The NC Double Shot Round of 32, Flight 2
May 31, 2011

The gloves are coming off and the cocktail umbrellas are coming out! You can read Bunting's predictions for this round below and then have your liver go vote at Tomato Nation.

Confused? You can find answers here.

1 Martini / Gibson vs. 9 Mimosa. The Martini pounded its opponent last time; I foresee a much tighter race this time. The Mimosa is a daytime-drinking staple for a reason: it's refreshing, and there isn't a learning curve or acquired-taste problem -- Martinis can make themselves hard to like. On the other hand, that challenging quality is perhaps what makes the Martini appealing to some, that hunt for the right blend or the personalized order -- drier or dirtier; more olives or fewer -- that makes a drink your own. And it's so damn cinematic. Martinis by a hair. ["Martini's marked the beginning of my publishing career…" -- Keckler]

12 Mai Tai vs. 4 Pimm's Cup. I'm a little surprised to see the Mai Tai outside the first round, since it's basically a fruit salad with rum poured on to-- you know, I just talked myself into one. It's hot and muggy here in the 718 today and that sounds really delish. But on a hot and muggy day, very few things beat a Pimm's Cup, including a Mai Tai. The MT barely squeaked through last time; its journey ends here.

6 Long Island Iced Tea vs. 3 Manhattan. The other night, I met friends for a drink and a Mets game (because these days, you can scarcely get through the second thing without the first). I'd had a long day of hucking furniture around and I'd decided at around 3:30 PM that I'd have a bourbon Manhattan when I got to the bar, so I asked Bean to order me a bourbon Manhattan straight up while I went to the ATM. When I got back, I found a Dan-hattan instead -- the bartender had made it with Jack Daniel's, for reasons that escaped…um, everyone -- and it had no cherry in it. Unacceptable, and yet still better than an LIT. It's got a crisp tartness to it that I just love (and he hit the second one right on the sweet spot) and somehow it makes every drink after it taste better too. I don't think it has the nostalgic cachet of the LIT, but Manhattan moves on to the Sweet Hic!steen. ["…and Manhattans marked the end." -- Keckler]

10 Margarita vs. 2 Mojito. Why did we rank Margs so low? Keckler's going to say we were drunk, but in retrospect, it seems obvious even to the soused that it would spank Irish Coffee…and I think it's going to upset the Mojito as well, because it's better known and doesn't have that (undeserved, but still) whiff of the obnoxious foodie about it. I can't bring myself to choose, but you'll choose Margaritae.

1 Screwdriver vs. 8 Planter's Punch. I don't care for Screwdrivers. I'm all for a simple (read: "boring" -- heh) drink, but there's simple, and then there's cheap vodka and store-bought OJ; it just forms a sourness in the sinuses that I don't like. A well-made PP makes you want to sing and read Hemingway. ["I clearly don't hit the Planter's Punch bowl hard enough because I never want to read Hemingway." -- Keckler] I think it's got a good shot here.

12 Sidecar vs. 13 Shirley Temple. Two upset winners face off, and I just don't know how to call it, because I don't know if the "ha ha, let's vote for Shirley Temples for the fond memories" momentum will continue. I like Sidecars, but I don't think I've ever ordered one -- not a huge fan of brandy in a mixed drink -- and it's entirely possible that the non-alcoholic future Congresswoman proceeds to the next round.

6 Tom Collins vs. 14 Zombie. Hmm. The Zombie gnawed its way into the Ro32 by 8 votes, and I do find the Tom Collins marginally more appealing, although I'd prefer to delete the powdered sugar from the mix -- but I like the Zombie in theory, its mid-century chrome-and-fins space-age-bachelor-tiki-pad feel. ["Say what you will about foodies -- obnoxious or otherwise -- but they're the pushers basically replaced powdered sugar with simple syrups in drinks. Make it in bulk and store it in the fridge for whenever." -- Keckler] You've got to admire a drink whose signature quality is that the list of ingredients that aren't in it is probably shorter. I'd have no problem with a Zombie win -- but I'm voting Collins, and I predict you will too.

7 Tequila Sunrise vs. 2 Sangria. It's no contest for me, and it's likely no contest for Sangria. The Sunrise had a soft opponent in the last round; no such luck here. Sangria in a landslide. ["It's another Tequila Sunrise, staring slowly across the skyyyy. Said goodbyyyye. He was just a hired haaaand, working on the dreams he planned to tryyyyyyy. The days go byyyyyyyy." -- Keckler] ["Fired." -- Bunting]

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