It’s time to review the fun that was Mixology Monday 32, Guilty Pleasures. I asked you to share with us your shameful confessions, those drinks you love although they’re so, so bad for you.
Turns out, our mixologists are, by and large, fairly shameless. Sure, like going to confession, some of us gave the pro forma statement about how bad we know these drinks are, but mostly we proclaimed that what makes a good cocktail is that we like it!
Andy at Liquorblog kicked off the festivities with the Long Island Iced-Tea-Bag, described as a “Mr. Boston/Dekuyper Pucker sour-orgy-lovechild.” Andy takes the LIIT concept to the max, creating a formula based on all the cheap liquor in your cabinet, add vodka and sour mix, and voila…something that tastes more like ice tea than the LIIT and, Andy must admit, is shockingly tasty. Welcome to the mysteries of mixology, Andy, and thanks for joining MxMo!
Now comes Ted Munat of Le Mixeur, apparently recovered from the revelries of Le Mixeur Cinq, to bring us his confessions completely shameless recollections of his unique creations during college, the Rummatang!, the Rummonade! and the mythic Rummalemmotang! Way to make due with base exchange liquor and Costco drink mix. I see a theme for Le Mixeur Seis!
Alex of Cooking Sideways joins us from the misty moors of Scotland (oh, OK, the city of Edinburgh) to share with us the big dilemma of making a White Russian — what to do with the leftover cream? There’s nothing to it, except make another Dude-inspired Caucasian, of course! Thanks for warning of us the perils of special ingredients with a short shelf life!
Tiare at A Mountain of Crushed Ice admits to loving blue-green drinks. It turns out curaçao is a case of making the best of a bad situation (the wrong climate for Seville oranges), and blue curaçao gives us the chance to use that bitter orange flavor to make drinks with a beautiful color. And who doesn’t love pretty drinks? Tiare gives us four to pick from!
Frederic at Cocktail Virgin has a thing for Amaretto Sours. To assuage his guilt at his easy reliance on amaretto in his college days, he decides to take it up a notch and make his own! He brought it out a little early to share with us. He finds it lighter, nuttier, and having greater depth than what he can buy in the liquor store. Sometimes the difference between a guilty pleasure and a classic cocktail is the quality of ingredient!
SeanMike at Scofflaw’s Den claims his usual guilty pleasure is resorting to beer when he’s feeling lazy. But he’s found a new choice, Firefly Sweet Tea flavored vodka, which seems to eliminate the need for Long Island Ice Tea altogether. He finds it find straight, and even better in a hard Arnold Palmer, and promises further experimentation in the future.
Steve and Paul over at Cocktail Buzz really like the Harvey Wallbanger. And how can you not like a drink invented by the same mad genius that gave us the Rusty Nail? This mix of orange juice, vodka, and Galliano makes an excellent brunch beverage. Which seems like the ideal use for a drink named after a California surfer!
Chris brings us An Exercise in Hospitality. He also brings us the Irish Carbomb, a guilty pleasure for the politically incorrect name alone. This trio of Irish ingredients: Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey’s, makes a safe dive-bar selection. Just don’t forget to drink it quickly, because as noted, like the fizz, the carbomb does not improve over time!
Mark at Mark Sexauer’s Cocktail Blog also brings us a bomb, in this case, the Sake Bomb. What is it about mixing beer with a shot of liquor that makes us feel guilty? In this case, Mark likes to mix a good four ounces of sake with Sapporo beer. And if that doesn’t make him feel bad enough, he opens a Sparks.
And here’s Michael from My Aching Head, checking in from deepest, darkest Queenstown, New Zealand (one of my favorite places to go bungy jumping wine tasting). He risks the derision of his mates with the girly Sweet Chocolate Lips. This liqueur fest features two crèmes de cacao, Cointreau, Baileys and milk, but isn’t complete until served up with plenty of Hershey’s syrup.
Joerg at Drinkmix loves the caipirinha, but not the way it’s made in most German bars. Apparently Germans love that feel of gritty sugar in their teeth as they down their extra strong cachaça concoctions. Joerg prefers to put love into his Brazilian masterpieces, using three year old cachaça and caramelizing the limes before muddling them with super fine sugar. Sounds like a drink I could down several of!
Christian at Cocktailwelten continues the German theme, although he claims he has no guilty pleasure. He loves all cocktails. He does note that alcohol is technically bad for us, so therefore, all cocktails are guilty pleasures. So please, won’t you think of your liver and only drink quality poison?
Jon at ednbrg teaches us why crowd pleasing drinks are sometimes considered guilty pleasures. He invented the King Louis Spider during a cocktail competition. Despite high marks from the audience, the drink was a bomb with the sponsors, since the mango sorbet overwhelmed the Louis Royer Cognac. Despite the drink’s failure at the competition, he still enjoys it. And for those of us without mango sorbet, he gives us the rum and Coke float as a runner-up submission.
Vidiot at Cocktailians returns to the Big Lebowski to bring us his take on the White Russian. Here’s somebody who takes his guilty pleasure almost as seriously as the Dude himself. Vidiot has his very own Caucasian Kit, so that he can be sure he always has his vodka, Kahlúa, and cream on hand whenever he needs a bit of self indulgence.
Scomorokh writes about the Science of Drink from Ukraine. He frequently covers some of the drinks many of us consider guilty pleasures on his blog. Today he brings us a new entry, recovered from the defunct Martini Republic, called the Kalimotxo. Dump out half a bottle of Coke and replace the space with red wine. If you think ahead enough, chill. Perfect for taking to the park.
Sonja is frequently Thinking of Drinking. Heck, she co-founded a distillery! Her guilty pleasure is chocolate martinis. Yes, they’re not martinis, and yes, they’re bad for you, but they taste so good! While waiting for her spy to report back on the recipe for one of her favorite versions, she provides us with two recipes of her own, both using North Shore Distillery vodka, natch!
Jay at Oh Gosh! shows he’s not afraid to be mistaken for a gentleman who likes curtains by celebrating his love for the Woo Woo. A favorite among bar-goers not afraid to stick a straw in a pitcher, this combination of cranberry, peach schnapps, and vodka provides a balance of sweet, followed by sweet, and finished with sweet. Not to mention the chance to yell “Woo woo!” as you drink it.
Reese of Cocktail Hacker joins us from Boulder, Colorado. He chooses to celebrate his love of the squeeze lime. Yes, we know we’re supposed to use fresh squeezed every time. But what happens when you just want that little bit of sour to punch up your gin and tonic? Do you cut up an entire lime? What if you’re out? Sometimes you just have to lower your nose a little and bring out the plastic fruit and give a little squeeze.
Matt at RumDood has a confession to make. He likes mai tais. Oh, sure you say, of course he likes the classic Trader Vic recipe! But he also likes what he used to think of as a mai tai, which he’ll now call an Island Dude, just to make the distinction clear. This mix of rum, amaretto, apricot brandy, grenadine, lime juice, and a whole can of Dole pineapple juice bears little relation to the classic tiki cocktail we love to celebrate. But it’s pretty, it’s pink, and gosh darn it, it tastes good!
Doug at the Pegu Blog is the sort of reasonable guy who will use a squeeze lime in his beloved Pegus. He would like to suggest you use real lime juice in addition to Rose’s lime cordial in your Kamikaze. While many of us assume the kamikaze is a shot, he insists you can have an excellent cocktail version. He tortures us with a couple videos showing how not to make a kamikaze, then follows up with a recipe that calls for 5 3/4 oz of ingredients before the shake! Thank goodness this tastes good as it warms up.
Marleigh brings us SLOSHED! from the edge of the Mojave Desert. There she indulges in her overall guilty pleasure of finding joy in the truly tacky, including those cocktail recipes that just look so bad on the page they must be tried. Today she brings us the Burnt Fuselage, equal parts cognac, Grand Marnier, and dry vermouth. She tries it with Rhum Clément Creole Shrubb and declares it not as bad as you might think but way too heavy on the vermouth.
Tristan and the Wild Drink Blog participates in his first ever MxMo by sharing three guilty pleasures with us. I dare say Tristan has a bit of a sweet tooth. First he shares his love of Coca-Cola. Then he describes Desperados, a French beer flavored with tequila and lime. Finally, this marzipan fanatic loves amaretto, which he will take in a sour, or out of a tramp’s boot if need be.
Kevin’s blog is called Beers in the Shower. So it should be no surprise that his guilty pleasure is a beer – Pabst Blue Ribbon, in fact. When home from a night mixing up quality cocktails, it’s mostly likely a PBR he’ll crack to relax. Kevin loves PBR so much that he’s done extensive research on the history of the brewing company.
Michael at A Dash of Bitters is also willing to share his three top guilty pleasures. First up, the source of his first real drunk – a Tom Collins. No, wait, it’s really a gin and Sprite. His ability to survive several his first outing led his grandparents to introduce him to number two, the Fuzzy Navel. And finally, his standby when he goes out with friends is Yuengling Traditional Lager.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler has returned from BCB to tell us about his five favorite guilty pleasure drinks. First he comes clean with his love of vodka, because sometimes your taste buds just need a rest. If the vodka needs a chaser, he picks some crappy beer. He’ll be delighted if you give him anything with Bailey’s Irish Cream, and he loves his Jägermeister awesome German liqueur. And finally, he does love a Piña Colada, even if it’s made in a blender.
Darcy at Art of Drink also can’t pick just one guilty pleasure, so he lists his top three. First on the list is vanilla, anything vanilla, but especially Navan liqueur or a shot of vanilla flavor vodka after a hard day. Second on the list is root beer, which takes him back to his childhood. Of course, his research on root beer will take him to a future of hard root beer. And finally, Darcy also loves the Piña Colada, proclaiming the problem is not in the drink, but the usual execution.
Amelia from Felicia’s Speakeasy is certain she left all her drinking guilt behind when she became legal. But she does have a couple of favorite drinks that get no respect. The first is vodka. And the second is Pabst Blue Ribbon with a shot of Jack Daniels. Always a safe bet in a bar you don’t know, and if you’re worried about the cool kids seeing you, you can always pour the PBR in a cocktail glass.
Bruce at World Wide Drinks stopped by. Even though he’s not 20 any more, he does like the occasional night out with friends at his local bar, playing pool and laughing. And this must include Yukon Jack. This 100 proof liqueur may be syrupy sweet, but he likes his on the rocks, thank you very much.
Fred at The Mixology Lab has two vices to share with us. The first is the childhood memory of ultra-pasteurized eggnog mixed with Seagrams VO, a story that definitely sounds like it falls in the category of comfort drink! These days, when he has to face the crowds at professional cocktails parties, his choice is the venerable 7&7 — or whatever clear and fizzy beverage is available to mix with whatever Canadian or American whiskey is on hand.
Keith at moving at the speed of life may be a bartender at Union, one of Seattle’s most venerable watering holes, but sometimes he just likes to kick back. Sometimes he has to bring enough Jägermeister and cheap beer because he knows other MxMo folk won’t bring enough. But on special occasions, such as his wedding, he really enjoys a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. He even offers some links to recipes using one of his favorite local products, but warns that would be blasphemy!
A big howdy to Tex from Tipsy Texan. Like so many of us, he has a slew of skeletons from drinking phases past: Red Bull and vodka, the Piña Colada, and the Purple Fuzzy F*cker, clearly named during illicit high school drinking days. But his current passion is the Long Island Ice Tea. His introduction was the two dollar, well liquor and soda gun special. These days, he is convincing people to try Dale DeGroff’s recipe, which calls for a mere 2 1/2 oz spirits, which means you can have more than one!
Drink of the Week may be choosing martinis that look the part these days. But like so many of us, in college, it was the venerable Long Island Ice Tea. Equal parts vodka, gin, rum, tequila and triple sec, topped with sweet and sour and cola. And for those seeking extra flashback inducement, be sure to serve your LIIT in a mason jar!
Craig at Tiki Drinks and Indigo Firmaments is another who finds guilt a foreign feeling. But he will admit that despite being a tiki master, there are some days where he doesn’t want to use a shaker or blender, or even a jigger, and so he goes for the 7&7, a drink he chooses not to try to improve. Instead, he presents us with his take on his Disneyland favorite, the New Orleans Square Mint Julep, with an extra large dose of crème de menthe.
Gabriel at cocktailnerd will deny himself little, but that often leads to drinks that might make a sorority girl blush. His late night, very drunk go to drink is the Horny Monkey. A piña colada gone horribly wrong, it calls for vodka, crème de banane, and cream of coconut as the main ingredients. Part of a pack of supposed tiki recipes, this drink will take you back to the joy you felt as a child eating cotton candy. Only recommended when you’ve already overwhelmed your adult sense of why you stopped eating cotton candy.
Dennis at Rock & Rye really enjoys Bailey’s Irish Cream. Never mind the fat and calories, it brightens up his day to just enjoy a glass. And when he wants to mix with it, he likes to make a Mudslide. Bailey’s, Godiva liqueur, and Kahlúa all at once may be unmanly, but it sure tastes good!
Let no one say the drink Blair brings us at Trader Tiki is unmanly. After all, the Coconaut involves FIRE! It also provides him enough encouragement to risk using one of his precious tiki mugs. And finally, yet another vote for the love of coconut cream. Even though this is a venerable tiki drink from one of the tiki masters, its use of coconut cream and a blender is enough to turn up the noses of many a snob.
Natalie joins us from the Liquid Muse. She also loves creamy cocktails, be it coconut cream or dairy. Today she wants to share the Pink Creole, straight out of Playboy’s Host and Bar Book, circa 1971. While the teaspoon of cream may make some run for the Hollywood Hills, it can be made with soymilk. So you can have your pink girly drink and drink it, too!
Lance blogs over at My life on the rocks. Back in the day, he used to bar tend at some of the hippest hip-hop clubs on the West Coast. When not serving strawberry daiquiris and gin and juice, he was being asked for the Hennessy Separator. This is a white Russian with cognac standing in for vodka. But don’t ever use Courvoisier. The mix of cognac, Kahlúa, and cream was popular with the male crowd, and still brings back memories.
Cameron at Married…with Dinner used to play guitar in a band called Bad Alibi, which seems appropos for this MxMo! While playing gruelling sets, his bandmates introduced him to the millennial highball, the Jäger Bomb. Drop one shot of Jägermeister into half a glass of Red Bull, and chug. The Red Bull provides the sugar and caffeine, and the Jäger more sugar and that punch of alcohol needed to make it through the last Saturday set.
Paul of The Cocktail Chronicles does like to doctor the store-bought eggnog with Myers Rum. But what he really likes is the occasional gimlet. This is a venerable drink in the cocktail world, but Paul admits it must be made with Rose’s Lime Juice, the cordial we love to hate. He does add an equal part of lime juice, which splits the difference between Raymond Chandler and the lime juice purists. And he prefers his gimlet with vodka!
Jacob Grier has found the time at the end of his cross-country drive to share with us his secret love of the Irish Carbomb. He doesn’t think the bartender will take kindly to trying to take photos of Guinness curdling after adding the shot glass of Jameson and Bailey’s. Instead, Jacob takes us on a Creative Commons enabled tour of Irish Carbombs across flickr. From a former classmate to mohawk guy bonding with uncles, everybody loves chugging this drink.
Cynthia at My Brilliant Mistakes loves her Lynchburg Lemonade. While she’s given up the wine coolers of her youth, the premixed Jack Daniels coolers are convenient and tasty. And sometimes you can find someone to add an extra shot of JD to the mix. If you’re going to make your own, instead of relying on one already in a bottle, take the extra time to use seltzer and extra citrus instead of sweet and sour.
Craig at Dr. Bamboo may have shown up a little late, but who can resist another take on the White Russian? Regardless of whether you love or hate The Big Lebowski (or the entire Coen Brothers oeuvre), there is no disputing the debt of gratitude Kahlúa owes the Dude. This lucious combination of vodka, Kahlúa, and cream is the the right thing for kicking back and arguing over the importance of Barton Fink.
The folks over at eGullet bring us two entries this MxMo. First up is Erik, who took some time to learn to love Anchor Steam beer, but now finds it his favorite go to when company is over. And as soon as they’re gone, he makes himself a Manhattan. Also joing is haresfur, who loves to fortify Swiss Miss hot chocolate with a shot of Myer’s rum. Great for a cold day!
Finally, my guilty pleasure is the Lemon Drop. This candy inspired drink is rarely made well, as getting the perfect sweet and sour balance is one of the mixologist’s greatest challenges. I tend to prefer mine with plain vodka and using some Cointreau and simple syrup to balance the lemon juice. And of course, and nice sugared rim on my cocktail glass for the full effect.
And that’s the roundup for Mixology Monday XXXII: Guilty Pleasures. If you’re running a little late, but still want to join the party with your own Guilty Pleasure, comment on this post for future readers.
Thanks to Paul at Cocktail Chronicles for creating Mixology Monday. And a big thanks to everybody who participated. I hope everybody else has as much fun reading all these great cocktails posts, and let’s all remember, let’s only stick our noses up to get our cocktail glasses to our mouths!