December 17th, 2008

The weird & the wintry

Tylenoltini, anyone?Got a fever? Forget the Theraflu. Have a Baby Tylenoltini instead!

I am not kidding. This is an actual cocktail planned for the forthcoming (January 2009) winter drink menu at Tamo, the bar in the Seaport Hotel’s Aura Restaurant. I have never been to Tamo. For all I know, it’s a perfectly pleasant place to enjoy a drink in the Seaport district. But its cold-and-flu-themed cocktail menu? Bizarre. Some highlights from the press release:

“Baby Tylenoltini: Nothing stirs up nostalgia quite like the sweet tartness of Baby Tylenol — this adult reinterpretation combines Absolut pear, ginger, lemon, honey, Grenadine and pink lemonade … maybe growing up isn’t so bad after all!

“Cherry Cough Drop: Luden’s, everyone’s favorite excuse to pop cherry candy all day long, is reincarnated into liquid form with a mix of Stoli Raz, Chambord and Champagne.

“Asian Sniffle Snuffer: A gingerly mix of Canton ginger liqueur, Grey Goose vodka and soda with a splash of bitters and fresh ginger garnish — who needs Vicks Vaporub with the sinus clearing effects of bitters!”

You can’t make this stuff up. A cocktail formulated to taste like Baby Tylenol?! I can’t wait for the Gerber Banana Daiquiri on the summer menu. Let’s hope this isn’t the beginning of a disturbing new trend. The same goes for this invitation I received from the celebrated chef behind Pigalle, Marco and, more recently, Restaurant L (inside Louis Boston):

“Chef/owner/Mack Daddy Marc Orfaly and Restaurant L invites [sic] you to a night of industry debauchery you will never forget … Come dressed as a suave pimp or a slammin’ ho. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes go to the best dressed!”

Wow, I’ve been invited to a party by one of Boston’s best chefs, but only if I come dressed as a sex worker. I know, I know, “pimp” and “ho” are just terms of endearment these days — they’re probably what first-graders call their teachers. But I’m going to have to go ahead and RSVP “Are you f-ing kidding me?”

Luckily, another recent communiqué has provided me a glimpse of civilization: two recipes for drinks using Dubonnet Rouge, which I grew up viewing as an old-lady drink and now know as an essential quinquina in classic cocktails like the Blackthorn. I’m going to admit I have not yet tried these cocktails, which were created by Jim Meehan of PDT in New York City. But they sound fantastic.

Royal Pomme Punch
Makes 12 servings

3/4 bottle Dubonnet Rouge
12 oz apple brandy (such as Laird’s bonded or calvados)
24 dashes of Angostura bitters (or 3 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram)
3 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
12 oz champagne

Add Dubonnet, apple brandy, orange juice and bitters to a pitcher filled with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled punch bowl.  Garnish with a block of ice (use a small Tupperware container as the mold; pull the block out of the freezer 15 minutes before use to allow it to thaw sufficiently to remove it from the mold). Top with champagne and serve.

Single Malt Sangaree

1 oz Dubonnet Rouge
2 oz Paumanok Cabernet Franc
1 oz Oban 14-Year-Old (Highland malt or blended scotch can be substituted)
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
1 barspoon of demerara syrup (or teaspoon of sugar in the raw)
1 6-inch cinnamon stick

Add everything to a crock pot and heat until almost boiling. Pour into a heat-proof mug and twist an orange peel over the surface before serving. Garnish with a fresh cinnamon stick. Better as a cold remedy than a Baby Tylenoltini and more stimulating than a waitress dressed up as a slammin’ ho.

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17 Responses to “The weird & the wintry”

  1. jessica

    At the risk of destroying any “cred” I might have somehow picked up, the part I liked best about getting sick as a kid was having to take Robitussin. It would make me sneeze, every time, every dose.

    I would like to say that I outgrew this particular weirdness, but the truth of the matter is: the formula is somehow different so I gave up on it…

  2. ljclark

    You know, I heard something about the Robitussen formula being different. I’m all for having a fave cough medicine; just don’t make me drink a cocktail that tastes like it.

  3. matthew

    Holy misguided concept, Batman, what the hell is Orfaly thinking? Do they realize they are in Louis Boston? Bad, PR firm, bad!

  4. DoubleMan

    What about grape Dimetapp? That shit is delish!

  5. Todd

    I’m holding out for the Flintstone Fizz… if were serving up childhood memories.

  6. Adam

    Who needs Tylenol when we have sizurp??

  7. ljclark

    God, I’m so un-street. Soda, cough syrup and crushed codeine — wow. Now I’m imagining martini glasses rimmed with various crushed narcotics. Forget flu shots!

  8. dany

    I concur, while the drinks may be great tasting, the names are enough to prejudice any palette. Yuck….

  9. Br. Cleve

    All old time Boston punk rockers will fondly remember the song “NyQuil Stinger” by Baby’s Arm (the record was released after they’d changed their name to The Classic Ruins). Interesting drink — you sub NyQuil for the Creme de Menthe and mix it with brandy. Cures a freakin’ cold or flu, that’s for sure! That was before you had to sign a dozen government forms to get NyQuil, though (if you buy a million bottles you can evidently make a drop of crystal meth with ’em), so we probably won’t see this one on the list. Too bad.

  10. ljclark


    Oh, yeah: Recently, I bought Robitussen, which doesn’t even have any alcohol, and I was carded! I’m still not sure exactly why … something about medicine being over-dispensed to children. I think.

  11. Adam

    The reason is dextromethorphan hydrobromide (DXM) — the main active ingredient in Robitussen … drink the whole bottle and you won’t have a cold anymore, nor any perception of reality:

  12. V_man

    In the last post you denigrated the Puritan/Victorian sensibility that holds that women should not engage in less than prurient behavior, and in this one you denigrate sex workers in a manner that recalls our Puritan past. Which is it going to be?

  13. ljclark

    Wow, Adam, thanks for the info. Now I want to drink a whole bottle of Robitussen just to see what happens.

    V-man, take a closer look. *I* didn’t denigrate that Puritan sensibility. I quoted a magazine article that describes a feminist philosophy that finds prurient behavior liberating. I agreed with the Salon article that argued that men and women shouldn’t be held to different standards when it comes to such behavior. And I didn’t denigrate sex workers; I criticized a party invitation that asked me to pose as one.

  14. Br. Cleve

    I’d say drink the bottle of Robi and then go to the party.

  15. Josh

    Silly white people and their pretend cough syrup drank.

  16. ljclark

    Cleve, you have all the answers, as usual. Josh, hello — are you familiar with Sizurp, then?

  17. MC Slim JB

    When I hear the words “Stoli Raz”, that’s when I reach for my revolver.

    We already have a drink for folks who like the flavor of children’s cough syrup: it’s called Jägermeister.

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