The NC Double Shot Round of 64, Flight 1: A-Ch
May 16, 2011

At long last, it's time to watch the cocktails face-off against one another. Read Bunting's write-ups below and then go vote over at Tomato Nation. Confused? You can find answers here.

1 Bloody Mary vs. 16 Americano / Campari and Soda. A Campari cocktail has such a wonderful mid-century idea about it, a throwaway line in a Fellini film, or the sort of pale-pink thing your grandmother would drink on a July afternoon, playing cards with her friends on the side porch. It's an acquired taste, though, even with soda or fruit juice, and it can never rival the Bloody's miraculous ability to bring even the nastiest MGD hangover to heel. The Bloody has its detractors, sure, but enough people love horseradish; love the Bloody Maria and other variations; or need to get from half-dead to parental brunch by whatever means necessary that the tomatoey concoction should sail right through.

8 Black / White Russians vs. 9 Caipirinha. Tough call. I find White Russians disgusting (the recipe phrase "float of cream" alone flutters the gorge), and the Black Russian isn't much more appealing; it's the same reason I don't care for rum balls (hew) -- sticky-sweetness and booze don't sit well together for me. But…the Dude's got a beverage here, and it's said that a well-made WR tastes like coffee ice cream. As well, the caipirinha's arm-garter-sporting-bartender heyday seems to have passed some years ago. But as far as 0-to-bloodstream efficacy, the caipirinha is hard to beat. I think it wins, but I think it's close. ["I will always hold the caipirinha among my favorites purely because of the Two Fat Ladies demo of it, which is where I first learned of its existence." -- Keckler]

5 Cape Cod vs. 12 Bahama Mama. The Mama has too much on. It has a lot of elements I like, but it needs to look in the mirror before it leaves the bar and take one thing off -- or two. Or five. Make it with dark rum and ditch the coconut liqueur and the grenadine and maybe we can have a conversation. ["Plus the BM is a stupid-ass name that was probably meant to embarrass the orderer into NOT ordering it." -- Keckler] ["So true. It's the Moons Over My Hammy of drink orders." -- SDB] Until then, I'd take the Cape Cod every time; it's a vodka cran, always a good bet -- and with lime juice, which I love, and I think voters do too. CC FTW.

4 Amaretto Sour vs. 13 Buttery / Slippery Nipples. I could probably get a whole Slippery down without gagging, but the Buttery…gack! It's like diabetes in a glass! The Amaretto Sour should strike me as equally gross, and if it's made with one of the cheap brands of sour mix designed specifically to shield freshman tongues from the horror of alcohol's actual taste, it's like licking almond Tupperware -- but if it's mixed right, it's heavenly. What's more, y'all specifically requested it, so I see a victory here.

6 Bellini vs. 11 Boilermaker / Depth Charge / Car Bomb. A Boilermaker or one of its explosively named brethren is fun to do, or to watch; it has an efficient cred. You want beer; you want whisky; you won't fuck around. It is the spiritual opposite of the Bellini, which is fun to say and fun to drink, in that "Zsa Zsa on Dick Cavett" way. It's pretty sweet, and not everybody's a sparkling-grape fan, but it's my pick and I think it's yours too.

3 Bacardi Cocktail / Rum Punch vs. 14 Alabama Slammer. The Slammer sounds good, in theory, if you like Southern Comfort, but I can't hang with SoCo anymore, and my dad makes a really great stripped-down Rum Punch with navel oranges. The Bacardi Cocktail seems like a sentimental favorite ["I love that it was ruled in 1936 that it was ILLEGAL to make this cocktail with any rum other than Bacardi rum." -- Keckler], but this vote could be a lot closer than our rankings suggest. Call it.

7 Champagne Cocktail vs. 10 Brandy Alexander. Again with the dairy. I…no. And sometimes it separates…no! No no no. Cannot. Sorry. The Champagne Cocktail, meanwhile, is a tart, fizzy delight; it figures heavily in stories mothers tell about their freshman-year roommates, for some reason. ["I'm truly torn. Brandy Alexander is the ONLY cream drink I'll accept. I do love it more than I should. Also, I met Mathra while drinking one in England, so there's that. Someone once told me that the Champagne Cocktail was a 'hooker's drink,' not sure why or where that even came from, but I love the ceremony of dropping the sugar cube in the glass. Plus, it's THE drink of Moonstruck, I believe, though the Castorinis nix the bitters." -- Keckler] The Cocktail probably wins, but I never discount the headachey loathing some people feel for champagne.

2. [X] and Soda / Wine Spritzer vs. 15 B-52. It's a cop-out to cram most of the "and soda" drinks into one category, but hey, we don't get paid to do these brackets and we couldn't think of another solution. I know a few vodka-and-soda drinkers, and my pops has occasionally busted out a dark-rum-and-soda -- which is narst, actually. Sorry, Dad. It's not as narst as the B-52, however. Kahlua and Irish cream together is already pushing it, but then I don't understand how the bilious Grand Marnier is the solution here. If you have actually tasted a B-52, and would care to mount a defense of its particular alchemy in the comments, I look forward to reading it -- and to still not trying a B-52. Soda/spritzer drinks, by a wide margin.

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