Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A drink with no name

Friends who invent cocktails rank high in the fidelity department. These are friends that will have to go a long way to sour my devotion to them.

With the wives inside creating Wii avatars, Jeff and I took to the hot tub for a mid-winter, post dinner soak. The cold air was still blowing wood smoke from the nearby grill. Jeff handles his Hasty-Bake with aplomb, and the smoked chicken, pasta, bread and salad were settling in just fine, aided in no small part by Jeff's newest, no-name cocktail.

"It's one-and-a-half gin," Jeff said, "1 orange juice, 1 cranberry juice, half grenadine." He sipped. "It needs a name."

Since it had a slow, sweet, lingering knack to it, we went for something deep-South in feeling. "The Magnolia," he said.

But I found a Magnolia online. And then, online, I found iDrink, a mix-it-yourself cocktail nation. I entered the ingredients and, after a minute, a couple of dozen drinks fitting my profile came up. They were ranked, not by precision of ingredients but by success among drinkers who had tasted them. The top five:

Brian's Honey Getter, which sounded as if it had promise, Jeff calling his new concoction a "chick drink." But the proportions were off – more juice than gin – and it lacked the essential grenadine.

Gin Sunsplash relied on orange juice alone for its color. Perhaps a Gin Sunsetsplash might have gotten us there.

A Redheaded Rampage is 3 gin to 1 grenadine. Simply a shot, in name and ratio.

A real find, Juniper Hat Trickxcx calls for half-ounce each of gin, Becherovka and Borovicka, juniper-based liquors hailing from Czech and Slovak origins, respectively.

Forget the fifth. The fifth had us downing a bottle of gin and then wrestling the nearest at the bar. I won't distinguish it any further.

I plugged Jeff's second choice for a name into iDrink and it came up empty. Hence, below, The Sedaris, which is about as deep-South as a tankard of eiswein, but here you have it:

1.5 parts gin
1 part orange juice
1 part cranberry juice
.5 part grenadine

Shake over ice and strain into a cordial glass (or an old-school style – meaning small – martini glass).

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