Mixology Monday: Guilty Pleasures

by Matt Robold on October 13, 2008

This month’s Mixology Monday may turn out to be the most tragically hilarious collection of drinks ever.  Stevi from Two At The Most has selected a topic that will pull back the polished veneer of elitist perfection that the cocktail blogosphere loves to wrap itself in when it comes to drinks.  This month we expose the dirty little secret longings of bartenders and cocktail snobs the world over with “Guilty Pleasures.”

We all have our guilty pleasures…those little things that make us happy that we know shouldn’t.  Whether it be watching some vapid reality TV show, enjoying the orange chicken at Panda Express even though your brother works at a “real” Chinese restaurant, or rooting for the UCLA football team.  OK OK, I’m just kidding about that one…nobody takes pleasure in rooting for UCLA.

When it comes to cocktails, I’ve cultivated an image of absolute snobbery amongst my friends.  My brother has actually forbidden me from ordering a daiquiri in any bar if he’s with me, so as to avoid the inevitable argument with the waiter or bartender about whether or not a daiquiri should be made in a blender.  I read cocktail menus at chain restaurants and put my nose high in the air as I scoff at their ideas of what goes in to a mai tai or other tropical drink.

Of course, it wasn’t always this way.  As my brother has said more than once, “You used to be cool.”  It’s true.  I did.  There was a day when all I wanted when I walked into a bar was a Bud Light or a Captain & Coke.  If I made a drink at home, it didn’t stray very far from those.  I made drinks that, if their contents got out, would cost me every ounce of credibility amongst my readers (as well as the bartenders and bloggers I’ve gotten to know over the past year).  So, of course, I’ll be showcasing one of those today.

I had considered doing something simple like my love of orange-flavored vodka and tonic or Malibu Rum and 7-Up, but in the end, I knew that I had to write about a drink that for quite a while I passed off on hapless guests as a “mai tai.”  If you’re a tiki aficionado at all, you may want to stop reading now, avert your eyes, and pretend you never came here.

Island Dude

2 oz Gold Rum
1 oz Amaretto
1 oz Apricot Brandy
1 tsp Grenadine
1 oz Lime Juice
1 can pineapple juice

Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice.
Shake until you get the most awesome pink, frothy drink ever
Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice

Somewhere in Pennsylvania, Kaiser Penguin is having convulsions.  This is so obviously NOT a mai tai that it’s laughable.  Amaretto subbed for orgeat, no dark rum, no light rum, and a full can of Dole pineapple juice.  This drink is fruity, sweet, and shockingly pink.  The best part is probably the bright pink foam that gets created in the shaker.  For extra awesome effect, I like to use a bar spoon to get the foam out of the bottom of the shaker and use the foam to top the drink.  If you have a pineapple wedge and some cheap-o maraschino cherries, you’ve got your garnish.

Of course, these days if someone asks me for a mai tai, they get a real mai tai.  I’d be lying though if I said that I didn’t still really enjoy this drink.  The frothy fruitiness is just so simply fun.  It takes me back to the bygone days of enjoying candy-sweet drinks at TGI Friday’s and thinking that things didn’t get any better than that.  Ah memories…

Be sure to check out Dood’s other Mixology Monday entries

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