The NC Double Shot Round of 32, Flight 1
May 27, 2011

The gloves are coming off and the cocktail umbrellas are coming out! I make my predictions below, which you can take or leave, but do go cast your vote over at Tomato Nation.

Confused? You can find answers here.

1 Bloody Mary vs. 8 Black / White Russians. Okay, as gross as the Russians sound to me, even worse is the cocktail before it in Herbst's bar guide. Check this out: the Black Magic has vodka, Kahlua, and LEMON JUICE. KAHLUA and LEMON JUICE! Who does that? Meanwhile, the Bloody Mary is a great drink, and one that takes very well to experimentation. In San Francisco, Zuni Cafe uses house-infused pepper vodka and adds minced shallots and balsamic vinegar with a straw, and some joint in Minnesota swaps out stringy celery for a Slim Jim. (Aw, RIP Macho Man.) What I'm saying is, the Bloody Mary is hemorrhaging with possibilities, and the Russians -- though hemophiliacs -- are not.

5 Cape Cod vs. 4 Amaretto Sour. I just don't get the Amaretto Sour. I mean, almonds and sour mix? It's like...spreading marmalade on marzipan? Yeeesh. However, a lot of you like it (as does Mathra, apparently), and there just might be enough of you to push it through to the next round. However, I don't think you should overlook the medicinal values of a cranberry-juice-based cocktail, which, by the way, has apparently had more names than Prince. I'm voting with the bogs, but if you go for the nut-scented acid reflux, chase it with a shot of Pepto and creme de menthe.

6 Bellini vs. 3 Bacardi Cocktail / Rum Punch. Ah, Bellinis. Thank god I got over my peach hate before I encountered my first brunch Bellini. Now I love them so much, I get annoyed when the only option offered is a orange-juice-stuffed Mimosa. Although, considering all the fruit or fruit-like things in a Rum Punch, it might be a viable brunch option, too. I don't know. ["That's affirmative." -- Bunting] We ranked Rum Punch high, maybe too high? I wouldn't be shocked if Bellini snagged this.

7 Champagne Cocktail vs. 2 [X] and Soda / Wine Spritzer. Thank you to everyone who told me that Blast from the Past is apparently blame for me thinking the Champagne Cocktail is a hooker's drink. I wonder what Victor Laszlo thinks of that. Still, whatever its sordid history, the bitters-soaked sugar cube alone is way more interesting than the [insert alcohol here] and soda, and I kind of think it could pull an upset here. But if I read Bunting right, I'm grossly undervaluing the power of all those sparkling wine hangovers out there.

1 Gin and Tonic vs. 9 Hot Toddy. These are the two cocktails my household consumes the most of -- "of which my household consumes the most"? ...We drink a lot of these. Both. Large amounts. More than other drinks. (I swear I'm not drinking right now.) Basically, I see this as a very close race, but G 'n' Ts will take it, because you can enjoy them all year. No one wants to wrap their hand around a sweltering hot toddy in 90 heat unless they enjoy sweating bourbon and honey.

5 Daiquiri vs. 4 Frootinis. This could pit the rum lovers against the vodka hounds, and since vodka is what you choose when you don't want to taste anything ["that's so odd, too, because I always can taste it, and that's not a good thing" -- Bunting], I think there's more of them. Plus, Frootinis are more versatile, what with all the choices out there in the fruit kingdom. They'll win. However, if anyone ever tries to give me a figtini, I will be required to vomit in it.

6 Dark and Stormy vs. 3 Cuba Libre / Rum and Coke. I'm really sad to say this, but I think my Dark and Stormy is going down here. The voters could still surprise me, but it's hard to beat caffeinated alcohol. ["It's even harder to beat the pause that refreshes, and it's one of those drinks you order because it's easy to make and hard to up-fuck. I think it wins." -- Bunting] 7 Gimlet vs. 2 Cosmopolitan. It didn't take much for the Gimlet to beat the mug of hot oil slick, but facing down the Cosmo is probably where its luck runs out.

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