Mixology Monday XXXII: Guilty Pleasures


I have been traveling around too much to be in Mixology Monday mode recently.  Unfortunately I missed the last one on 19th Century cocktails.  How did I manage to miss that?  It sounded great.  Ahh. . .the travails of travel.

Anyway, this time round the theme is Guilty Pleasures, hosted by Two at the Most.  The main idea behind the theme seems to be ‘comfort cocktails’, similar to ‘comfort food’. There is also a suggestion that it could include drinks that appeal a poorly educated palate.  Hmm. . .

Forgive me if I randomly muse rather than picking a single drink.

OK, what I’m really going to do is smack you in the face with a Bunnyhug.  However, I’ll soften the blow by first musing on cream, creme de menthe, and other inoffensive things.

The White Russian immediately came to mind when I thought about ‘comfort cocktails’, but I see Dr. Bamboo has already covered it.  There is nothing too special about a White Russian though.  When you are in the mood for a White Russian just about any sweet and creamy drink might do equally well.  Perhaps the ideal time for these drinks is when watching a DVD at home on a winter evening.  A Brandy Alexander is great, and so is the original Alexander Cocktail (simply substitute gin for the brandy).  Tossing aside any pretense of sophistication, I also have to admit possessing a soft spot for a Grasshopper (creme de cacao, creme de menthe and cream).  My incredibly discerning palate means I find a mixture of two liqueurs and cream slightly sweet.  This is where vodka becomes my friend.  A slosh of vodka cuts the sweetness and boosts the octane.  The ideal proportions for these drinks depend on how you are feeling and how heavy your cream is, but equal parts is a good place to start.

I have a weakness for creme de menthe.  The taste might be sweet and one dimensional, but there is a pleasant simplicity about it, plus a gratifyingly lurid greenness.  Creme de menthe harks back to a simpler age.  Just possibly the whole concept also worked better pre-toothpaste.  Part of the appeal for me is probably that creme de menthe was the first liqueur I was ever properly served (stealing a bottle of Chartreuse as a toddler doesn’t count since I forgot to nick glassware).  I was maybe seven or eight years old or so at the time, and watching Murder on the Orient Express on television.  Hercule Poirot was sitting in the train dining car drinking a glass of green stuff.  Clearly this was something I needed to do myself at some stage.  I asked my father what the famous Belgian detective was drinking and within seconds I had a matching drink, right down to the glass.  I have trouble thinking of a really great cocktail that requires creme de menthe, but how can a bar be complete without a bottle of the green stuff?  It has to be there, even if you just pick it up and admire the color occasionally.

Anyway, before I got sidetracked by creme de menthe I was going to give a shout for the Bunnyhug.  For some reason everybody hates this drink.  I admit the Bunnyhug has a rough edge or two, and perhaps my palate could be more refined, but really, for pure abrasive flavorsomeness the Bunnyhug has few equals.  Another drink that comes close is the Asylum Cocktail.

I no longer drink the Bunnyhug often, but I think both it and the Asylum have a place.  The Bunnyhug is more of a flavorsome pick-me-up, an ill-advised strategy for grappling with a major life crisis, or something to order in a bar that can’t mix drinks.  I am less sure about the Asylum.  Given the visual effect I guess you could consider it an alcoholic’s Tequila Sunrise, save it as  shock therapy for a friend whose addiction to colorful umbrella drinks is annoying you, or treat it as an entry level Bunnyhug.

One Response to “Mixology Monday XXXII: Guilty Pleasures”

  1. Michael Says:

    A truly great cocktail requiring creme de menthe? Why fie and tish, you ought to think longer or smarter…The Grasshopper family of cocktails.

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