The NC Double Shot: The Sweet Hic!steen
June 6, 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 Bloody Mary vs. 5 Cape Cod. I love Bloodies -- love love love them. I love the bite of the lemon juice and the horseradish, the meatiness of the Worstie, all the snacks in the glass, and best of all, its medicinal qualities. Even thinking about one can start burning off a hangover fog for me. But it seems from the comments as though not everyone enjoys tomato juice, which is a perfectly valid GET OFF MY WEBSITE, INFIDELS! …Just kidding. I don't get it, but it's valid -- and deeply held. Nobody just "doesn't care for" tomato. It's always a hate-on. ["I hate to mention this but in my picky-eating-book research, a psychiatrist told me that tomatoes are the most commonly hated food in her experiences." -- Keckler] Add to that the Cape Cod(der)'s own deliciousness, and I just don't know how it's going to go. I predict an upset.

6 Bellini vs. 7 Champagne Cocktail. OMG, brutal match-up. For me, it's going to come down to the "terms of use" question we often pose to match-ups in these snackets: do you vote based on liking it the best, or on "having to" drink one or the other every day forever? I like Bellinis better, but if I had to pick one for the rest of my cocktailing time on earth, I'd have to go with the CC. Mmm, lemony. Both drinks upset their opponents in the last round, but the Bellini did so by a wider margin, so I think it wins again here.

1 Gin and Tonic vs. 5 Daiquiri. And now, a short play about the sneaky-strong strawberry margaritas at El Parador:

Sarah: "Wow, this daiquiri is amazing."

Couch Baron: "…Apparently."

I like a plain old original daiquiri very much; start adding berries and melon, and you lose me. I don't know how it fares here, but I think the G 'n' T (known in the Bunting family as "the geent") wins. It's an elegant summer drink, and summer has arrived; it can fend off the gin-haters to fight another day.

3 Cuba Libre / Rum and Coke vs. 2 Cosmopolitan. Just as tough a choice as Bellini v. Champagne Cocktail, but in a different way: I don't like either drink and never order them. Both too sweet, both rather boring. Tough one to call winner-wise as well, but my bet is that S&TC backlash plus memories of illicit boozing in wood-paneled basements with boys named Thad gives rum-and-cokes the victory.

9 Mimosa vs. 4 Pimm's Cup. Mimosa upset Martini in a big way in the last round, whereas Pimm's Cup had something of a fight, so I don't know how this one shakes out. The Mimosa's simplicity is admirable -- champagne; juice; done -- but it's not something I look forward to, particularly. I'll take it if it's offered, but it's just there, and if it's made with cheap brunch-rush ingredients, enh. The Cup is more of a destination drink, one to anticipate during a long workday, and it's very hard to make badly. The Cup, by a nose.

3 Manhattan vs. 10 Margarita. It pains me, but this one's no contest: margs will stomp the venerable Manhattan flat. Infinite variations and salt with the sweet = a crowd-pleaser that probably wins the whole shooting match. Sorry, Big Apple, but Mexico's got your number.

8 Planter's Punch vs. 13 Shirley Temple. Enough already with the Shirley Temple, seriously. It beat the Sea Breeze thanks to Keckler's pitch-perfect remembrance; it beat the Sidecar because brandy and lemon is not everyone's jam. But a Planter's Punch is a Shirley Temple, just with more shit in it -- shit like alcohol, which is what we're doing here -- so people, quit fucking around and send the kiddie corps home with the nanny already.

…And with that, I just guaranteed a flurry of defensive "so there!" voting that will assure another victory for Ms. Temple. Ugh.

6 Tom Collins vs. 2 Sangria. Ol' Thomas has gotten further than I'd anticipated, but sangria is a veritable fruity buzzsaw so far, and that will continue. If you're not too busy stealing "Fruity Buzzsaw" as a band name, you'll be voting for sangria in droves.

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