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Cocktail Confession Number One

May 21, 2010

I love summertime cocktails.  That’s not the confession.

There is a lot to love.  They are bright and refreshing, don’t take too much work, and have been relieving the hot and thirsty for generations.  These are brilliant classic cocktails that do justice to finely crafted spirits.

Last year I wrote about the Tom Collins.  As the weather continues to warm up, I should post more on these seasonal beverages.

By far the most popular summer quencher is the margarita.  The most defamed is the daiquiri.

Yes, crimes are committed to classic cocktails on an almost daily basis.  I question if the damage done to the Martini can ever be corrected.  But before all manner of “martinis” could be had, the daiquiri had its artificial sugary-sweet moment in the sun.

The classic daiquiri is a simple mixture of rum, lime and sugar.  It is shaken and strained into a cocktail glass.  And it’s lovely.

Now here comes the confession.

I happen to really like Fat Tuesday and the “daiquiris” they serve from their wall of boozy slushy machines.  To take it a step farther, I like all the iterations of this form, which includes the regrettably named Daiquri Deck in Sarasota.

These are not handcrafted cocktails. They use neither good spirits nor good ingredients.  They are brightly colored grain-alcohol-fueled drinks with ridiculous names like Jungle Juice (frozen fruit punch and Everclear) and Banana Banshee (banana and Everclear).

Now to be fair, I don’t go to Fat Tuesday for those drinks.  I go to Fat Tuesday for their Rum Runners.  And this has more to do with growing up in South Florida and spending too much time vacationing in the grimier parts of the Keys.

Rum Runners are a fanciful treat that becomes more difficult to find the further north you travel.  And by fanciful I mean that to make it you have to go into a liquor store and buy a bottle of banana liqueur.  No matter how many of these you drink, you will never finish that bottle.  And Rum Runners are not the same without it.

Up until this past week, I was under the impression that you could walk into any Fat Tuesdays across the country and get a Rum Runner.  It’s worked for me in the past.  Granted, they are pre-made, and a far cry from the real deal.  But sometimes you just want that taste of home.

However, the Fat Tuesday in Tempe cleared out their Rum Runner machine to make way for a full bar’s worth of liquor bottles, lest some customers stumble into the establishment and NOT want a slushy boozy treat.

Who would do that?

The one thing that Fat Tuesday does well is produce frozen drinks with an even icy texture.  In the scope of my experience a talented bartender with a powerful blender is no match for a Fat Tuesday machine in terms of the final mouthfeel of the drink.

And regardless of whether you are suffering from the dry desert heat or the crushing humidity of a South Florida summer, a frozen slushy cocktail really hits the spot.

For the record, in the absence of the Rum Runner, I ordered the Pyrat’s Pleasure (Pyrat rum and frozen fruit punch).  I did forgo the Bacardi 151 floater and nuclear cherry.

I still felt a little dirty.  But it hit the spot.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    May 21, 2010 12:59 pm

    The Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga (summers only) is famous for exactly that kind of drink: the slushy “daiquiri.”

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