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Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Further attempts at mixology
A few years ago I created a drink called the "Mickican." Despite the semi-offensive name, it seemed like a good idea at the time. It's a Black and Tan made with Guinness and Corona, a beverage perfect for fielding the gap between St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo. The Mickican could use a new name and I still think it could catch on with the right kind of promotion. Anyone know an influential bartender?
Now I've had a hand in the birth of another drink. While waiting for late night happy hour to being at Dragonfish last week, I noticed a Bloody Mary on the menu with wasabi listed as one of the key ingredients. Wasabi? And booze? And tomato juice? All in the same glass? It sounded like a dare but not one I was willing to take. I can't stand Bloody Marys. As far as I'm concerned, they're cocktail kryptonite.
Still, wasabi....in a drink. The concept beckoned. I don't which one of us at the table came up with it but, suddenly, ordering a martini with wasabi in place of the olive's pimento suddenly seemed like a brilliant idea. But how to explain something like this to our waitress?
"Yes, madam, I'm in need of strong drink. You see, a straight-up gin martini doesn't have enough bite. I need something with a little more kick, something practically guaranteed to burn a hole straight through my liver. What I'm looking for is the cocktail equivalent of that nasty little bastard in the first Alien movie, eight ounces of pure fire water that's liable to burst out of my gut and run around the bar. Just bring the drink to the table, along with a lot of napkins, and run for cover. Tip well? Of course we do. Plus, my friend is willing to clean up all the blood and burnt intestines from our booth while I hunt the beast down with these here chopsticks. The other customers? Don't worry about them. They'll get out of the way. They look spry."
I spared the waitress the specifics of our experiment. A friend and I ordered two martinis with a golf ball-sized chunk of wasabi on the side. We replaced the pimentos and promptly dumped a pair of olive IEDs into our drinks. The first sip offered a bit of the kick I was looking for but it wasn't enough. Already unimpressed and eager to cut straight to the stomach pains, my colleague dumped another chunk of wasabi into his martini. I held off. If everything went as planned, the olive would slowly "time release" the wasabi, making each sip spicier than the last. I figured this is a drink that should be eased into. No sense jumping into the deep end of the booze/spice pool. That would only lead to trouble.
Within moments, my friend's martini was as green as the ooze that created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mine looked more like stagnant pond scum. Still, the olive did it's thing and slowly sneaked more and more wasabi into a decreasing amount of gin. Each sip kicked harder than the last and, by the time I got down to the last one, it tasted somewhere between Everclear and a four-alarm fire in a bottle rocket factory.
Yeah, I'm exaggerating but the wasabi definitely amplified the gin and sharpened its bite. Seeing that my gut was already clogged with questionable amounts of lukewarm sushi from the Todai at Pioneer Place, I quit after one martini and cut back to a Kirin. My friend ordered another with a side of spicy tuna rolls. Maybe I'm too much of a lightweight for this sort of thing.
I think it's a drink worthy of a name. I've come up with a few suggestions. Feel free to vote for your favorite in the poll below and pat yourself on the back afterwards (or come up with a name of your own and suggest it via the "comments" link below).
Congratulations, you've just played a roll in the creation of a drink capable of killing a man.