Saturday, July 30, 2011

Drink 171: I Get Stupid I Mean Outrageous

Today we have the Stupid Cupid, a mix of citrus vodka, sloe gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice.  You might think it would make more sense to have had this drink back during Romance Week, but you would be wrong.  A stupid Cupid would show up late, most likely some time in late July or early August.  It has nothing to do with trying to have a bunch of drinks with sloe gin now that we finally acquired some.
Stupid Cupid Cocktail
All that and a cherry on the bottom
The drink had a prominent lemon bouquet thanks to the lemon juice and citrus vodka.  I didn’t think the flavor was crazy-lemony, but Mrs. Bottle felt the citrus was powerful.  I think my taste buds may have been de-lemonized because right before we had the drink I had just eaten enough enormous lemon cookies to send me into sugar shock.  They arrived in the mail from Mrs. Bottle’s mother and it would have been rude to just let them sit there. I am eating one right now.

37 whole lemons go into every Kroger lemon cookie
As far as the drink, while we disagreed on the lemon, Mrs. Bottle and I both concurred that the drink had a strong alcohol burn. You know a drink is strong when you feel the warmth in your stomach.  That isn’t too surprising when you consider the Stupid Cupid is 37% alcohol. We had a little trouble coming to an agreement on whether it should be a three or a four but we easily concluded that a few of these will make anyone stupid.

Overall Rating for the Stupid Cupid

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

Ingredients

2 oz Citrus-flavored Vodka
0.5 oz Sloe Gin
1 splash Simple Syrup
1 splash Lemon Juice

Friday, July 29, 2011

Drink 170: Who Has Been Putting Out Their Kools on My Floor?

A Stinger is made with brandy and crème de menthe.  We have not tried that and we are not trying it today. Back in February we had the Vodka Stinger which is made with vodka and crème de menthe.  We are not trying that again today.  Instead we have the Scotch Stinger.  It is made with Scotch and crème de menthe.  I think there must be some connection between these drinks since they all have Stinger in the name but I can’t quite put my finger on it.  I may need to set the TBIAW iTeam on it.  We will put that aside for now and move on to the drink.

Scotch Stinger Cocktail
I used flash in this photo.
It really enhanced the lint
on our backdrop.
Hmm...this is in
all the Stinger
recipes.  Maybe
Mr. DeKuyper knows
the connection.

Anyone who has spent time with Mrs. Bottle knows she is always going on about how mint “makes everything better.”  The Scotch Stinger would really put her mint fanaticism to the test. Why? Because it might have mint but it also contains our most dreaded ingredient (in case you aren’t sure to what I am referring, it is the Scotch).  So far we have had seven drinks with Scotch and their ratings have been 2,2,2,1,1,2,1.  That pattern is like a reverse Fibonacci sequence of suckitude.



 
It turned out that the mint did make the Scotch Stinger almost tolerable. Don’t get me wrong; it was still gross, but probably the least gross Scotch drink so far thanks to the mint. It was kind of like the difference between a menthol cigarette and a regular cigarette.  In either case, I wouldn’t want to kiss you after you had one unless it was extremely late at night.  Anyway, the Scotch Stinger was tasty enough that it allowed us to make it our highest rated Scotch drink (tie).


Overall Rating for the Scotch Stinger

Taste: 2
Presentation: 2 – Kind of looked like a glass of wee
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackouts: 2 – 38% Alcohol

Ingredients

1.5 oz Scotch
.5 oz Crème de Menthe (white)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Drink 169: Seven Silver Spiders Swam Silently Seaward

Silver Spider Cocktail
It does look silver
When we first started this blog one hundred and sixty-eight cocktails ago we thought the majority of the posts would just be a description of the drink and a rating of said drink.  Today we finally realize that goal with the Silver Spider, a shooter made from vodka, rum, triple sec, and crème de menthe.  This drink tasted mostly like alcohol with a bit of mint.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything special.  One thing it will do is get you drunk.  There you have it. 

Overall Rating for the Silver Spider




Taste: 3
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 3
Drinks Until Blackouts: 3 – 33% Alcohol

Ingredients

.5 oz Vodka
.5 oz Rum
.5 oz Triple Sec
.5 oz Crème de Menthe (white)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drink 168: Sloe Ride

Several drinks in the Mr. Boston guide feature Sloe Gin, most famously the Alabama Slammer and the Sloe Gin Fizz.  We would like to try those drinks, but the problem is that it is tough to find authentic sloe gin.  Most of the sloe gin you see at the liquor store isn’t made using the traditional method of infusing gin with sloes.  Instead, they use grain alcohol.  I’m not sure why they are allowed to call that stuff sloe gin instead of sloeshine. 

Sloeberry Cocktail
I can't tell you the name of
this drink yet because we
haven't gotten to that
 part of the post

We conducted a multi-state search several months ago (true fact) and were unable to locate any real sloe gin.  That all changed recently when Mrs. Bottle finally located some Plymouth Traditional Sloe Gin.  I’m pretty sure she was supposed to be at work at the time, but priorities are priorities.  This was exciting news since it now allowed us a whole new spectrum of drinks.  I became a bit less excited when I saw that the bottle cost over $30.  Maybe sloeshine wouldn’t have been a bad choice after all.

We didn’t want to shoot our sloe wad by bringing one of the more famous sloe-based drinks right off the bat, so today we bring you the Sloeberry Cocktail, a mix of sloe gin and bitters.  The drink tasted a little strange yet somewhat familiar.  Mrs. Bottle thought it smelt of cough syrup, but there was something else there.  After several sips, I figured it out: The Sloeberry Cocktail tasted sort of like prune juice.  I floated this theory by Mrs. Bottle and she could neither confirm nor deny it since she claims to have never tasted prune juice. I actually haven’t had prune juice either, but I’ve been known to enjoy a prune dried plum now and then.

"Slow Barry" is what Robin and Maurice called their brother

We had to know more so we turned to our go-to source for information to learn about the sloe (Wikipedia, making TBIAW possible for over 300 yearsTM).  It turns out that the sloe is the fruit of the Prunus spinosa species of bushes. I don’t know if you caught the name…Prunus spinosa. That’s right; the sloe is related to the prune. I am here to tell you that a hint of that pruney flavor is present in the Sloeberry Cocktail, too.  It wasn’t overwhelming, though.  Probably because it cost so much.

Overall Rating for the Sloeberry Cocktail

Taste: 3
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackouts: 5 – 26% Alcohol

Ingredients

2 oz Sloe Gin
1 dash Bitters

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Drink 167: Slop Sloppy Joe

Today’s drink is the Sloppy Joe’s Cocktail No. 1, a mix of rum, triple sec, dry vermouth, grenadine, and lime juice. According to the USDA’s MyDrink, a cocktail should never be more than 23.3% lime juice.  This is an improvement over the outdated Tipple Pyramid’s maximum of 34.0%.  Regardless of whether you follow the old-school Pyramid or the new-school MyDrink, the Sloppy Joe’s Cocktail No. 1 exceeds the limit since it is 38.7% lime juice.

Seems strangely specific

Note: I literally spent hours working
on the video in Sunday's blog. Since
no one actually watched it, I decided
to spend no more than three minutes on
any future customized pictures for TBIAW.
This is the type of quality to expect
going forward
.

Due to the high concentration of lime juice, the primary taste of this drink was tartness. In fact wasn’t the just the primary taste, it was the only taste.  It was so tart that if we had tried the SJCN1 during the first few weeks of our journey, we would have probably given it a rating of one.  Since we have become more accustomed to these sour assaults we were able to up the rating all the way to a two. There was some extra credit given because the lime juice thankfully overwhelmed the vermouth.
Sloppy Joe's Cocktail No. 1
Not Sloppy


It also didn’t help that the drink called for only a quarter teaspoon of two of the other ingredients.  Pouring a quarter teaspoon is kind of a pain. You can almost justify the quarter teaspoon of grenadine since it makes the drink a pleasant pink tint. The quarter teaspoon of triple sec is another story. It isn’t enough to add any sweetness or orange flavor to the drink.  It is as superfluous as this picture:

Image:  scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Overall Rating for the Sloppy Joe’s Cocktail No. 1


Taste: 2
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 2
Drinks Until Blackouts: 7 – 17% Alcohol

Ingredients
1 oz Lime Juice
0.25 tsp Triple Sec
0.25 tsp Grenadine
.75 oz Light Rum
.75 oz Dry Vermouth

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Drink 166: Don't Shoot the Memessenger



Everyone knows that Adolf Hitler loved Piña Coladas.  His love was controversial though since the Piña Colada supposedly wasn’t invented until 1954 when the key ingredient cream of coconut was first created.  What these so-called “historians” don’t know is that Hitler used the recipe shown in our Mr. Boston guide.  Well not our specific copy, but you know what I mean.  The recipe calls for coconut milk instead of cream of coconut as is typically used. Adding to the confusion is that the drink was known in Weimar Germany not as a Piña Colada but as Der Gerfrorenananasweiblichgetränk.
Pina Colada Cocktail
We did not love this Piña Colada

Mrs. Bottle and I were both excited to try the Piña Colada, but not because it was Hitler’s favorite.  Rather, we like tropical drinks and no drink symbolizes the tropics more than the Piña Colada.  It has even been famously immortalized in song.  Unfortunately the drink as described in the Mr. Boston book is truly horrible.  I can see how being stuck with Gerfrorenananasweiblichgetränk could make someone angry. The main problem is that it calls for coconut milk instead of cream of coconut.  Coconut milk is essentially the juice from a coconut.  It isn’t sweet, isn’t creamy, and in my opinion isn’t very tasty either. 

The rest of the recipe calls for light rum and crushed pineapple.  You mix it in a blender with ice and the strain it into your glass.  This is an additional flaw, since the crushed pineapple gets mostly strained out, leaving you with rum and coconut milk.  We kept tasting it hoping it would somehow magically improve but it never got better.  Mrs. Bottle was as crushed as the pineapple but instead of letting it get her down she just found the inner resolve to make a tasty Piña Colada.  It is effort like hers that makes America great.
USA! USA!
She found a recipe on our can of Coco López cream of coconut and used that instead. Their recipe uses cream of coconut and pineapple juice instead of coconut milk and strained pineapple.  This drink was sweet, creamy, and delicious.  It also happens to be closer to the recipe we found in all of our other cocktail guides and as you might imagine we have quite a few.  In fact, we added one to our collection yesterday at the Borders going out of business sale.  We saved $0.60!   It was totally worth it.

Overall Rating for the Piña Colada






Taste: 1
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 1
Drinks Until Blackout: 10 –  9% Alcohol

Ingredients
3 oz Light Rum
3 tbsp Coconut Milk
3 tbsp Crushed Pineapple

Friday, July 22, 2011

Drink 165: Blue Friday

The Wallis Blue Cocktail isn’t what you might expect. Namely, it isn’t blue.  This is due primarily to the fact that none of its ingredients are blue.  Instead they are gin, triple sec, and lime juice.  Think of it as a gin-based Margarita, but a bit sweeter. We liked the traditional Margarita a lot, but the Wallis Blue Cocktail was better.  The extra sweetness was the tipping point, perfectly balancing the tart lime juice.  The sugar-rimmed glass probably helped, too.  Has there ever been a beverage that wasn’t improved by a sugar-rimmed glass? Actually, yes.

Wallis Blue Cocktail
As far as I can tell, not blue

It has been a while since we have had a bad drink. In fact, we haven’t had a drink rated lower than a three in over two weeks now.  This streak is long enough that I’m beginning to get nervous.  There will surely be an epically bad streak some time in the future providing karmic retribution.  It will likely feature several drinks with Scotch, Galliano, and prune juice.

Now we clumsily transition back to the drink at hand.  I was curious about the name of the cocktail so we launched a massive TBIAW investigation.  One of our iReporters quickly discovered that a fashion designer named Main Bocher created a color “Wallis Blue” named for Wallis Simpson and used it in her wedding dress. The dress doesn’t look blue to me, so that might explain why the drink isn’t blue.  Maybe the absence of blue is a statement on the patriarchal nature of pre-World War II society. 

Blueberries, as named by Main Bocher
In case you are not up on your anglophilic studies, Wallis Simpson was an American woman who tried to destroy the English monarchy using only the power of her femininity and almost succeeded.  For you youngsters, think of her like the Monica Lewinsky of the 30’s. Coincidentally Lewinsky is also known for a blue dress. But we recommend that you stay away from the Monica Blew Cocktail.




Overall Rating for the Wallis Blue Cocktail



Taste: 5
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 3
Drinks Until Blackouts: 6 – 21% Alcohol
 
 
Ingredients

1 oz Gin
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Lime Juice

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Drink 164: Hot in the City

Sun Kiss Cocktail
Captions require
effort
Oftentimes when I look at a drink recipe I think, “Whoever created this drink gave it very little effort.”   Sometimes that can work.  Other times you end up with the Sun Kiss, a mix of amaretto and orange juice.  You don’t even put it in a shaker.  You just pour into an ice- filled glass.  The lime wedge only gives the façade of effort.  The drink was unremarkable in every way.  It looked okay and it tasted okay.  It pretty much I suppose if you love amaretto you would probably like the Sun Kiss a bit more than we did. 

Since the drink’s creator gave the drink such little effort, I am going to make up for it by giving this entry very little effort as well.  It is for the best as we here at the Bottle Wonderland Estate are not immune from the heat wave that is both captivating and destroying our great nation.  I never knew it got so hot in the summer.  I don’t want us to expend too much energy and end up with some heat-related malady.  It is supposed to be 98° today with a heat index of 105°.  If the heat index was only 98° you would be nearing the beginning of the third paragraph.  Instead you are nearing the end of today’s post. That extra 7 degrees of perceived heat makes all the difference. 


Overall Rating for the Sun Kiss





Taste: 3
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 5
Drinks Until Blackouts: 11 – 9% Alcohol

Ingredients
2 oz Amaretto
4 oz Orange Juice

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Drink 163: Mock It To Me

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktail
Am I a clown to you?
Today we have the Tequila Mockingbird, a mix of tequila, green crème de menthe, and lime juice.  We already knew that mint and lime complement each other but were still nervous about mixing it with tequila.  I almost suggested to Mrs. Bottle that we use some cheap tequila so we didn’t waste the good stuff but we decided to forge ahead giving the drink its best chance of success.  It turned out that the Tequila Mockingbird was delicious and nothing went to waste.  As usual, the mint and lime were delicious and refreshing together and the drink packs a bit of a punch, too.

I’m not sure why it is called the Tequila Mockingbird but I don’t usually let lack of actual knowledge keep me from commenting.  A mockingbird mimics the sounds of other birds so it is safe to assume that this drink must mimic another drink.  While it looks a lot like the Jade that drink isn’t well known enough to be mimicked and/or mocked.  That would be the equivalent of TBIAW mocking a blog that is less well known.  Something like the concisely named “Addiction help life coach Ontario, Success life coaching - Certified Life Transformation Coach” blog. It just wouldn’t be right.  Since we’ve ruled out the Jade, I think I’m going to go with the Mojito instead.  The artificially colored mint liqueur is clearly mocking the Mojito’s fresh mint and the absence of club soda is an obvious slap in the face.

Another thing that probably deserves mocking is what we ate for dinner last night, DiGiorno Pizza and Wyngz.  We can be mocked for eating junk food and Wyngz can be mocked for being Wyngz. In turn, Wyngz are mocking real chicken wings with both their content and zpelling.  I was going to mock Wyngz with a scathing send-up but I learned that Stephen Colbert already discussed them on his show.  Some people find him funny, so instead of wasting any more of my time with this sub-par blog post I will just share what he did:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Thought for Food - Wyngz & Wal-Mart
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive






Overall Rating for the Tequila Mockingbird



 



Taste: 5
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 3
Drinks Until Blackouts: 6 – 20% Alcohol

Ingredients

1.5 oz Tequila
.75 oz Green Crème de Menthe
1 oz Lime Juice

Monday, July 18, 2011

Drink 162: Too Much Ado

You probably remember when the main road to the Bottle Wonderland Estate was closed earlier this year because of a downed power line.  It was all over the national news.  It caused logistics issues not seen since Hurricane Katrina.  Wait, you don’t remember?  Oh yeah, that’s right, it actually was no big deal.  That’s because every person on the planet who doesn’t live in Los Angeles can deal with a temporary road closure without it being major news for a week.  That said, I was glad to see that Laker Girl tryouts were unaffected.  
Local news coverage

LA Sunrise Cocktail
No sunrise and no smog
In honor of the so-called Carmageddon we bring you the L.A. Sunrise, a mix of vodka, crème de banana, rum, orange juice, and pineapple juice.  We aren’t sure why it is called the L.A. Sunrise since the drink doesn’t have a “sunrise effect” like the Tequila Sunrise or its grosser cousin the Hairy Sunrise. It isn’t even covered with a thick haze of smog. Maybe if we had used dark rum instead of the called-for “rum” it would have tinted everything brown and had a more realistic appearance.

The drink ultimately left Mrs. Bottle unsatisfied (insert too-easy joke here (and here)).  She felt the drink too weak and somewhat pointless (also too easy).  I thought it tasted pretty good with a nice pineapple-orange juice flavor.  She noted that she couldn’t even taste the alcohol and said that she might as well just drink some pineapple-orange juice.  To her it is hardly worth writing about, but it is still more newsworthy than a road closure thousands of miles away.


Overall Rating for the L.A. Sunrise



Taste: 4
Presentation: 2
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackouts: 10 – 10% Alcohol

Ingredients

1 oz Vodka
.5 oz Crème de Banana
.25 oz Rum
2 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Drink 161: Three Minutes to Wapner

If you look closely
you can catch a glimpse
of the mysterious Mr. Bottle
Before we get to today’s drink the Rain Man we must make some corrections to our last post.  First, and this is embarrassing, we inadvertently called the Drink with Jerry blog Drinking with Jerry.  That is a horrible mistake and we apologize sincerely.  I hope Jerry didn’t kill himself because he made the same error.  The second correction is that Jerry is not dead.  He was nice enough to comment on yesterday’s post and we hope he resumes his blog soon.  Technically this isn’t a correction since we did not say he was dead, just that we like to imagine that he was dead.  In fairness, I often like to imagine certain people are dead. It is a fun way to pass the time.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to the Rain Man, a mix of 151-proof rum, melon liqueur, and orange juice.  The drink was not bad as long as you can deal with melon liqueur.  That ingredient constituted only 1/8 the volume of the drink but 7/8 of the flavor.  The orange and rum combined to level the melon out enough that Mrs. Bottle and I both liked it even though she isn’t a melon liqueur fan.  We didn’t even allow its putrid presentation to put us off.  The only thing that slowed us down was concern about the 151 rum.

This is to remind you of the 151 warnings.
We in no way used this picture again because
we were too lazy to come up with something else
We have already covered the dangers of 151 rum but there is one warning they left off the label: overstating drink power.  Upon tasting the Rain Man Mrs. Bottle repeatedly mentioned that she could feel a tingle in her nose due to the powerful 151.  She must have said it 10 or 20* times.  What she didn’t realize is that the overall strength of the drink was the same as our previous drink, 19% alcohol.  She didn’t comment about how the Peter Pan burned her nose, though.  Clearly the 151 triggered some kind of psychological response.  When Mrs. Bottle reads this I suspect it will also trigger a psychological response.  I can’t help that, I must report the truth.

* All figures approximate

Overall Rating for the Rain Man




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

Ingredients

1.25 oz 151-proof Rum
.75 oz Melon Liqueur
4 oz Orange Juice

Friday, July 15, 2011

Drink 160: Never Neverblog

Peter Pan Cocktail
Garnish with a faerie
Lately I have been having a little trouble coming up with topics for the blog.  You may have noticed that the frequency has dipped a little over the last two weeks. The quality, of course, is as sterling as ever. Hopefully I will rally soon and a fountain of fresh ideas will spring forward.  The first step is admitting I have a problem.  Now that we have that admission out of the way I am trying to determine the root cause for the idea deficit.  I think it is either concern over the debt ceiling or that I am over 18 hours behind in watching Harry Potter movies.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to run into this problem.  In fact, while researching today’s drink the Peter Pan Cocktail, I ran into someone else who seemingly suffered a similar fate.  His name is Jerry and he has (had?) a blog called Drinking With Jerry that is pretty much the same concept as TBIAW (with the same inspiration).  His version of the Peter Pan Cocktail is the same as ours, too with gin, dry vermouth, orange juice, and bitters.  He thought it tasted like “shampoo” but we didn’t.  We didn’t love it, but it was decent even though it contained dry vermouth.  Mrs. Bottle pointed out that gin seems to have a better relationship with vermouth than other liquors do. I think it is because gin is so delicious it can make anything taste good.  In this case it allowed the drink to be more palatable than one might think.  The orange juice probably helped as well. We both felt that the Peter Pan Cocktail had potential to grow on you if you gave it enough time and if you leave your window open.

  
Not Jerry
img: http://pixyland.org/peterpan/

Speaking of time, it looks like Jerry’s blog was pretty time-consuming.  He clearly went to a lot of effort in his photography and I have to say that the design of his blog is nice.  The pictures are certainly more interesting than our “drink with a black background and occasionally a lame prop” motif.  He had initially been writing a few sentences with each drink but that ended after April 21 and on May 19 he stopped his blog for good.  Maybe the time commitment got to be too much.  Maybe the fact that no one was voting on his drinks made him frustrated. Perhaps his lack of Facebook fans frustrated him (the same as TBIAW!!).  I don’t know Jerry, but I don’t want to think that he just gave up.  Quitting is not cool.  I prefer to imagine that he is dead


Overall Rating for the Peter Pan Cocktail




Taste: 3
Presentation: 4 – It has a faerie!
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackouts: 7 – 19% Alcohol

Ingredients

.75 oz Gin
.75 oz Dry Vermouth
.75 oz Orange Juice
2 dashes Bitters

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Drink 159: Cop a Squat

Bajito Cocktail
Do not judge a Bajito by its outward appearance

Today we have the Bajito, a mix of dark rum, fresh lime, simple syrup, mint leaves, and basil leaves.  The Bajito continues our mini-run of drinks that feature fresh mint although at a week old we are stretching the definition of “fresh”.  The basil we used was as fresh as fresh can be, though, coming directly from the Bottle Wonderland back forty into the cocktail shaker.  You might be surprised that the Estate features an extensive farm. Despite our affinity for the green plastic lime, Mrs. Bottle and I are actually big proponents of sustainable local food. That is why I plan to move very close to the Jelly Belly Factory.

Even better than food from the local farm is the food you grow yourself. Knowing we raised that basil from a small basil plant purchased at Lowe’s all the way to its current incarnation as a medium sized basil plant brought extra satisfaction to every sip. It would have brought even more satisfaction if we could have actually tasted the basil in the drink. While there was a hint of basil, the drink pretty much tasted like a regular Mojito. That isn’t a bad thing since a Mojito is delicious and so is the Bajito. 

Where the Bajito falls down is in its appearance.  Bajito is Spanish for “squat” and I have to assume it is called that because it is shorter than a Mojito and not because it looks likes like something that happens when one is squatting.  The good news is that it has 3 ounces of rum so after one or two you won’t care how it looks.  Four or five of them will probably make a lot of things look better than they are.  I recommend it before reading TBIAW.

Overall Rating for the Bajito





Taste: 4
Presentation: 0
Ease of Preparation: 2
Drinks Until Blackouts: 4 – 29% Alcohol

Ingredients

3 oz Dark Rum
1 tbsp Simple Syrup
5 Slices Fresh Lime – How much is that, anyway?
4 Fresh Basil Leaves
4 Fresh Mint Leaves

Monday, July 11, 2011

Drink 158: Cool as a Cucumber

Anyone who knows me (and that is a select group!) will tell you that I rarely complain and never whine.  When little indignities or injustices strike, I receive them stoically or apply a devil-may-care attitude. That is why you won’t hear me wailing about the fact that Bottle Wonderland Cat has been waking me up at all hours of the evening for no reason whatsoever.  I certainly won’t bore readers with woe-is-me accounts of Bottle Wonderland Kitten #1 hurling himself against the door at 4:00 AM and making an egregious amount of noise simply because he wants a kibble.
Cubeltini Cocktail
Waiter, there's a plant in my drink

A lesser blogger might cry about how his lack of sleep prevents him from formulating a rational thought or from making insightful asides in his entries.  He might even try to drag out his complaint to constitute the majority of a post and blame said sleeplessness for his lack of focus.  You won’t see those types of shenanigans here, though.  We will keep any of our problems to ourselves and simply present our latest drink, the Cubeltini, a mix of vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, mint, and cucumber. The Cubeltini happens to be the signature cocktail of Trina, a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL. 
Where the boys were, circa 1984
img
As I’m sure you already know, Fort Lauderdale is also the setting for the classic film Where the Boys Are ’84, where a bunch of 38 year-olds pretend to be 18 year olds and try to have sex with each other.  In that way it is just like a 20 year high school reunion.  I think in either case the Cubeltini could probably help, but only with a little modification.  The cucumber, mint, and lime juice create a refreshing combination, but they are overwhelmed by the cloying sweetness of the simple syrup.  There is an ounce and a half of that stuff, which turns out to be too much.  Instead of whining about it (which if you recall, I never do), I would recommend cutting it down to ½ an ounce or so.  The reduction in sugar will also help keep the pounds off which is beneficial whether you are entering the hot bod contest or trying to impress your old high school flame.

 
Overall Rating for the Cubeltini



Taste: 3 (4 if you cut down the sugar)
Presentation: 5 – It has an entire plant in it!
Ease of Preparation: 2
Drinks Until Blackouts: 8 – 18% Alcohol

Ingredients
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Lime Juice
1.5 oz Simple Syrup
3 Cucumber Slices
5-7 Mint Leaves

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Drink 157: Buck Wild



New Orleans Buck Cocktail
Also tasted slightly
out of focus
Today’s drink is the New Orleans Buck which is comprised of light rum, orange and lemon juices and then some ginger ale. And yes, it is me, Mrs. Bottle, here to update everyone on all I’ve learned about this wondrous concoction. But first let me just get down to it and provide the critique because I know all thirteen readers out there (readership is on the rise!) are waiting in serious anticipation.

Mr. Bottle and I both had high expectations for this beverage because what’s not to like? All parts are tasty so they must be good when combined, right? Let me break it down in three languages: No (English), Non (French), and No (Spanish). Actually, that’s harsh because it wasn’t too bad. It was just a little watery tasting, probably due to the fact that the recipe didn’t specify the amount of ginger ale. It just instructed me to fill the glass and stir. Maybe if it had said to “fill to taste” I would have been more precise and ended up with a tastier drink. Like the mouthwatering Dragon Street Cobra Tamer No. 1. But we’ll never know now because unless the drink scores above a 3 on our scientific rating scale, it’s unlikely to be made again.

Let’s get back to my research. I initially followed a red herring and focused on the New Orleans part of the drink name. It seemed obvious that this drink originated in New Orleans but all I could really find was info about New Orleans Buck Jumping. What, pray tell, is this activity you might ask. After more digging, I discovered that it’s another name for second line dancing in New Orleans brass band parades. I would latch on to those folks who watch HBO’s “Treme” because I know second line dancing would be familiar to you, but I believe there might be fewer “Treme” viewers than readers of our blog.

Scene from HBO's  Treme.  By seeing a scene
from Treme you are part of a very exclusive club
img: hbo.com
So after an exhaustive eight minutes focusing on the New Orleans aspect, I happened upon a link discussing the New Orleans Buck’s ample history as it belongs to the Buck family of drinks. Excitedly, my mind started reeling with the possibilities of a whole line of alcohol by this Buck family and a new alcohol website to ridicule investigate. Alas, it turns out that the Buck drinks are beverages that include any alcohol, lemon or lime juice, a piece of citrus fruit (maybe), and ginger beer or ginger ale. I was going to explain more here but Mr. Bottle read what I’d written so far and said “Wait- we already wrote about the Buck drinks. Don’t you remember?” To which I replied, “Oh, am I supposed to be reading your posts?”

Overall Rating for the New Orleans Buck





Taste: 3
Presentation: 5 – Looks mighty refreshing
Ease of Preparation: 5
Drinks Until Blackout: 10 – 9% Alcohol

Ingredients

1.5 oz Light Rum
1 oz Orange Juice
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
Ginger Ale

Friday, July 8, 2011

Drink 156: Frisky Business

Today’s drink is the Frisky Witch, a duo made from vodka and sambuca.  As with most duos, the Frisky Witch is very strong, weighing in with an alcohol content of 41%.  The anise flavor is very strong as well, weighing in with a licorice score of 93%.  It was a bit too much for Mrs. Bottle to handle even though she thinks that plain sambuca tastes fine.  I liked the Frisky Witch although I wouldn’t want to drink more than six or seven of them at a time.

Frisky Witch Cocktail
Please ignore the licorice surgery
If you think six or seven drinks are too many, you are not a college student.  According to a recent survey of college students, binge drinking brings benefits such as “more courage, improved communication skills, and better social abilities.”  I attended college and I can assure you that binge drinking can lead to a lot of things, but “improved communication skills” is not one of them. Unless of course you are looking to increase your slurring and volume level because you are normally soft spoken and people make fun of you because of your precise enunciation.  “Better social abilities” is questionable, too.  If “regrettable sexual encounter” falls under that umbrella then I suppose it makes sense. 
Not sure if this falls under "better social abilities"
or "improved communication skills"
In addition to the benefits that the college students enumerated, there are actual benefits as well including a reduction in the chances of cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and Type-2 diabetes.  Of course those benefits are achieved by only having one (if you are a woman) or two (if you a man) drinks per day.  Doctors can really be a buzzkill.  They didn’t even give a recommended amount for children.  Why do they want kids to catch Alzheimer’s?

Overall Rating for the Frisky Witch


 
Taste: 4 (Mr. Bottle) 2 (Mrs. Bottle)
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 5
Drinks Until Blackout: 2 – 41% Alcohol

Ingredients
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Sambuca

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Drink 155: Ain't That a Jicama Head

While our drink selections may at times appear completely random it is only because they are usually random. The genius of it is that sometimes they appear random when they are really carefully chosen by our selection committee (Mrs. Bottle).  Sometimes she chooses a drink because it is related to a holiday.  Other times it is because she wants to make sure we don’t have too many good drinks in a row. Today it is because we had an ingredient that she didn’t want to let go to waste.  That ingredient is fresh mint.

Frozen Mint Daiquiri Cocktail
If you know what this is it is attractive.
Otherwise it might skeeze you out
We have fresh mint because Mrs. Bottle was going to make a delicious orange and jicama salad this past weekend for the neighborhood 4th of July blowout.  Not the big blowout down the road, but the one we got invited to.  It happens that the salad includes fresh mint and we had a lot left over.  Why did we have so much mint left over?  Because Mrs. Bottle couldn’t make the salad.  Why couldn’t she make the salad?  Because we could not find a decent jicama within a 30 mile radius of the Estate.

Don’t get me wrong, we found jicama at our usual grocery store (we won’t name it here, but it rhymes with Ferris Jeter); we just didn’t find a good one.  When Mrs. Bottle picked up the first one she found, it had a hole in it and then bug flew out of said hole.  That is considered good luck in some countries, but in America it is considered gross.  She picked out a second one but when she cut it open at home it too had a hole in it cleverly concealed within the center of the root. The non-hole portion was black with rot.  Mrs. Bottle ignored my suggestion of using the rotted tuber anyway and insisted I find another one.  I spent the next several hours trolling every grocery store that wasn’t too inconvenient but still came a cropper. 

Not to scale
Moth

Since Mrs. Bottle also ignored my other suggestion of making an orange and rutabaga salad, we had a lot of mint left over.  We ended up using the mint in the Frozen Mint Daiquiri which also has rum, lime juice and sugar.  This isn’t to be confused with the previously reviewed Daiquiri which has no mint and is not frozen but conversely also tasted good.  Mint and lime is a good combo, but the Frozen Mint Daiquiri was too tart for our liking.  This is likely due to the fact that it called for sugar instead of simple syrup.  I guess no one told Mr. Boston that sugar doesn’t really dissolve in a frozen drink.  We salvaged the drink by adding some simple syrup, making it quite tasty.  If only the recipe called for “simple syrup to taste” like the Dragon Street Cobra Tamer No. 1, it would have been a big hit. Then again there are few drinks that are as big as the DSCTn1.

Overall Rating for the Frozen Mint Daiquiri


 

Taste: 2 (4 if you add simple syrup)
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 3 – Frozen drinks are an automatic 1 point deduction
Drinks Until Blackout: 12 – 7% Alcohol

Ingredients

2 oz Light Rum
1 tbsp Lime Juice
6 Mint Leaves
1 tsp Sugar
1 cup Ice
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