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This week’s drink special is, on a personal level, a thing of terror: it has pineapple.  I hate pineapple.  But every now and then, I must remind myself that I’m not making drinks for myself, I’m making drinks for whoever will buy them.  Not everyone likes terribly spiritous cocktails, and some people don’t drink like a seventy-five year old man (exempli gratia; me).  Some people like pineapple and coconut, even though I abhor them.  Enter ‘OMH’s Obligatory Tropical Summer Drink’.

The OOTSD is rare to me in that it is not accompanied by a poem (though there is an arguement for the name to be changed to ee cummings I Like My Body.  Time will tell on that point), and that it is a tiki style drink, which is a genre of imbibing I haven’t yet dipped my toes in to.

Now that I’ve explained the poor thing to death, here is the recipe and the recipes for the things that go in the recipe.

Inception Recipes:

Orgeat Syrup – Taken largely from Imbibe.com, but with some noted deviations.

2 1/4 cups raw almonds, sliced
3 1/2 cups tap water
3 1/2 cups distilled or filtered water
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 oz Everclear
The peel of one slice of orange

  • Take the almonds and break them up into pretty coarse bits, then put them along with the tap water into a bowl for about an hour.  Why?  I don’t know, but every orgeat recipe calls for this step.
  • When the hour is up, strain the tap water out, and replace it with the distilled or filtered water. Let this mix sit for 5-6 hours.  Since orgeat is a lighter syrup, the flavor of tap water can really put a damper on the overall flavor of the syrup.
  • While the almonds are steeping into the filtered water, put the everclear and orange peel into a separate container and allow it to infuse.   Be sure to shave off as much of the bitter pith as possible.  Most recipes call for orange blossom water and vodka, but since that would require procuring orange blossom water, I improvised.
  • Once the time is up, filter the almond chunks from the water and discard them.  Since there aren’t really any fine pieces, a clean towel will suffice as the filter.  At this point, also remove the orange peel from the everclear.
  • Pour the almond water, orange infused everclear, and sugar into a pint bottle.  Cap the bottle, and shake until the sugar has dissolved.

The alcohol is an important part of the syrup, as it acts as a preservative.  With it, the syrup will keep about a month refrigerated, without it, about a week.  Bare that in mind should you decide to forgo it.

Malibu and Pineapple Ice

Pineapple juice
Malibu Liqueur
Ice tray

Mix one part Malibu to four parts pineapple juice, pour into an ice tray, and freeze.

The Drink

1.5 coconut vodka (I used New Amsterdam.  Cali pride.)
1 House Orgeat Syrup (The first recipe below)
One Malibu and Pineapple Ice Cube (Second recipe below)

  • Put vodka and orgeat syrup into a mixing glass, and stir with regular ice.
  • Strain into a rocks glass.
  • Add Pineapple ice.
  • Enjoy the magic.

When I say enjoy the magic, I’m not talking about how wonderful the drink is.  I’m talking about the ice.  Since it isn’t frozen water, the drink doesn’t dilute.  The first sips will be coconut, and the creamy, ever so delicate citrus of the orgeat, and strong.

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While the ice melts, it introduces two new flavors, pineapple, and a hint of rum, as well as bolstering the confidence of the beloved coconut.

Still got it.

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My untested drink has been tested, and the results are in: it needs work. 

The recipe was based on TS Eliot’s ‘The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock’: my favorite poem.  The poem my kids ask me to read them at bed time, that haunts my mind constantly, that I recite like a madman while walking around the restaurant.  An epic poem deserving an epic drink.  It fell flat.  In a way.

The drink worked.  It didn’t convey the experience I wanted, but I’ll survive.  I hope.

1.5 ounces bourbon (Eliot was born in the South, but grew up in England.  I may replace the bourbon with gin)
1 ounce vanilla bean peach syrup (‘Do I dare to eat a peach?’)
A few dashes tincture of black tea (‘after tea and cakes and ices’)
A coffee spoon of marmalade (‘I have measured out my life in coffee spoons’, ‘After the cups, the marmalade, the tea’)

For total transparency, I didn’t have marmalade on hand, so proceed at your own risk on that one.

The drink was thick, and not as strong as expected, which I attribute to the peach liqueur, so I’ll tell you a story about myself: I forget every damn thing.  I write things of importance down on little slips of receipt paper, put them in my pocket, then take them out at home and place them unceremoniously in the top drawer of the dresser.  In the same fashion, I wrote down the steps I had taken to make said peach liqueur, and they now sleep soundly in that drawer, along with several dozen other recipes and ideas.  That said, I had only used peach syrup in the drink.  There was no alcohol in it.  There is still no alcohol in it.  The slip of paper saying ‘add alcohol to this on Monday’ is MIA, so I drank peach syrup.  Not as strong as expected, and far more sweet than it should be,  but still pretty tasty.  The vanilla bean in the syrup made the drink taste like a cobbler with bourbon.  Good, but not Prufrock good.  Back to the drawing board.

Read the poem here: http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html

Something is coming.  I don’t know what, but it is. 

In the next couple days, I’ll be posting a new drink inspired by TS Eliot’s ‘The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock’, as well as the recipes within said recipe.  I hope that 1) you’re ready for it, and that 2) it actually turns out.  

Mostly, I just hope that it turns out.