Despite whatever negative connotations the term “exploitation cinema” might bring to mind, it is a concept which, at its heart, is really much more benign than you might think. Basically, an exploitation film is one which focuses on an element simply for the sake of luring in the audience – sex, blood, a specific ethnicity, or even Megan Fox and giant transforming robots. And, in the parlance of Hollywood, exploitation was a way for the major studios to distinguish the “low brow” fare of the little guys from their own “important” movies. More to the point, exploitation cinema was, and remains, a way for people without marketing budgets to compete in a lopsided marketplace. Take, for example, “The Human Centipede” – for which, I’m sure, you’ve never seen a poster or a television commercial but about which you’ve certainly heard and formed an opinion.
Make the sorbet per the Hot-Frozen Gin Fizz recipe, substituting key lime juice for the lemon
Scoop out the melon balls, making them small enough to fit through the boba straw
When the sorbet is ready, add approximately 3 ounces of it to the bottom of a large glass
Return the glass to the freezer, allowing the sorbet to set and the glass to thoroughly chill
Just before serving, add the melon balls to the glass
When serving, pre-mix the gin and tonic, then add to the glass
Add the mint and boba straw
* * *
If there’s one thing I can tell you, having run through a number of drinks for today’s Mixology Monday post, it’s that if you’re dead set on serving your drink in a scientific beaker or flask, don’t make the drink yellow. It’s a small point but one which I quickly realized as I poured a pineapple syrup-based cocktail into my vessel of choice. As this month’s theme is “Come to Your Senses” – chosen by us, given that Paul Clarke was kind enough to allow us to host the August mixer – and the goal is to create a drink which inspires a sense beyond just taste, a beaker full of frothy golden liquid arouses reactions best left unspoken.
Fortunately for everyone involved, we ditched the pineapple and went in a different direction. As the ones who set the theme, we of course figured that we should challenge ourselves to incorporate as many of the five senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing – as possible into our entry. This meant breaking out the molecular mixology playbook and working our way through gels, foams, mists, solids, cotton candy, deconstruction, reconstruction, and many other big words. After several false starts and abandoned recipes (the pineapple concoction), we decided to think outside the science kit.
Since I went out of my way to insist upon imitation maraschino cherries in our Rye Rogers drink, I figured that I better make amends by offering up my secret Homemade “Imitation” Maraschino Cherries recipe. But, wait, that’s not all! Because I’m feeling generous (or maybe because it’s easy), I’m throwing in Brandied Cherries at no extra cost! How’s that for savings?
The reason for all of this silliness is that it’s National Cherry Festival time in Traverse City, Michigan. I covered some of the history of the festival back in our Cherry Blossom post, so rather than tread over the same ground again, I’ll quickly catch you up on the major points: a) the Cherry Festival is in Michigan; b) Michigan is primarily known for its sour cherries; c) there are two main types of sour cherries, the montmorencies you’ll find in Michigan and the morellos you’ll find along the Adriatic (and thereabouts). To cocktail nerds and foodies, the morellos that make real Maraschino and Amarena cherries are treasured items. Not only are they light-years better than the ersatz red orbs you’ll find at the supermarket, they have the mystique of coming from remote parts of the world.
Add rye and grenadine to a Collins glass over ice
Top with cola, then squeeze in lime
Stir and garnish with cherries
* * *
If you’re willing to tolerate our “12 Rounds” lunacy, one of the questions we’ll ask you is “What was your first formative cocktail experience?” For me, the answer has to be the Roy Rogers. Now, I know what you’re thinking – coke and grenadine, that’s no cocktail – but you’d be wrong. Very wrong. Through the eyes of a child, anything that comes from the bar and includes mysterious ingredients (grenadine) and a garnish is, without question, a bona fide mixed drink worthy of Harry Craddock himself. No, in the Kodachrome world of my youth, when I sidled up to the bar and placed my two bits on the counter, my order was “A Roy Rogers, Mister – and make it snappy.”
Add whiskey, grenadine, and lemon juice to a mixing glass and stir to combine
Pour into a collins glass with crushed ice
Top glass with hard cider
Stir gently to combine
* * *
There are two things in this world which I really would love to wholeheartedly embrace, but no matter how much effort I put into understanding them, I fail time and time again. They are mahjong and cricket. I have books on both – books which I’ve picked up here and there over the years – yet I seem to remain absolutely clueless on either subject, which is problematic, at least on the cricket front, since I’ve chosen to follow up our lawn tennis post with one about that sport of gentlemen. Even worse, it’s not just a post about cricket; it’s one on an obtuse scoring mechanism applied during rain-outs. Thank goodness there’s a drink to go along with it – I think I’ll be needing it.