Day 289: An Evening Of Duo Cocktails

originally published October 15, 2012

Here are three perfectly good reasons I plan on drinking tonight:

  1. It’s Monday. Not only Monday, but it’s the Monday of a five-day week – the first of four consecutive five-day weeks until my next long weekend. It still baffles me that, as an advanced society, we have not yet evolved to the point where a four-day work-week is the standard. You have failed us, The Future.
  2. As a devoted Peyton Manning fan, it pains me to see him struggling this year, and I have no doubt he’ll struggle again tonight against the Chargers. Alcohol might help me through that.
  3. My mother-in-law is coming into town and staying with us.

I’m kidding about that last one, of course. My mother-in-law is a wonderful woman, who may or may not read this site on a semi-regular basis. That said, I’m going to recommend we all toast a glass with some of Wikipedia’s recommended duo cocktails tonight.

This was a great find. Wikipedia not only lists all these drinks, but it provides handy charts on how to make them. There is no reason to ever go thirsty again.

I’ll start at the top of the list, with a B&B.

You make this drink with equal parts cognac and Benedictine, serving it on the rocks or straight up. I’ve never tasted Benedictine, but my sources tell me it’s an herbal liqueur from France. I’m trying to imagine the flavor but all my brain-tongue can come up with is pine needles.

Now that I think of it, this might be a tetch too highbrow for an evening’s first drink. I’m going to need a few beverages first in order to acquire the illusion of sophistication required to consume something like this.

Ah, the Black Russian. Three parts vodka and two parts Kahlua, with a splash of Coke if I want to make it a Dirty Black Russian (which of course I do). Invented by Gustave Tops at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels, this beverage was tragically not named after an actual black Russian, but instead after the darkness of the drink and the fact that vodka is a Russian classic.

There are other Russians behind the bar, of course. You’ve got your White Russian with a dash of cream, the drink of The Dude and notoriously not advised for one as lactose intolerant as myself. The Brown Russian is served in a highball glass and topped off with ginger ale. An Irish Russian features a hearty glop of Guinness stout, which really goes with just about anything. Then there’s the Vader – a Black Russian with a shot of Jägermeister, because Darth was all about the Jäger. This is getting out of control. Let’s move on.

Here’s a drink I can’t refuse. The Godfather: two parts scotch and two parts amaretto. Sounds gross. I think this cocktail sleeps with the fishes. No one knows why this drink is called a Godfather, except that maybe it has to do with amaretto being an Italian liqueur. Hmm. I say leave this drink, take the cannoli.

The Godmother is the same drink, but with vodka instead of scotch. Not sure why vodka cuts the balls off this drink, but I’m already thirsty for something different.

Before we put away the amaretto, let’s sample a French Connection, using equal parts amaretto and Cognac, served over ice. This is the kind of drink that wants to get inside your pants. Be careful with these. This drink will tie you to the bed, stand across the room and throw pasta at you while calling you names in Hebrew. One too many French Connections and you may come to regret it, and regret yourself for being you.

Also, why do amaretto drinks get named after 1970s films?

Alright, barkeep. Let’s not be stingy on this next one.

Okay, the Rusty Nail is up next. I like a drink that sounds like it might give you tetanus. You know, if I didn’t label these photos as I acquired them I could probably just mix up the order and no one would notice. I’m just saying, they’re all amber liquids in a glass, mostly with ice.

The Rusty Nail is made with nine parts scotch and five parts Drambuie liqueur. Seriously? I’m rotten with fractions, especially after five cocktails. The only way I’m mixing a 9:5 ratio drink is by making fourteen ounces of it. I’m going to end up with more Rusty Nails than the baseboards of a south-Chicago crackhouse. Maybe I should rethink reason #1 – Monday might not be the best night for this much liquor.

Here we go. The Vodka Gimlet – finally a drink that looks a little different. Vodka and lime juice, complete with blended mint leaves. Whoa, who came up with the idea of blending mint leaves into a drink? Is there any record of any human being ever who wanted to see green leafy bits floating in their sixth cocktail of the night? I’m guessing no.

The term ‘gimlet’ may have come from a number of sources. There is a tool used for drilling tiny holes, also known as a gimlet. ‘gmlt’ in telegraph shorthand means ‘give my love to’ – it might have come from that. Also, the drink may have been named after British Royal Navy surgeon Sir Thomas D. Gimlette, who allegedly gave this drink to the guys on his crew because the lime juice would fight off scurvy. I like a drink with a messy backstory.

Hey, someone left the Kahlua on the bar. Give me two cocktail glasses, each with some Kahlua. Mix in some tequila in one to make a Brave Bull, and some brandy in the other for a Dirty Mother. Pour them both together to make a Dirty Brave Mother-Bull, then drink it back before anyone figures out what you did.

It’d take a while to live that one down.

Finally, when all potential shame has been drained from the evening and there’s simply no face left to lose, it’s time for a Green Hornet. Also known as a form of ‘Stinger’, this is Crème de Menthe mixed with brandy, a sweet concoction that tastes like liquid hangover.

The original Stinger, which is generally white Crème de Menthe with brandy, is served as a nightcap. That’s perfect – any more tonight and I’ll be off work for a week to recover.

Wait, that’s not such a bad idea. Maybe it’s time to invent something of my own – I’m thinking amaretto and Sambuca. I’ll call it a Dog Day Afternoon.


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