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Home » Culture and Criticism

The NC Double Shot Round of 64, Flight 3

Submitted by on May 20, 2011 – 10:04 AM39 Comments

Today's write-ups by Sarah D. Bunting. Confused? Click here. Don't know the ingredients? Google, baby.

1 Martini / Gibson vs. 16 Pink Lady. I used to have a boyfriend who refused to eat potato salad because it had too many white things in it all together. The potato and the egg and the onion…he couldn't deal with it. Everyone has their weird food whatevers, but I never understood that one until reading the ingredients in a Pink Lady. Cream and egg white? And grenadine? The drink looks delicious and chic on those diner placemats, and hat tip to the Pink Ladies in Grease, but the recipe is gnarly, and even if it sounded okay, oh my God I love a dirty vodka Gibson so much. I don't drink martinis often — it's, like, twice a year — but it's a classic drink, and it is so elegant just to look at, the angles of the glass and the toothpick and the round olives or onions. Put on a dark red lipstick, get a half dozen oysters to go with, and you feel like a real big shot. It's not just a drink; it's a costume, kind of. A story waiting to happen. ["I concur. A martini -- gin is my preferred kick -- is pure and clean. Pink Lady is the exact opposite, all unnecessary frills and pouff." -- Keckler]

That story sometimes takes the form of an instructional manual on how to get fucked up fast on a hot day, but no matter what the weather, the Pink Lady is getting fucked up for real. Martini/Gibson by a landslide.

1 Martini / Gibson vs. 16 Pink Lady

  • Martini / Gibson (91%, 544 Votes)
  • Pink Lady (9%, 53 Votes)

Total Voters: 597

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8 Lemon Drop vs. 9 Mimosa. I didn't know the Lemon Drop came in proper grown-up cocktail form. I've always known it as a shot, and it is that shot, and its 14 brethren, that inspired me to test my heterosexuality by making out with a lady in the bathroom of a Gramercy dive "for science." Maybe it wasn't the Lemon Drops — she had very shiny hair — but that is one delicious drink. ["Did you make out with Buffy Summers's sister or something?" -- Keckler] So is the Mimosa, though, and it's a brunch standard; it's probably considered classier than the Drop, or at the very least less likely to lead to Darwin-Awardian adventures at the Groggy Beaver or whatever the hell that shithole was called. As we've noted before, though, some people loathe champers, so I don't know what wins. Probably the Mimosa.

8 Lemon Drop vs. 9 Mimosa

  • Mimosa (70%, 450 Votes)
  • Lemon Drop (30%, 195 Votes)

Total Voters: 645

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5 Pina Colada vs. 12 Mai Tai. I loved a Colada back in the day, and if you can only order one drink at the float-up bar in your hotel pool that has rapids in it, it's obviously that one. But I find them too sweet now, and given a choice, I'd probably go with a Mai Tai — or, as Mr. Stupidhead called it when ordering one at a float-up bar at age 15, a "Tai Mai." He got it, too, little bastard. I think it's a closer race than the rankings suggest, with Coladas prevailing in the end.

5 Pina Colada vs. 12 Mai Tai

  • Mai Tai (52%, 323 Votes)
  • Pina Colada (48%, 296 Votes)

Total Voters: 619

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4 Pimm's Cup vs. 13 Mint Julep. I love bourbon; I love most "muddle" drinks; I don't like juleps at all. They've got a spoiled-toothpaste thing going on, and the aftertaste is just icky. ["The first time I ordered a Mint Julep, I wasn't expecting something so…rubbing-alcohol-tasting. Now, I've grown to love them. But not more than Pimm's. After all, I am that kind of annoying Anglophiliac." -- Keckler] Sorry, Kentucky Derby — it's Pimm's Cup all the way. I had a Cup with blackberries subbed in once and I nearly fainted from joy; I just love them. Pimm's for the win.

4 Pimm's Cup vs. 13 Mint Julep

  • Pimm's Cup (71%, 407 Votes)
  • Mint Julep (29%, 163 Votes)

Total Voters: 570

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6 Long Island Iced Tea vs. 11 Kir Royale. I've never quaffed an LIT that wasn't a dog's breakfast of whatever cheap booze we had left over from a college formal, dumped into a plastic pitcher with a squirt of flat Pepsi on top and downed for the sole purpose of getting drunk in a hurry. I've never had a well-mixed one, and even if I had, I'd prefer the Kir — but it's an acquired taste and doesn't have much staying power (i.e., one's usually enough). This one belongs to the Guyland.

6 Long Island Iced Tea vs. 11 Kir Royale

  • Long Island Iced Tea (53%, 318 Votes)
  • Kir Royale (47%, 281 Votes)

Total Voters: 599

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3 Manhattan vs. 14 Old-Fashioned. Both drinks my dad orders all the time, but modded with bourbon. I like Old-Fashioneds okay, though it depends on the mix, and while a good one is really good, alternating sweet notes and starchier ones, a bad one is just sticky and kind of rancid. (The maraschino is a harsh master.) But a bourbon Manhattan is truly heavenly, and happily it's very tough to fuck it up. Not a huge difference between these drinks, really, but Manhattan wins.

3 Manhattan vs. 14 Old-Fashioned

  • Manhattan (77%, 401 Votes)
  • Old-Fashioned (23%, 123 Votes)

Total Voters: 524

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7 Irish Coffee vs. 10 Margarita. Another hot-weather/cold-weather choice — sorry! — but for me it's an easy one. Unlike my esteemed colleague, I have no use for hot booze; my idea of a "toddy" is a shot of applejack with a tea chaser. It's just not my thing. Regardless of season, I prefer margaritae, especially the classic salted-rocks-highball verzh. I don't remember why we ranked it as low as we did, but we'll live to regret it, I think. ["My excuse for any and all mistakes in this bracket is: 'We were drunk.' 'But Keckler, it was 10:30 in the morning!' 'Shut up, Bunting!' We were drunk." -- Keckler] Margarita wins easily.

7 Irish Coffee vs. 10 Margarita

  • Margarita (82%, 525 Votes)
  • Irish Coffee (18%, 113 Votes)

Total Voters: 638

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2 Mojito vs. 15 Kamikaze. I have never, not once, seen or heard anyone order, or drink, a Kamikaze since I graduated from college. Then again, in college, we didn't drink Kamikazes, so much. We reclined in Barcaloungers while fratty bubelatties poured the ingredients directly into our faceholes and yelled, "KAMIKAZEEEEEEEEEEEE!" We survived Kamikazes. That said, they sound…kind of good! I don't love the aftertaste notes of vodka and Triple Sec separately, so together, it could get barfy, but I might try one soon and see how it goes — if only to commemorate the Kamikaze's short stay in the NC Double Shot, because the Mojito is going to flatten it, and rightly so.

2 Mojito vs. 15 Kamikaze

  • Mojito (85%, 527 Votes)
  • Kamikaze (15%, 94 Votes)

Total Voters: 621

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39 Comments »

  • Claire says:

    Oh my god, Sars, I am so with you on mint juleps tasting like bad toothpaste. My roommate made one for me and I thought that she had secretly given me extra-boozy mouthwash as a joke.

    Blackberries are going into my next Pimm's IMMEDIATELY.

  • attica says:

    The last kamikaze I had was when I was well past college. A tough week at work, one happy hour cocktail turned into, like, fifty and the kams came out. (After mudslides, go figure.) I don't know how I emerged from that night as well as I did. (And I'm still annoyed that our table of six heavy drinkers did not get a single buy-back from the 'tender. Fuck that guy.)

    But, yeah, mojitos are getting my vote in that category. Sorry, kams.

  • Hannah says:

    I'm curious if the Lemon Drop cocktail has as many variations as the shot, which somehow became our go-to, last-call, shot-and-the-check-please order. Regular vodka or lemon? Sugar or mixer? Sugar on the glass? (And BTW, I could .swear. that at some point someone told me that the proper order for that shot was the opposite of tequila: lemon, then shot, then sugar–because the lemon, by comparison, makes the shot taste sweeter…? Or something? But now no one believes me and I'm starting to think it was a vodka-fueled hallucination.)

    Also: "…that caused me to test my heterosexuality…" HA! In lieu of a lemon drop, we have sometimes ordered a shot created by (and named for)our favorite bartender: Kara's Vagina. It tastes like Skittles and moves you to shout across the bar, "KARA I LOVE YOUR VAGINA!"

  • Nick says:

    Apparently all my favorite drinks start with the letter M. The choices were easy this round, but it is going to be heart-breaking to make the call between margaritas, mojitos, manhattans, and martinis when the time comes.

  • Dorine says:

    Mmm, margarita. Rocks, no salt. I love a good one when I find it, but I even like the cheap mix-y ones.

    During the winter, I drink wine (or Manhattans — this is my favorite flight!), but for me summer is margarita season. One of the hardest things about finding out I was pregnant last June was missing an entire summer of margaritas!

  • Liz says:

    Oh no, I can't vote!! Me so sad. Although I'm with the majority for most of these, except I so go for Pina Coladas, and I can't rightly vote for Manhattan or Old Fashioned as brown liquor & I had a falling out some years ago & the terms of treaty were that I would never again let brown liquor pass my lips.

    I kind of want a kamikaze now.

  • K. says:

    @Hannah: my name is Kara, so that comment was … interesting for me to read.

    I loves me a mojito. Sitting at an outdoor restaurant on a summer evening, sipping one with a meal is a great way to spend time. I don't order them at bars, only restaurants, because they're labor-intensive (if done right). They're my favorite warm-weather drink.

    A well-made LIT is actually delicious, but Kir Royales remind me of my semester abroad in Paris, where we all drank them and tried to be sophisticated. They're yummy but I don't see them lasting.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Liz, try clearing your cache.

  • Jeanne says:

    I hate mojitos. Really hate them. I had a sip of one once, and it tasted like barf so I couldn't finish it. I only just discovered the kamikaze last week (guess who was huge square in college?) and I thought it was pretty good. I make the cocktail version though.

    Ah, margaritas. On the rocks, no salt. No mixes. Heavenly.

  • Tarn says:

    Mmm…mojitos. A local restaurant used to make a marionberry mojito that was the absolute best thing in the world.

    Everyone and their mother loves margaritas but me. I have too much of a painful history with the evil bastardo tequila, I think. One taste and it all comes rushing back (or, y'know, up).

  • Brandi says:

    I don't like Martini's, but the Pink Lady sounded so gross I had to vote against it. Egg whites? Really?!? Bleh!

    The only lemon drop i've ever had was the shot with lemon vodka and sugar on the rim and it BURNED! I followed it with a buttery nipple and fell in love! So yeah, Mimosa all the way on that one.

  • K. says:

    @Tarn: I will only drink tequila in margaritas. I lost one weekend in college to tequila shots and ever since then … bleargh. I will murder a margarita (no salt), though.

  • Carrie Ann says:

    "Regardless of season, I prefer margaritae, especially the classic salted-rocks-highball verzh. I don't remember why we ranked it as low as we did, but we'll live to regret it, I think."

    I agree with all of these sentiments. There's a crappy Mexican restaurant my parents love where they put two little hazelnuts in their margaritas, and I love that for some reason. It's a nice touch. I've seen the same thing in gimlets, but have no ideas about the origins. Apparently lime + booze + hazelnuts = perfection?

  • ferretrick says:

    The problem with kamikazes is most bartenders suck at making them. I have no idea how 3 ingredients can get complicated, but if you don't get the proportions right, you might as well just have a shot of straight vodka because that's what it will taste like, and puke. But, a good one is still my drink of choice.

    Why does anyone want to pay for a martini when you can just drink turpentine far cheaper? Tastes the same.

  • Jessamyn says:

    I'd been on a bit of an old-fashioned kick (the original formula, with just bourbon, sugar and bitters), until I made the mistake of ordering one in a less classy sort of bar. Then I found out about the muddled maraschino version. Gack.

    Manhattans: even the bad places can't screw them up.

  • adam807 says:

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: Why would anyone ruin the wonder that is potato salad by putting farty hard-boiled eggs in it?? Oh, sorry, this isn't the NSidedishAA? My bad.

    Say what you will about Bethanny Frankel, her recipe for a "Skinny Girl Margarita" is damn near perfect. (Not the mix she now sells, the do-it-yourself kind.) Nevermind that that name is annoying, that I am neither skinny nor a girl, that saying where I got the recipe means admitting my love for RHONY…it is a perfect summer drink. Not all sweet and sugary, almost all alcohol. On the rocks with salt.

  • Megan in Seattle says:

    I think the Lemon Drop cocktail may be more of a west coast thing. It's kind of my drink of choice, but when I travel, I usually just order a Cosmo so as to avoid the confused looks. It probably doesn't have as many varieties as the shot, but it generally comes in a martini glass with a sugared rim, and different flavor vodkas are an option. A blueberry lemon drop is divine, and so's a strawberry one, if you like your drinks sweet and fruity (as I do).

  • Watts says:

    A few years back, my theme for a cocktail party was "Drinks that make you go MMMMM…" so ten drinks with names beginning with M. Let me tell, you mojitos are a giant PITA if you want to make them from scratch. First of all, you better know someone who grows mint – or you will spend more on the mint for those effers than you will for the booze in them. And second, just make a pitcher. Individual mojitos are such a time suck when you're the one tending bar.

    This is my favorite round because I get to vote for the Manhattan. However, despite being from the South, I prefer them made with blended or rye whiskey rather than bourbon.

    My favorite local restaurant does their own version of a Manhattan, which is quite tasty:
    National Manhattan
    whiskey infused with thyme and Ceylon tea, carpano vermouth, brandied cherries

  • Watts says:

    Oh, Jessamyn, you'd be surprised how a Manhattan can get screwed up. I've gotten anymore where if I'm really not sure about a bar, I order a whiskey neat and an ice water and then mix to my own taste.

  • Cathy G says:

    Manhattans are my go-to, all-the-time, no-matter-the-season drink.
    How do I know this? My liquor store always keeps a rye I like in stock for said purpose, I'm now entitled to a 10% discount, and John Boy Walton and I got into it over the best rye to put in Manhattan. Last week, a guy inquired about making them and the clerk said, "Talk to her, if she'll let you get a word in edgewise."

    Manhattans take all.

  • Cara says:

    I don't know why it never occurred to me to put blackberries in a Pimm's Cup, but you have just made my weekend.

  • adam807 says:

    @Megan I like my drinks how I like my men: Sweet and fruity.

  • MizShrew says:

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a queasy relationship with tequila. Hell, I have a friend who claims *she* can't drink tequila after witnessing my past adventures with it. Yes, it was epic. So… couple decades later, I can have maybe one margarita a year, and even that's a bit risky. So Irish coffee it is, because on a cold night in January in Wisconsin, a nicely-made Irish coffee will make you feel better. And it helps warm your fingers up. Best to get them at the end of a nice dinner in a decent restaurant, though. Crappy burnt coffee, rail whiskey, and those little fake creamer shots is no way to live, and that's what you'll get in a bar.

  • MizShrew says:

    Let's change that to "are now way to live" above. Sheesh. I think I need a drink, dammit.

  • MizShrew says:

    or of course, we could try "no" way to live. You'd think I was already drinking…

  • Anne says:

    I am leaving a note in admiration of the "simmer down freshman" tag. Absolutely necessary on any post mentioning the Kamikaze.

  • DuchessKitty says:

    Mojitos are probably my all-time favorite drink but I was still sad to see it go up against the oft misunderstood Kamikaze.
    Count me in as another person who isn't really a tequila fan except in the occasional margarita. I'm also super picky about sour mix and other ingredients that go into a 'rita, so I only end up drinking them on occasion. I still threw my vote for them because I hate Irish Coffees.

    Ok, I feel totally stupid, especially since I was a bartender for several years, but I ONLY know Lemon Drops as a cocktail and not a shot/shooter. Maybe like @Megan said (I'm also in Seattle!) it's a west coast thing? I love a nice Drop made with Peach flavored vodka.

    While I enjoy an occasional Old Fashioned, I don't get the allure of the Manhattan, it's a little cloying for my taste.

    I've only ever had one decent Mint Julep in my entire life; made by my friend's mother and enjoyed while sitting on their huge screened-in veranda in South Carolina. Every time I've tried to recreate that cocktail moment, it has failed miserably. Moldy toothpaste is right.

    Pleasantly surprised by the close race of Kir Royale vs LIIT. Go Royale!

  • KTB says:

    I pretty much voted the straight Bourbon/champagne ticket this round, but I did throw some support behind the much-maligned Kamikaze. That vote was to commemorate possibly the best plane flight ever, where the male flight attendants were bringing me and two girlfriends free Kamikaze shots. I think they might have thought we were a bachelorette party or something, in retrospect. Either way, fun!

  • meredithea says:

    Oh geez. Kamikazes. In college (natch) we used to hang out at this tiny hole in the wall bar that offered $1 kamikazes on Thursdays. We'd show up with ten bucks each and get hammered while we played satellite trivia. We won free drinks of we could beat the rocket scientists playing at the Holliday Inn by NASA. Good times.

  • MizShrew says:

    Long Island Iced Tea reminds me too much of the many bad decisions I made during early college years. Therefore, they taste of foolishness to me. Bleck.

    Hrm, perhaps I should worry about the many eras of misbehavior related directly to specific types of booze? Nah.

    Instead, I just made my very first Gin Buck, inspired by the previous round of voting. Awesome. Gin has not yet failed me. Hallelujah. Thanks Sars!

  • Kate Monster says:

    I recently graduated from a certain large "party school" that may have been maligned by 30 Rock earlier this season. However, being a total square (I believe that is the hip term, yes?) I've only ever heard of about 2/3 of these drinks, and tasted four of them. I'm only here to say that if you all had ever tasted my mother's piña coladas, that bitch would be going all the way to number one. Because my mom makes the best fucking piña coladas on earth.

    Also, I'll be using handing this bracket out to my more booze-experienced friends, who will tell me which drinks I'll like, thus bringing me a little further into the dangerous world of alcohol and peer pressure. Mmmm. Peer pressure…

  • Soylent says:

    We could have called this round the "torture the pregnant lady". I want one of a lot of these.

  • Michael E says:

    My god, my vote just pushed the LIIT vs. Kir Royale race to a one vote lead for Long Island. I'll admit I had to look up what a Kir Royale was after I voted (Long Islands and I are like *this*) just to see if I was missing something. And what I was missing was BARFY BLACKCURRANT LIQUEUR! That makes me sad.

    Everyone has their weird food whatevers, but I never understood that one until reading the ingredients in a Pink Lady. Cream and egg white? And grenadine?

    You guys, have you ever tried making a Pink Lady yourself? When I tried, something happened with the… egg? I think? It looked like I was trying to make yogurt in Pepto Bismol. The worst!

  • Suzanne B. says:

    Long Island Ice TEEEEEEEEEEEEEA! All the way!!! Love it love it LOVE IT. Only because, well-mixed or not, it goes from 0 to "trashed" in .08 seconds.

    Also, hee on the hetero-testing. Although the Groggy Beaver was, I hope, only a one-time thing.

  • Suzanne B. says:

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand not because I'm a homophobe, but rather because Groggy Beaver iz Groggy. Not fully into it? Aware of it? Am I explaining my own joke too much? … Is it because I have drunk a Long Island *Iced* FAIL?

    I'll show myself out. :P

  • Jessamyn says:

    @Watts – this is true. Some places I can't bring myself to order a mixed drink at all and just get gin on the rocks.

    I once made the mistake of ordering a martini in Paris. I got a large glass of cheap vermouth. I really should have known better.

  • ysabet says:

    I once did a stint as a bartender, and found out about a lovely variation on the lemon drop: use Tuaca instead of vodka (and make it be a drink, not a shooter). Yummy.

    @ferretrick: my kazis were so good that one regular used to order two at a time and dump them in a beer mug to sip.

  • Krista says:

    Egg? In potato salad? Who does that?!? Yuck!

    Margaritas, mojitos, mimosas, and LIT! Yay! LIT is my go-to drink at chain restaurants.

    I've never tried a Pimm's, but need to.

  • Liz says:

    @Jessamyn: Clearly you have never ordered a Manhattan in Punta Cana. Blech. Squared.
    Yeah, so it was probably my fault for ordering it in the first place, but I can only take so many of the rum and sugar-type drinks before my teeth begin to grow something like fur (and I hate, hate, hate coconut), and I was aiming for a palate cleanser. Should have used Comet…

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