The Ghetto Mai Tai

As I spent part of last week mewling about, there's nada mucho booze left up in this maison, and I'm trying to hold off replenishing the stock until after the holidays. (My liver may be titanium-grade, but my bank account contains only tumbling tumbleweeds.) However, that's not the reason I invented the Ghetto Mai Tai. Like the Ghetto Julep, the Ghetto Mai Tai speaks not to my neurotic frivolity (although there is that) nor my proclivity towards the fabulously trashy (oh, don't go there, Mizz Hmm!). It's just about how some nights I enjoy achieving a mild pickling via a fun, supermarket ingredient-friendly, easy peasy glass of silly.

And isn't it nice to know that a Mai Tai, despite its orgeat and crushed ice and other lovely, particular fixings, can be respectably faked with just dark rum, Tropicana and a couple shakes of bitters? That final ingredient is what makes all the difference. Left to mingle by themselves, dark rum (light, too, I believe) and OJ result in an oddly bifurcated flavor dichotomy of dark-rum-over-here, orange-syrupy-sweetness-over-there. It's always struck me as weird, because on paper, orange and rum, which grew up practically down the street from one another, seem totes MFEO. But together in a glass, they are about as appealing as a vodka and Coke.

(That's another one that needs to be studied. How can the world's two most lowest-common-denominator beverages taste so off-putting together? It's tantamount to the characters on "Friends" not liking Hootie and the Blowfish. Which I happen to know for a fact they do.)

The bitters add a lovely darkness to the flavors inside the glass. Insert funny end of blog post here. (Whoops, mild pickling has been achieved...)

The Ghetto Mai Tai

2 ounces Rhum Barbancourt

2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters and/or Angostura Bitters

Tropicana orange juice, "No Pulp" (unless you like "Some Pulp" or "Lots of Pulp," in which case, ick)

In true ghetto style, don't bother shaking this concoction in an ice-filled shaker before straining it into your glass. Just combine all ingredients in an ice-filled highball, stir with coffee swizzle, index finger, teaspoon, what have you, and slurp up.

Tasting Notes

I prefer this with two dashes of the Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters. The PhoBlograpHusband prefers Angostura. The former lends a whiff of cinnamon to the glass, while the latter imparts licorice-like grace notes. You can do one dash of each kind if you can't decide.

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The Chingon

Remember when I first started this blog and for a scant time held weekly "You Name It!" contests for as-yet-unchristened cocktails? Don't worry, it's okay that you don't. The point is, naming cocktails is not my forte.

Given that, I should really do more due diligence researching the names other people have given their cocktail creations. Like if I'd bothered to Google "Bumboo," yesterday's drink, I'd have learned that a bumbo, aka bumboo, is actually a certain category of drink -- albeit a pretty obscure one, as only one of my cocktail guidebooks mentions it -- traditionally made with dark rum, grenadine and some sort of nutmeg or cinnamon spice. Knowing that about Bumboo's etymology, for one thing, would have informed me as to why Death & Company probably chose to go with the Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter Bitters, noted on its manufacturer's website as containing a cinnamon note.

So what's a Chingon? It's Mexican slang for badass. Things I think are badass about this drink: Its orangey-yowza color, for one. The way the citrus plays against the orgeat (hints of Mai Tai) and the B&B (although note that the original Death & Co. recipe calls for just Benedictine). Most badass of all: That it is a cocktail mere mortals can easily wrap their shakers around, as the most exotic ingredient is the orgeat syrup -- which you should totally invest in anyway, because spring's around the corner and oh yes we will be making Mai Tais.

The Chingon

(Adapted from Death & Company)

2 ounces Sauza Conmemorativo

1 1/4 ounces B&B

3/4 ounce lime juice

1/2 ounce orange juice

2 teaspoons Fee Brothers Orgeat Cordial Syrup

Orange peel, for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

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