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 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.

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

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