Mixology Monday XXXII: “Guilty Pleasures”

Well, I didn’t get a chance to participate in this one. Wes and I were out of town visiting my sister and my adorable nephew Thomas and my adorable brand-new niece Molly, and I didn’t have access to my bar. I also complained about not really having any guilty pleasures, not in the way some of my fellow drinkers did. Wes and I put our heads together, and could only really come up with The Gimlet, which I don’t think anyone needs to feel guilty over (unless you make them with vodka, I guess!) and a couple of other things I didn’t feel sufficiently guilty about.

I probably would have written about a similar one as Paul did in the above link. He likes vodka Gimlets, but when I was in school my drink of choice was the Tequila Gimlet, which my good friend Matt Brown turned me on to. Same deal as with the gin or vodka versions … I usually make mine 4:1 these days, but I’ll add the 3:1 proportions too.

Tequila Gimlet

2 ounces (or 2-1/4 ounces for 3:1) good blanco tequila (I like Milagro, Herradura or Partida).
1/2 ounce (or 3/4 ounce for 3;1) Rose’s Lime Cordial.
Lime twist.

Combine with ice and stir like hell for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and optionally garnish with a lime twist.

Of course, back on those less enlightened days I made my Tequila Gimlets with Cuervo Gold, something I wouldn’t use today for anything other then possibly disinfecting wounds. (Horrid, godawful mixto mierda1) Use the blancos I recommended, especially the magnificent Partida. I haven’t had one of these in ages, but I think these days I’d take a cue from Paul’s recipe above and use this variation as he did:

Tequila Gimlet

2 ounces Partida, Herradura or Milagro blanco tequila.
1/4 ounce fresh lime juice.
1/4 ounce Rose’s Lime Cordial.

Stir & strain, etc.

The other drink of choice back in those Olden Days (although only briefly), was the one Doug Winship wrote up in his MxMo post … the dreaded, evil Kamikaze. Now, I suppose it’s not intrinsically evil, like the black lump at the end of Time Bandits. However, if I were to see one today, I’d shriek, “Don’t touch it! It’s evil!”

It’s my own stupid fault, of course.

I don’t know how I first came across the Kamikaze, but it was certainly inoffensive — citrusy and sweet (really sweet, given that you’re getting Rose’s and undoubtedly the cheapest well triple sec). Here’s how I made it at the time:

(Chuck’s 1986 version)

1-1/2 ounces vodka (cheap).
3/4 ounce triple sec (cheap).
3/4 ounce Rose’s Lime Juice (Cordial).

Shake and strain. Chilled cocktail glass? Guffaw! Any receptacle will do.

I hadn’t really given the drink’s name much thought, until one day I was with a bunch of friends at some bar, and they were taking our drink orders. When they got to me I shouted out, “Kamikaze!” resulting in a spit-take and a “WTF?!” reaction from our friend Hiroki, who was from Japan. The word had a somewhat different connotation for him. When I told him how it was made, he opined that the name sounded appropriate enough.

During that summer of 1985 I got the great idea to throw a Kamikaze Party. Two of my friends, Bob and Shawn, thought it was a great idea too, and contributed their apartment for the debacle occasion. This was a bit surprising, as we’d already had a fairly raucous gathering there the night before — more on that later. I was put in charge of the “mixology,” or what passed for it when I was 23. I procured two 2.5-gallon jugs of drinking water (the kind that look like this), cut holes in the top, dumped out the water, and batched each of them with two-and-a-half gallons of premixed Kamikaze. Not understanding proper mixological principles at the time, I didn’t take into account the fact that the shaking or stirring of a cocktail makes the final result about 20-25% water, which is absolutely necessary for flavor, texture and to take the burning edge off the alcohol. Lacking the water made the drink even stronger, of course (but strong was what it was all about in those days, wasn’t it?). Once mixed, each container went into the fridge, giving us five gallons of Kamikaze. The jugs had a spigot, and next to the fridge were piles of little 3-ounce Dixie cups. All you had to do was grab a cup, open the fridge, dispense some chilled Kamikaze from the jug, and shoot it back.

That party had almost no survivors. Also, the Kamikaze is the only cocktail that resulted in my passing out next to the toilet (with photographs, of course).

This tends to take the “pleasure” part out of the phrase “guilty pleasure.” I haven’t touched a Kamikaze in 23 years, 3 months, 26 days and approximately 13 hours.

And this was after the party of the night before. Zoinks.