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Home » Culture and Criticism

The NC Double Shot Round of 64, Flight 4

Submitted by on May 23, 2011 – 10:54 AM22 Comments

Today's write-ups by Keckler. Confused? Click here. Don't know the ingredients? Try Google.

1 Screwdriver vs. 16 Vesper. I know the Vesper's going down hard here and I know full well Bunting only agreed to add it to humor my esoteric tastes, but it still sucks that it's up against the Screwdriver, a drink I happen to hate as it's one of the most boring drinks around. The Vesper — which sounds so cool to say, somehow a combo of "whisper" and "Zephyr" in my mind — was named after Vesper Lynde in Casino Royale. This drink is the origin of Bond's whole "shaken, not stirred" obsession. However, after Vesper proved herself to be one of those villainous Bond girls, Bond mourned her death by proclaiming, "The bitch is dead," and never drank another a Vesper. In or out of the glass.

1 Screwdriver vs. 16 Vesper

  • Screwdriver (72%, 429 Votes)
  • Vesper (28%, 170 Votes)

Total Voters: 599

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8 Planter's Punch vs. 9 Singapore Sling. I actually have no opinion here. (I know, right? You thought I'd never shut up.) I do know that Planter's Punch is pretty potent stuff and that anything with rum and grenadine automatically reminds me of Hawaii. And that's a very good thing, so I'd probably order the punch over the cherry-liqueur-riddled Sling. Because: eeeeech. Also, I have this vague feeling that the Singapore Sling might be racist, but I don't know why. I can't get worked up about this match-up, so I hope someone out there feels passionately about the Punch or the controversial Sling. Hey, a punch could PUT you in a sling! …Nope, still not worked up.

8 Planter's Punch vs. 9 Singapore Sling

  • Planter's Punch (75%, 408 Votes)
  • Singapore Sling (25%, 135 Votes)

Total Voters: 543

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5 Whisky / Pisco Sour vs. 12 Sidecar. Chi Psi's whisky-sour Wednesdays completely soured me on the entire culture of "sours," which is probably unfair, but whenever I drink one, I think of papers I should have been writing. The Sidecar, on the other hand, is one of those classic old movie drinks that I adore. If you aren't an Agatha Christie fan, you've probably never heard of it, but you should open up your ears and mouth to it. The sours will win, but it will be unfortunate.

5 Whisky / Pisco Sour vs. 12 Sidecar

  • Sidecar (57%, 323 Votes)
  • Whisky / Pisco Sour (43%, 245 Votes)

Total Voters: 568

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4 Sea Breeze vs. 13 Shirley Temple. Admittedly, the one non-alcoholic drink in the bracket is not going anywhere, and we did include it just for nostalgia's sake, but do you remember what it was like to order it? To finally have something to drink beyond pop or water at restaurants? Some places in Minneapolis called them Kiddie Cocktails and speared the maraschino cherries and orange slices with plastic swords (the transparent ones were the best); my sister and I saved the swords and later used them to stage sword fights between our Barbie or Madame Alexander dolls. The Sea Breeze is fine. I mean, I enjoy cocktails with grapefruit juice in them, but there's nothing exciting about a Sea Breeze, you know? No pretending to be a grown-up at The Waikiki Room in the Leamington Hotel ["or Marco Polo Ristorante" — Bunting], no plastic swords, no bloody battles between Letitia the Victorian Lady and Alice in Wonderland. It will win, though, because it's the one with alcohol. But if you're undecided here, vote Shirley Temple. Do it for the kids.

4 Sea Breeze vs. 13 Shirley Temple

  • Shirley Temple (66%, 412 Votes)
  • Sea Breeze (34%, 215 Votes)

Total Voters: 627

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6 Tom Collins vs. 11 Rickeys. The Tom Collins brings up another sorority-based memory. It was the first non-rum-and-Coke cocktail I ordered, and I did it at an Alpha Delta Pi formal while wearing a black dress with purple velvet pansies. I ordered it a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. And it didn't make me sick. I have always appreciated that about the Tom Collins. I've never had a Rickey — I was suffering under the delusion that it was a non-alcoholic drink that curry houses always served — but given that it is based on gin and fresh lime juice, I might have to rectify that rather soonish. Personally, it's a tossup, but I have a feeling we ranked TC appropriately, and he'll take it.

6 Tom Collins vs. 11 Rickeys

  • Tom Collins (65%, 361 Votes)
  • Rickeys (35%, 194 Votes)

Total Voters: 555

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3 Sex on the Beach / Fuzzy Navel vs. 14 Zombie. I hate peach schnapps and I have a serious bellybutton phobia, so the vomitus interruptus drinks aren't getting my vote. The Zombie, on the other hand, is one of those tiki-room drinks that contains everything and the kitchen sink. It's also one of those drinks created by Don the Beachcomber in the '30s, which makes it retro, cool, and most likely to be drunk by the nearest hipster. But don't let that put you off! If anything, the Zombie is too aptly named, and you will wake up feeling as though someone or something has eaten your brains for breakfast. But before that happens, you will enjoy the sippage. Still, Sex on the Fuzzy Beach will win this one.

3 Sex on the Beach / Fuzzy Navel vs. 14 Zombie

  • Zombie (51%, 279 Votes)
  • Sex on the Beach / Fuzzy Navel (49%, 271 Votes)

Total Voters: 550

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7 Tequila Sunrise vs. 10 Rob Roy. Tequila Sunrises make me think of one thing and one thing only: Madonna orders it right before she steals the priceless Egyptian earrings from the guy who is about to be murdered in Desperately Seeking Susan. Yes, I know there's an actual movie called Tequila Sunrise with a pre-stroke Raul Julia ["and an Eagles song" — Bunting], but is that the movie I watched 47 times and made me aware of the wonder that was a young Aidan Quinn? I didn't think so. Since a Tequila Sunrise has a distressing amount of grenadine in it, and a Rob Roy is a bourbonless Manhattan (who DOES that?), I don't have a personal stake in this one. Objectively, the Tequila Sunrise will take it. Just because.

7 Tequila Sunrise vs. 10 Rob Roy

  • Tequila Sunrise (77%, 404 Votes)
  • Rob Roy (23%, 123 Votes)

Total Voters: 527

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2 Sangria vs. 15 Sloe Gin Fizz. This is all I have to say about this matchup: anything with sticky, weird, Deliverance sloe gin is beyond disgusting, and sangria is the only way to eat fresh fruit. Sangria by a landslide. ["And to paraphrase Ben Franklin, white-wine sangria is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." — Bunting]

2 Sangria vs. 15 Sloe Gin Fizz

  • Sangria (91%, 568 Votes)
  • Sloe Gin Fizz (9%, 54 Votes)

Total Voters: 622

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22 Comments »

  • HLM says:

    Sadface for the inevitable Vesper defeat. A well-made Vesper is (a) hard to find and (b) one of the best drinks on the planet. Also, hellooo, Daniel Craig. Come sit here by me.

  • attica says:

    I used to drink Sloe Comfortable Screws in college: I didn't drink beer, none of the boys in my circle would spring for a girl's non-beer cocktail, and the SCS is a three-shot wonder that would get me tipsy quick so I wouldn't have to buy more than one. Which I couldn't afford anyway. Plus, ordering it gave me the pleasure of discomposing the 'tender or waitstaff (harder to do these days, but back then, there were gasps). Good times.

    I wouldn't drink one now for money, though. Team Sangria!

  • doriette says:

    Yes! I was never a big fan of sangria, but at a party recently, I was offered a glass of white wine sangria. I finished it quickly. Then had two more. Mmmmmm…

  • Jennifer M. says:

    I had a friend in college who looked like a total jock. But when we would go out, he would always order sloe gin fizzes. I like sweet cocktails, but that was like drinking a gummy bear.

  • K. says:

    @doriette: At my best friend's baby shower last summer, there was amazing white wine-peach sangria. I wasn't a fan of sangria either, but that stuff was bomb. (My friend was drinking iced tea. She was very gracious about us all going "This sangria is SO GOOD!" all afternoon.)

  • Keckler says:

    Hee, "famous boyfriends." That's because of your crush on Ben Franklin, right Bunting?

  • Krista says:

    Tequila Sunrises always remind me of my brother. Years ago, we were at a party and I'd already had two or three. He went to make me one and it was awful. He'd used vodka because he couldn't remember what alcohol was used in a tequila sunrise. It's still fun to bring that up, though no one drinks them anymore.

  • ferretrick says:

    I voted for Shirley Temples (we also called them Kiddie Cocktails) out of nostalgia. Grandpa had a bar in his basement and he'd make them for us all the time. My siblings and I thought we were the height of cool sitting at Grandpa's bar drinking like grown ups. Hee. Miss you Grandpa.

  • MizShrew says:

    I had the same kind of experience with the Tom Collins (sans sorority.) It was one of the first cocktails I ever ordered, and they never, ever made me sick. Anything with grenadine and/or peach schnapps, on the other hand… skip the drunk and go straight to the hangover. Not sure why that is with grenadine, as I don't think it has alcohol. Maybe sweet drinks have that effect?

  • Stephanie says:

    Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. I know there's time for more voting but so far Shirley Temple is doing well.

    I remember that for many a year my restaurant order was always a club sandwich and a Shirley Temple. I mean, we didn't go out much, but when we did and I could get that? Hot diggity.

  • leftieh says:

    I am learning so much about the history of cocktails when I look up the drinks I don't know (or know only vaguely)!

    I had a hard, hard time with fuzzy navel v zombie. I love the zombie now, but I have wonderful memories of beach vacations with my parents when my mom would get sozzled on fuzzy navels and let me have one.

  • Tracey says:

    White sangria! One of the great joys of summer.

    I see the Shirley Temple is holding its own, yay! The thought of those takes me right back to when we had our family "grown-up" dinners at the local steak house.

  • Colleen2 says:

    I'm in love with the Sangria de Cava at the Columbia restaurant chain in Florida. Delicious. I've tried numerous times to replicate it, but have never quite gotten it. The attempts were always fun though.

  • Sarah says:

    Love the Pisco Sours! Can't drink a whisky sour at all, but Pisco is another animal…fond, fond memories of Chile and closing down the bars only to find that the club downstairs was just opening at 3am, which meant more pisco sours for us!

  • Cyntada says:

    Heh, I wasn't planning to check in on this one at all, being the non-tippling sort, but had to throw in a vote for Shirley Temples. Never actually had one until adulthood, but anything with that much liquid sugar in it is a definite hit with me!

  • Jen says:

    Keckler is so right. Ordering a well made Sidecar with the sugared rim is not only delicious, but also makes you feel like you are on a date with Don Draper.

    So good!

  • DuchessKitty says:

    Finally a flight round where I had easy votes. Keckler, I am so right there with you in feeling that the Screwdriver is the most boring cocktail ever. It was the first drink I ever ordered in a bar with my fake ID when I was 17. I was so nervous, I said the first thing that came into my head, fearing that the bartender was totally on to me and was going to kick me out any second.

    When I became a bartender myself a few years later, I used to make a pretty mean Planter's Punch and Zombie, so they're both close to my heart. And yes, drinking them can be like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat.
    I'm holding on to slim hope for the Vesper. But y'all, can we talk? I can't believe my beloved Sea Breeze is losing to a damn Shirley Temple!!!?! People, what is up? This nostalgia voting is killing me!

  • attica says:

    @MizShrew: you can get grenadine in either non-alco or alcoholic versions. I prefer the hard kind (mixes better! honest!), but where I live, you can't get booze (besides beer) in the supermarket or delis, so non-alco happens in a pinch.

  • Katie says:

    It is making me more and more sad that I don't know what half of these are. To make matters worse, there isn't enough time to taste the ones I don't know or do know but have never tasted, and ones I have had and love have been routinely paired against one another. That means one thing….must expand my drinking palate.

  • Janie says:

    The one time I had a sidecar, it completely failed to live up to my expectations. I think that I just don't care for the orange-liqueur family of mixers.

    This makes its defeat of my Ol' Reliable whiskey sour all the more bitter.

  • KTB says:

    I had possibly the tastiest Sidecar in existence at The Varnish in Los Angeles. It was a $12 drink, and I daresay it was totally worth it.

    And I had to vote for the gin fizz, because my friend's mother makes divine gin fizzes, and they remind me of going to the beach. Not a bad combo!

  • Sandman says:

    I do love a Sidecar. It won't come close to taking this bracket, of course, but it's my favourite cocktail. (Don't try to tell a French person it's just like a margarita but without the tequila, by the way.)

    Team Sangria! Especialemente la Sangria de cava!

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