couldn’t even taste the pineapple. This time it was still strong but I could definitely make out the faintest pineapple flavor.  We would probably give this drink a three or four if we rated it today. One minor difference this time around is that the gin we used was 80 proof instead of the original 94.6 proof firewater. I don’t know if that was the tipping point, or if after 130+ drinks our palates are more accustomed to strong drinks.  It is also possible that our taste buds have been destroyed along with our brain cells.

Cheers,
Mr. Bottle
Our next question also comes from Barry in Georgia who asks, “Why don’t you try something with Scotch, which you are known to hate?”


Dear Barry,


Canal Street Daisy
So did this
How about giving someone else a chance to ask a question?   While we wait for more questions, we will talk about the Canal Street Daisy.  It is made with Scotch whisky, orange juice, lemon juice, and club soda.  When we tried it originally I called it “the worst drink I have ever tried.”  I no longer think the CSD is the worst drink I have ever tried and that is not just because I have since then had the misfortune of drinking the Walters Cocktail. It is also because we now think it is only mildly unpleasant instead of truly terrible.  This drink would rate a two if we ranked it today. Again, this is probably because we have become accustomed to putting horrible things in our mouths (which is new to me at least).  We also switched up the Scotch from the blended Johnnie Walker Black to the single-malt Glenlivet which may have had an impact as well.

Warmly,
Mr. Bottle

This leads us to our third question, which comes from Barry in Georgia.  He asks, “What is the difference between single malt and blended whisky?”


Dear Barry,

I am glad you asked that.  It is almost like I made up that question as a deus ex machina to move the blog along.  That is impossible, though, because I’m not sure that is the proper usage of deus ex machina.  Regardless, I will answer your timely question.  A single malt Scotch uses malted barley from a single distillery from distillation through bottling.  A blended Scotch contains a mixture of different whiskies.  There are some other subtleties to the differences, but I’m sure you can read them from Wikipedia as easily as I can copy and paste them.  As is our custom we tried the Glenlivet straight before adding it into the Canal Street Daisy.  I thought it was better than the Johnnie Walker, but Mrs. Bottle still thought it tasted like feet.  Instead of a blend of many feet, at least it tasted like feet from one distillery. If they only made zero-malt Scotch we might be in business.

Keep in touch,
Mr. Bottle

 


Our fourth question comes from Barry in Georgia.  He asks, “How many questions will you answer today?”



Dear Barry,

Four.

XXXOOO,
Mr. Bottle



Canal Street Daisy and Hawaiian Cocktail
These clearly post-date our "all black background" policy

Friday, June 17, 2011

Drink 142: Revisión de bebida aburrida

It’s been a couple of days since our last post. You probably think we haven’t blogged recently because we are lazy or we have been out on the town or possibly we forgot our blogger.com password.  As usual, you would be wrong. We actually have been spending the entire time cogitating on clever new ideas.  All that thinking means that you are in for something special.  Not today, though, but I’m sure there will be something worth reading at a point in the near future.  I hope.  Until then, we will have to stick with a boring old drink review.

Cuban Cocktail No. 1
Número de cóctel cubano Uno

Today’s boring drink review is for is the Cuban Cocktail No. 1, a mix of rum, simple syrup, and lime juice.  I think if we had tried this drink early in our journey it would have rated fairly low, since the lime juice flavor was pronounced and a bit tart.  That is not as much of an issue these days. As we’ve progressed our appreciation of the flavors of strong drinks and lime juice has increased.  I would go so far as to say that it was a pleasure to have something that didn’t send me into sugar shock after several sips. This drink is pretty strong, though, so I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint of heart.

Since it is Friday night and I have better things to do than sit here and rack my brain for jokes or web links [ed. note: not really] I just planned on linking back to our Rebecca Black parody and calling it a night.  The thought of it was making me so so so excited until I learned that the video has been pulled from YouTube due to a copyright dispute.  I just hope that Obama and Boehner have their priorities in order and end this short national nightmare during their golf outing tomorrow.  I know the outing is tomorrow because tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards.


Kick it in with some tax cuts?
Kick it with some spending cuts?
Gotta make they minds up,
which choice will they make?
img: washingtontimes.com/AP
 Overall Rating for the Cuban Cocktail No. 1




Taste: 4
Presentation: 2
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 4 – 27% Alcohol

Ingredients

2 oz Rum
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Drink 141: Second Verse, Worst as the First

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Cocktail
Notice the disgusting
clomps of ick
Here I am again to discuss today’s drink. Yes, it is I, Mrs. Bottle, appearing again so soon after my most recent post. Mr. Bottle needed some time off because he’s still stunned from Sunday night when Joseph Smith racked up at the Tonys. And what amazes him even more is that there is an award for Best Revival. Really? They should call this award Best Remake of a Proven Moneymaker When We Ran Out of Fresh Ideas.

And speaking of remakes, let’s get on to the discussion of the drink. Today’s libation is the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake shooter. It’s made with equal parts vodka, butterscotch schnapps, Irish cream liqueur, and pineapple juice. So let’s get into the reason this drink was a remake. No, it’s not a different name for another drink with the same ingredients. And it’s not a different drink with the same name as another drink. This was a drink that I actually had to make twice. Sadly, unlike the Tony award, it wasn’t because it was so awesome the first time around that I just had to make it again to experience the wonderful fusion of all the flavors. Nope, this drink was remade for another reason.

If you recall, our Bailey's is a little bit old. And when I say that, I mean it’s more than a little bit old. So I first made the shooter with the “aged” Bailey's. This turned out to look and taste pretty gross because it was thick and looked curdled with odd bits floating around. I had purchased a mini bottle of Baileys to compare against our “aged” bottle so I whipped that sucker out and poured two samples. Turns out that ten year old Baileys is really thick compared to two month old Bailey's. The “aged” stuff also tastes quite a bit worse so maybe we don’t dislike it that much after all. With this shocking development, we decided  that I should remake the drink with the new and improved Baileys. That’s when we discovered that this drink was still gross. Even though you have to strain this drink, some pineapple juice bits make it through and it’s just unpleasant to drink. The flavor is ok, but not something Mr. Bottle or I really relished.
This honey is less viscous
than 9 year-old Bailey's

So for the second time, I washed most of the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake drink down the sink. It’s safe to say there won’t be a third remake anytime soon. Or anytime ever.

Overall Rating for the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake




Taste: 1
Presentation: 1
Ease of Preparation: 1 – We had to make it twice
Drinks Until Blackout: 7 – 18% Alcohol

Ingredients

½ oz Vodka
½ oz Butterscotch Schnapps
½ oz Irish Cream Liqueur
½ oz Pineapple Juice
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