Cocktails in the Rough

[by Mike]

Last week I was down on the Cape, spending the days listening to lectures about particle physics and the nights socializing with other grad students from New England universities. While free beer was provided every evening, I could not leave well enough alone and decided to attempt a cocktail.

Brainstorming began on the drive to the local liquor store. Azul would provide an inexpensive but quality base spirit, but secondary spirits could I find without pulling too much from my wallet? Browsing around the store I found a four pack of local ginger beer, and I jumped on the idea of a tequila/ginger/lime rickey akin to a Dark and Stormy. By dinner I was mixing together my first trials and trying to contain my disappointment.

Marked by a pungent bitterness, the limes were clearly past their prime and the ginger beer was weak and watery. No matter the ratios, the drink ended up less than appetizing. The only redeeming quality was that it was so watery to dilute the off flavors.

Through dinner I contemplated alternative plans; azul is great in a drink, but mediocre sipped by itself. Recent exposure to "Famous New Orleans Drinks and how to mix 'em" and Good Eats inspired thoughts of a punch. The basic recipe (one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak) laid the foundation and some quick thinking filled in the details. With the lime juice, ginger beer, and tequila providing the first three ingredients I brewed a few bags of Earl Grey tea to provide the weak and went back to the make shift bar.

The lime juice proved too terrible to be salvaged, so I quickly dropped it and focused on the ginger beer, tequila, and tea. Warm ice and weak ginger beer necessitated altered ratios, but eventually I iterated to a half-way decent recipe. Overall, not quite a success but a fun adventure none the less. Given fresh juice and homemade ginger beer, the basic recipe might even have promise.

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