So there once was a group of college kids who had various bottles of booze and a drink-bible. Out of the combination of these, many things were attempted and a few were so awful as to be memorable. At the urging of a so-called friend, here’s my (lazy) attempt to recreate one of these: The American Beauty cocktail.
Originally I thought I was off the hook for this cocktail until my loving wife reminded me that I do, indeed, have creme de menthe. I used the recipe straight out of my newer drink-bible, but the common theme with these is that they all offer recipes for hundreds (thousands?) of cocktails, and all their recipes are basic and often poorly balanced. There are other variations of the American Beauty floating around on the internet which seem slightly less awful, but that didn’t fit the theme of the evening so here’s what I did:
- Brandy – cognac in this case, it’s all I had. This is a theme.
- Dry Vermouth
- Orange Juice – the first three ingredients were all over 1 oz each, too much for one cocktail.
- Granadine – substitute agave nector! This drink isn’t going to look quite right.
- White Creme de Menthe – I only have green. This is going to look hideous. Also I’m supposed to add a few “dashes”, which is not something easily done from a normal bottle.
- Port to float on top – note that the recipe I used said to “float” 1oz of port, which is way too much. This failed spectacularly.
So the recipe is basically throw everything over ice, shake the dickens out of it, pour into cocktail glass and float an ounce(!) of port on top. The very first ingredient was an old bottle of cognac and of course the cork tore right off. This is pretty much a sign of how things are going to go.
So I stuffed the cork in the bottle, used a tea strainer and pressed onward. When I attempted to float the port on top, it considered floating for the first quarter or maybe half ounce, and then shot straight to the bottom. The result is something that looks straight out of a very terrible Christmas.
A this point I viewed the result and thought, “college kids really aren’t very bright.” It might be noted that neither are older gentlemen reliving their college days. This note would be in poor taste. Like the drink.
Now, dear readers, what result would you possible expect from a drink involving orange juice, mint and dry vermouth?
Sweet jeebus this is awful. I tried a few sips, and the picture above is the second where I thought, “I’ll just mix the port in a little more in case that helps things.” If any of your friends tell you they remember this drink fondly, they are full of lies. Lies! Fortunately I had a whole bottle of port remaining to gently wash away the experience.