Hello my drinking buddies, and welcome back to "That One Drink," your favorite place to chat about all things booze. Last week we raised our virtual glasses to that one drink we can always turn to, and the winner was a beverage I will be drinking all throughout the spring and summer months.
I like Hendrick's gin and tonic with *cubed* cucumber and a couple of drops of grapefruit bitters. I guess it's kind of douchey, but I always have those things around.
This. Was. Perfect. I don't know if you know this about me, but I absolutely stan for Hendrick's. It's my favorite gin, mostly because I love cucumber, and it is packed with cucumber flavor. (I also just like things from Scotland: like snacks and men.)
The classic G&T ratio is one part gin to three parts tonic, but I prefer a 50/50 kind of deal. To make Dana Scully's delicious, not at all douchey libation, I just poured the two liquids over ice, threw in some little cucumber cubes, dashed in the bitters, and gave it a swirl.
The result was sunshine in a lowball. I love love love gin and grapefruit, and the bitters were a good way to get some subtle citrus in there without any juice. In short, this was a really ace cocktail, and I recommend it to all of my friends.
I know I said I was going to mix up the trophies in this column, but I can't help myself; I love "giving out" songs. Like Hendrick's itself, the very first trophy of That One Drink hails from Scotland. (Side note: baby Edwyn Collins is just the most adorable.)
Next drink. This week we're going to do a review rather than a recipe, so I hope you enjoy it. (Truth be told, when discussing wine, I'm somewhere in between April Ludgate and Craig Middlebrooks, but that doesn't keep me from drinking a whole bunch of it.)
Though I know it to be untrue, I like to pretend that I'm relatively unaffected by marketing when it comes to choosing a drink, but sometimes something is just so perfectly named, I can't pass it up. Such was the case with a cocktail called "Through the Past Darkly," and such is the case with the following offerings from SLO Down Wines:
Basically, what we have here are the two possible scenarios for Valentine's Day, and I'm very much into it. I'm also really into the idea of offering someone a glass of "broken dreams" or throwing a glass of "broken dreams" in someones face. The fun really never ends. If I were to describe either of these wines in a single word, that word would be "accessible." Both make for very easy drinking, which is why I don't feel so great as I write this.
Broken Dreams is a Chardonnay, but it's neither buttery nor oaky, which were the two things I thought Chardonnays usually were. Instead, I got a lot of fruit, mostly of the tropical variety, which is nice. "Clean," "sunny," and "acidic" were the other words that came to mind, which are all words that I like. I liked it. I would buy it and drink it again, and I think I'm going to buy my sister a bottle when she graduates college this spring. ("Hahaha there are no jobs here is a bottle of Broken Dreams!")
Oh, and if you're wondering why those monkeys are so sad (besides the fact that they're in chains), it's because their Warhol-esque banana is melting.
The red offering from SLO Down is Sexual Chocolate, a blend with a very verbose label.
It's interesting that Brandon (the founder of SLO Down wines) suggests drinking this on a Wednesday, because that is exactly what I did and it hurt a little bit. (What Brandon didn't' suggest was following Sexual Chocolate up with a beer and three cocktails, and that may be where I actually went wrong.) I didn't pair it with pizza (another one of Brandon's suggestions), but with spaghetti and a simple marinara, and I'm happy to report that it worked quite well.
Did you guys ever make "suicides" at the soda machine? It always seemed like a bit of an intense name for a bunch of sodas in one cup, but there was something thrilling about it. Mixing orange Fanta with Diet Coke? What kind of reckless mad woman would do such a thing?
Anyway, this blend kind of reminded me of a soda suicide. Like my fountain drink creations, all of the various grapes kind of blended together into one, slightly generic beverage. The main flavor I got was "red wine," which isn't a bad thing, and it was very drinkable, but no one flavor stood out in any major way. (Of course, I'm sure someone with a more refined palate could pick out "hints of pencil lead" or something, but I'm just being honest with you about what I tasted.) I don't know how sexual it tasted, but it did have a nice bit of chocolate at the end, more milk than dark. I also tasted some grape jelly and cherries. This guy said he tasted "forest floor," but I don't believe him.
I would buy this again if I needed a good "food wine," because it's big enough to hold up against heartier foods, but not so tannic that you feel vaguely dehydrated. I love a tannic red, but sometimes I feel like I need a jug of water to go along with it.
So Broken Dreams and Sexual Chocolate are not only wonderfully named, but pretty damn decent. I prefer the white (surprising), but both are smooth and easy-drinking, making them perfect for my favorite activity: drinking in the bathtub.
Now it's your turn. What bottle, cocktail, or beer did you last purchase because of the name? Did it live up to your expectations? Would you buy it again? Alternate assignment: if you have a cocktail of your own creation that has a fun name, give that a share!