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Home » Culture and Criticism

The NC Double Shot Round of 64, Flight 2: Co-H

Submitted by on May 18, 2011 – 9:20 AM37 Comments

Today's write-ups by Keckler. Confused? Click here. To refresh your memory on ingredients, we recommend Google.

1 Gin and Tonic vs. 16 French 75. See, this is a sucky match-up because I love both of these for entirely different reasons. GnT because it's basic, it's my house drink, and the Fever-Tree line of mixers is without equal. (Also, if you're of the lady leanings, gin-and-tonics are an old-school-wives' remedy for cramps. Just putting that out there.) ["If you're of any leanings at all, try mixing one in a pint glass the way my dad does it. It's the same amount of booze, but something about it, whether it's the more ice or the greater surface area, makes it incredibly refreshing." -- Bunting] Buuut, I love the French 75! It's so lovely with the Champagne and the brandy (originally gin) and the fresh lemon…AND it's featured in Casablanca, which has that scene of Victor Laszlo leading the band in "La Marseillaise" in order to shout down the fat Nazis, and I'm going to cry right here and now. Siiiiigh. G-n-T is going to get the popular vote here, but you all owe it to yourselves to order a French 75 next time you see it on a menu.

1 Gin and Tonic vs. 16 French 75

  • Gin and Tonic (68%, 400 Votes)
  • French 75 (32%, 184 Votes)

Total Voters: 584

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8 Greyhound / Salty Dog vs. 9 Hot Toddy. Wow, this is summer-versus-winter tipple for me. Edgy, slightly bitter, and made with gin, Greyhounds are my kind of drink. Adding a salt rim to the Dog just makes it better. (Also, I firmly believe Hound or Dog are both drinks that should be made with either fresh-squeezed or Fizzy Lizzy's grapefruit juice. You'll thank me later.) However, Mathra's Hot Toddy has cured me of way too many bad colds for me to toss it aside…UGH! I judge this too close to call, and trust the readers of Grub Report and Tomato Nation to make the right decision.

8 Greyhound / Salty Dog vs. 9 Hot Toddy

  • Hot Toddy (54%, 309 Votes)
  • Greyhound / Salty Dog (46%, 259 Votes)

Total Voters: 568

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5 Daiquiri vs. 12 Gin Buck. All the Papa Hemingway fans will flock in to defend the character of his signature drink in the same way that annoying chick in my 20th Century Lit class defended Brett Ashley as a hero instead of admitting that Brett was really kind of a douche. ["I always thought of absinthe as his signature drink. No?" -- Bunting] And I'm one of those drink defenders. Now, I'm not the biggest Hemingway fan (only his true fans can call him "Papa" without having their skin crawl), but the man did love his cats, his turtlenecks, and a good drink. I respect all of that and I love the classic (not blended) daiquiri. Whether you choose to add Hemingway's addition of grapefruit juice or not, the daiquiri is one of the cleanest drinks out there in terms of simplicity, ingredients, and flavor, and I'm definitely a "less is more" girl when it comes to cocktails. The Gin Buck is also nice and simple — though I'd sub ginger beer for the ale, personally — and I enjoy it enormously, but it's not well-known enough to pull off a win here.

5 Daiquiri vs. 12 Gin Buck

  • Daiquiri (86%, 496 Votes)
  • Gin Buck (14%, 83 Votes)

Total Voters: 579

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4 Frootinis vs. 13 Eggnog. I only like eggnog once a year, and even then it's a one-drink maximum for me. I usually add brandy or dark rum and grate some nutmeg across the top. That said, I recognize how gross it is. First of all, there's "egg" in it, which is hewful enough for me, but then there's "nog." I know what "nog" means, but "nog" still sounds like the noise you make when you realize you're drinking something with egg in it. I think eggnog has some major supporters, but they're no match for the legion of Appletini, Pomtini, etc. fans Sex and the City spawned all over us.

4 Frootinis vs. 13 Eggnog

  • Frootinis (62%, 351 Votes)
  • Eggnog (38%, 219 Votes)

Total Voters: 570

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6 Dark and Stormy vs. 11 Hurricane. Guys, we totally did NOT intentionally pit the weather drinks against each other. It is kind of a cool happenstance, though. I'll have to look up what's in a Hurricane because I don't think I've ever had one, but it really doesn't matter because Dark and Stormys are another major favorite of mine. On the other hand, how can you resist the French Quarter drink that was so popular, a special glass was invented especially for it? Both of these are rum-based, but I think the perfectly layered Dark and Stormy is irresistible. Sailors say the layering is supposed to look like a stormy sea, but they're probably just drunk. I think East Coast sailors will outnumber the NOLA fans on this one and carry Dark and Stormy through to the next round.

6 Dark and Stormy vs. 11 Hurricane

  • Dark and Stormy (54%, 297 Votes)
  • Hurricane (46%, 257 Votes)

Total Voters: 554

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3 Cuba Libre / Rum and Coke vs. 14 Grasshopper. Every time I drink a Grasshopper, I feel like Mrs. Havisham, but instead of moldering away in an old wedding dress, it's an old Girl Scout uniform. Gross all around. Every time I drink a Cube Libre, I feel like overthrowing some government, but I'm sure that's just because I've been hypnotized by the origin story Bacardi has been peddling. Which…doesn't quite ring true if you take Coca-Cola's Cuban history into account. Grasshoppers are popular enough that I hear people ordering them on a regular basis — usually as an after-dinner drink or a dessert stand-in — so an upset wouldn't surprise me. I'm calling it for Cuba, but it won't be a walkover.

3 Cuba Libre / Rum and Coke vs. 14 Grasshopper

  • Cuba Libre / Rum and Coke (87%, 515 Votes)
  • Grasshopper (13%, 78 Votes)

Total Voters: 593

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7 Gimlet vs. 10 Hot Buttered Rum. While Hot Buttered Rum sounds like a perfectly delicious and warming idea, the result is…not so much. Mathra made me a HBR back when we lived in Boston, and it was good, but the butter leaves a path on the drink's surface that makes you think you're drinking an oil slick. Furthermore, a cocktail that you feel moved to drink only a few months out of the year is always going to lose to one you'll easily drink in any kind of weather. Although I should add that the typical Bay Area start to spring/summer/fall/winter is currently making me wish I had my hands wrapped around a mug of hot oil slick right now. Still, the Gimlet will take it.

7 Gimlet vs. 10 Hot Buttered Rum

  • Gimlet (80%, 434 Votes)
  • Hot Buttered Rum (20%, 109 Votes)

Total Voters: 543

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2 Cosmopolitan vs. 15 Harvey Wallbanger. Let's get his out of the way: Harvey Wallbanger. THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID! Now I can move on, and say that there's almost no point in debating this match-up. I've never set lips on a Harvey Wallbanger, but they must be as fun to order as Bahama Mamas are embarrassing even if HBs sound atrocious. The story behind a HW is pretty awesome, though. Apparently there was this brah named Harvey, and after a bogus day getting seriously hammered by some gnarly swells, he liked to chill with this drink he made up: a Galliano-laced Screwdriver. After downing few of these, brah totally staggered into walls, hence the name. Pretty stories aside, we all know Harvey Wallbangers will get worked by the day-glo Cosmo. (Keckler's surferese provided by: Surfer Lingo.)

2 Cosmopolitan vs. 15 Harvey Wallbanger

  • Cosmopolitan (72%, 416 Votes)
  • Harvey Wallbanger (28%, 158 Votes)

Total Voters: 574

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37 Comments »

  • Jeanne says:

    I think tonic water tastes like ass, so I must vote against the gin & tonic. Gin and Sprite on the other hand, is awesome. At my brother's wedding one of the groomsmen kept buying them for me and they were quite tasty. That was one of the few perks of being a bridesmaid, my brother's drunk friends buying me drinks all night.

  • Jinxie says:

    Greyhound v. Hot Toddy?? You're killing me with these match-ups! The Hot Toddy is the only thing that keeps me warm all winter without blowing my savings on my power bill, but the Greyhound! Ugh, it's so delicious (especially with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, mmmmm).

  • meredithea says:

    Gin FTW! (Seriously, I can't stand rum.) Gin & tonics are two icky tastes that taste great together!

  • Dsayko says:

    Mmm, grasshopper. Andes mint in a glass. Yum.

  • Sharon says:

    That last matchup was a toughie. I mean, anything with orange juice in it is absolutely TOXIC; on the other hand, the Cosmo is so '90's. I voted Cosmo only because I make a mean one with aloe juice instead of cranberry.

  • Shanna says:

    Seriously. The Greyhound/Hot Toddy choice was BRUTAL.

  • Dorine says:

    The genius of the Harvey Wallbanger is that, with the right mix, one can keep drinking them all night long with little or no effects the next morning. Well, this one can, anyway.

    And, it doesn't matter what goes up against the 'nog; I'll vote for anything else just to see that ickiness go away.

  • Karen says:

    Greyhound/Salty Dog is being pounded by Hot Toddy?! Really?? Ew.

  • Elisa says:

    Wow. This makes me realize I know NOTHING about alchohol. At all. And that I don't drink anything but the occasional beer and margaritas. Am going to go take a class now….

  • KTB says:

    NOOOO! Gin and Tonic vs. French 75?? That is a total Sophie's Choice for me. I love G&Ts so much that I make my own tonic syrup/water (which is delicious, by the way. @Jeanne, you might hate store-bought tonic, but homemade is a whole different ballgame), but I order the French 75 every single time I see it on the menu.

    And eggnog is also a strictly homemade drink for me–I cannot stand store-bought eggnog, even with tons of booze in it.

  • Krissa says:

    Dark and Stormy is my most favorite drink ever. If one has not tried it, one must forthwith! And then vote!

  • annabel says:

    Wow, there is practically nothing in this flight that I ever drink. I'm nervous about the next one though, all those M drinks (margarita! mojito! mimosa! martini!), plus julep and something else I don't remember from the initial voting, and I know I will have to make at least one Sophie's Choice

  • Fiona's Mum says:

    I just cannot drink gin. It tastes like pine trees in a bottle. Blergh.

  • Keckler says:

    @KTB You make your own tonic? That is awesome. Imbibe Magazine had a recipe for it once but it looked incredibly labor-intensive.

  • Anti-Leah says:

    Oh man. I had to vote for the Harvey Wallbanger just because of my aunt's most delicious Harvey Wallbanger cake recipe that I now make every year! The cake is so awesome and moist and delicious, and then you also get to make a Harvey Wallbanger drink while you make it! Win/win!

    I'm sad I had to vote against the French 75, because they are so good, but G&T's are my go-to drink! And I've recently discovered the "dirty" G&T, which is yummy Hendrick's Gin, tonic, a splash of olive juice, and skewered olives instead of lime. YUMSIES!

  • Cate says:

    I have to keep reminding myself to open my mind to making these at home. When I go out, I have a strict rule to never order anything with more than two ingredients. It's hard for even the most grizzled bartender to screw up a G&T (and if the people in front of you order excessively complicated drinks, the bartender will probably reward your easy order with an extra half glass of gin).

  • Keckler says:

    @Anti-Leah Hendrick's is awesome. Have you tried Tanq 10 or Bluecoat? Junipero (from Anchor) and Gin 209 are both lovely SF gins and definitely I'm just incredibly bummer they're no longer making Sarticious.

  • Cara says:

    I've had to read an unfortunate amount of Hemingway. Brett Ashley is a douche but so are most of Hemingway's other protagonists. They can form their own rival gang to the Girls' Bike Club.

    @Anti-Leah: Could you possibly post the Harvey Wallbanger cake recipe? Because it sounds kind of awesome.

    @Fiona's Mum: That is the exact reason why I don't really like any gin except Hendrick's. It's more cucumber-y.

  • MizShrew says:

    How is it possible that I have not heard of a Gin Buck until now? When I worked for two years in a supper club? Must try immediately! OK, I'll wait until after work, but still.

  • Meri says:

    Daiquiris! My second favorite drink! Fruit and rum and ice cold! Now I want one. Drat this contest anyway- I'm trying to lose weight, which means NOT trying all the new drinks I'm learning about.

  • Caitlin M says:

    I'm sad I had to vote against the French 75, because they are so good, but G&T's are my go-to drink!

    No kidding, me too. But try a French 75 with a float of Grand Marnier. Delicious.

    My understanding is the opposite of what Keckler says, that the French 75 initally was made with Cognac, but is now generally made with gin. I've only ever seen or had them with gin.

    This flight is full of drinks I love. Must be all the gin.

  • Caitlin M says:

    Regarding homemade tonic, this is the one I intend to try, and it's not too labor intensive: http://www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com/2008/how-to-make-your-own-tonic-water/

    For inexpensive, Whole Foods 365 is pretty good, made with cane sugar.

  • Keckler says:

    @Caitlin M I'm willing to be convinced, but you might have to argue with Dale DeGroff when he explains how and when the drink came about during WWI. In The Craft of the Cocktail, DeGroff notes that it was originally created with gin but that brandy became the more popular choice.

  • DuchessKitty says:

    AAARRGGHHH! So many hard match-ups for me in this round. I can't believe this means that many of favorite drinks will be out of the competition so soon. Damn.
    I do want to defend Harvey Wallbangers a little; served in a big glass over a ton of crushed ice, sipping through a straw lying in the sun? Total heaven. Especially combined with the that slight coconut smell of suntan lotion.

  • Liz says:

    I second (third, fourth, whatev) the home-made tonic – try a g&t (or make one of your friend's get one & have a sip) at a bar where they make their own – it's a revelation compared to Schwepp's. I make my own sometimes & it's not actually that labor intensive! Just put all the stuff in a pot & boil until it's a syrup, then run it through coffee filters to remove the solids (quinine). The hardest part is finding the ingredients, but they can be easily had online. Here's the recipe I sometimes use:
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2007/08/22/homemade-tonic-water/

    And Dark & Stormys are the best!! Make sure they're made with Gosling's rum & ginger *beer* – don't let 'em try to slip a Bacardi & ginger ale past ya.

  • Keckler says:

    @Liz: I second that Gosling and ginger beer rec. And it should be the spiciest ginger beer you can find so it slightly burns your lips when you drink it.

    After moving from MA — where Goya was the ultimate in spicy ginger beers — we had a hard time finding a replacement in CA. It was a loooong search: http://www.grubreport.com/blueplatespecial/darkandstormy.html

    Belvoir did us fine for awhile, but then Fever-Tree came along and that was it for us.

  • Anti-Leah says:

    @Keckler, I haven't tried those gins, I'll have to note them down. I like the herbier gins.

    @Cara, I thought I'd have to wait until I got home to hunt up the recipe, but I remembered I posted it online at my old livejournal so I looked it up and found it!

    No judging! It's made by tarting up boxed cake, but it's so good and easy, I don't care!

    Harvey Wallbanger Cake

    1 box yellow cake mix with "pudding in the mix"
    4 eggs
    1/2 cup oil
    1/4 cup vodka
    1/4 cup Galliano
    3/4 cups orange juice

    Bake 325-350 degrees for 50 minutes in a Bundt pan.

    Sprinkle with powdered sugar while warm.

    Amusingly enough, when my aunt first emailed this to me, she left out a couple of forward slashes and it said 14 cups each of vodka and Galliano. I think the other 13 3/4 cups must be for drinking while you bake.

  • Caitlin M says:

    @Keckler, I'd have a hard time disputing Dale DeGroff, for he is a cocktail god; I've seen many reference to the French 75 going the other way, though, so it appears there's some contention. Nowadays I think it's swung back the gin way, as I only ever see it w/gin on menus and in recipes.

    I've made my own ginger ale syrup using Jean-Georges Vongerichten's recipe, which is quite hot and gingery but not real sweet, and it makes a pretty decent Dark 'n Stormy.

    http://www.thetasteoforegon.com/2010/07/08/homemade-ginger-ale-and-a-dandy-red-wine-cooler/

  • DuchessKitty says:

    @Anti-Leah, thanks for sharing the Harvey Wallbanger cake recipe. I'm seriously going to bake this over the weekend.

  • Jen says:

    A local watering hole makes a "Mark and Stormy" with Maker's Mark bourbon and house-made spicy ginger beer. Beyond amazing.

    I loathe both egg and nog. Just hearing the word causes me to gag and visualize that SportsNight scene where Jeremey tries (and fails) to like eggnog.

  • MelPo says:

    All of you who are hating on eggnog–I'm sorry but you have not had it. That goo they sell in the supermarket in a milk carton is NOT EGGNOG.

    Make Paula Deen's version, with lovely frozen whipped cream, and you will change your mind. I promise! It is good, good, good.

  • Hannah says:

    Sars, when you mentioned mixing gin and tonic in a pint glass, I had a PTSD-type flashback to the .last. time I drank G&Ts, which .used. to be my go-to. Then we tried playing drinking Jenga (at 2 a.m.) with larger-than-recommended G&Ts. And I'm pretty sure I knocked the tower over when I had a full glass. Worst. Hangover. EVER.

    KTB: Bourbon? Homemade tonic? Homemade eggnog? I believe you are my hero.

  • Janie says:

    A local watering hole makes a "Mark and Stormy" with Maker's Mark bourbon and house-made spicy ginger beer. Beyond amazing.

    I am very fond of a bourbon and ginger beer, though I never thought it had a name. <3

  • Cara says:

    @Anti-Leah – Thanks! And you will get no judging from me on the cake mix.

    And count me in as another extra-spicy ginger beer lover. Barritt's, which is supposedly the original ginger beer used in a Dark and Stormy, is not spicy enough for me. I love Goya and if you're ever in the Carolinas, try Blenheim. When they say "hot" they're not kidding around.

  • KTB says:

    @Keckler and @Caitlin–the Jeffrey Morganthaler recipe that Caitlin posted is the recipe I use. It takes maybe 30 minutes, and makes a bunch of tonic syrup. My only advice is that you may not need all of the agave syrup, since it can get pretty sweet. And the french press straining method he recommends is both awesome and foolproof. We served it in G&Ts to a bunch of friends on a camping trip and some swore it was so good, it was a religious experience.

    @Hannah–thanks! My husband actually makes the eggnog, if I'm being fair. I do add lots of Bourbon, though. And your G&T story reminds me of a party we once attended where they had a keg of G&Ts. There should never, ever be a keg of G&Ts. Worst. Hangover. EVER.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    There should never, ever be a keg of G&Ts.

    Overruled.

  • DuchessKitty says:

    Just finished watching an old episode of The Barefoot Contessa and she made Daiquiris in the traditional way and they looked SO GOOD. I'm off the hootch for medical reasons for another month, and up until now I haven't missed it.
    But never have I wanted a cocktail more than after watching Ina pour fresh-squeezed lime juice over dark rum and simple syrup. I die.

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