It’s Mixology Monday again, hosted this time by my Gold Coast buddy Stevi Deter. Our theme this month is “Guilty Pleasures.”
It’s tempting in these neo-Puritanical times to list all alcoholic beverages under such a category, but Stevi has something particular in mind:
…in the world of cocktail bloggery, we are often pronouncing certain drinks, categories of drinks, and even an entire base spirit to be the sign of a poorly educated drinker’s palate. There seems to be no room for comfort cocktails.
October’s Mixology Monday will be a tribute to our guilty pleasures. Write about that one cocktail that, no matter how many times you’re told it’s no good for you, is the one near and dear to your heart. Feel free to celebrate your drink in all its pre-mix glory. Or try to dress it up, show us that when made right, it’s a worthy drink, we’ve just misjudged it.
For me, this was an easy one. I started out my drinking life in the days of wine coolers and other predecessors to the alco-pop trends. I’ve since abandoned Bartles & James and the like, but I still find myself turning to one such option again and again: the Jack Daniels line of coolers.
The reason is simple: They’re both tasty and easy. You can bring a four-pack to a picnic with the beer-and-wine crowd without having to lug around a cocktail mixing kit.
More importantly, outdoor music venues like the dreaded Starlake Amphitheatre typically have Jack Daniels booths. In these booths, they’ll often up the fun quotient by spiking one’s cooler with an extra shot of JD. That’s a service I appreciate, especially when I’m surrounded by crowds of stifling humanity.
My preferred JD cooler is the Lynchburg Lemonade, which is basically an extra-sweet Jack Daniels sour with a bit of fizz.
If it weren’t for MxMo, I’d not bother to mix up Lynchburg Lemonade at home — after all, the convenience is most of the value. But in the spirit of community and as an experiment, I thought it might be interesting to see whether there was an alternative worthy of making from scratch.
Most recipes you find for Lynchburg Lemonade employ both sour mix and lemon-lime soda, but that combo is silly. If you have sour mix and seltzer, and maybe an extra bit of sugar or simple syrup, why in the world would you need Sprite or 7Up? Get that high-fructose corn syrup out of here.
I added a bit of fresh lime and a little extra lemon to replace the Sprite, and doubled the sugar. Real lemon-lime soda would be even sweeter, so if you’re looking for authentic flavor go for 3 total teaspoons or more of sugar. Me, I like it a little tart.
The recipes also include Triple Sec. I substituted in Cointreau, because I like it more. And in tribute to that extra punch of Jack Daniels available at the outdoor music venue booths, I added a bonus splash of booze at the end.
Improved Lynchburg Lemonade
1 oz Jack Daniels whiskey
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
2 ts sugar (or more to taste)
additional 0.5 oz Jack Daniels
Fill pint glass with ice. Shake first 5 ingredients with ice in cocktail shaker. Pour into prepared glass; top with seltzer. Top with 0.5 oz JD and lemon wedge and serve.
Mix up a glass of this, put on a bootlegged recording of your favorite jam band, and suddenly it’s summer right in your living room. Get your muddy feet off my blanket.
Thanks again to Stevi Deter for hosting — check out her site, “Two at the Most.” Also visit the official Mixology Monday site in the next day or so for a peek into the comfort cocktails of booze bloggers everywhere.