Judging by the above picture, plus previous recipes for the brightly hued Monkey Gland and Clover Club, it would appear that 52 Cocktails has a thing for pink drinks. While I’d like to assure you this is not true, it seems there’s only a certain number of cocktails I can try before my brain seizes up and I make the first recipe with grenadine in it that I come across. Today, for example, I was intending to make the Gin Sling from bartending legend Dale DeGroff’s book The Craft of the Cocktail (Clarkson Potter, 2002), but as I flipped through the A-Z recipe section I landed in the “F” section and the recipe for the Flamingo caught my eye. (Which sounds like the kind of bullshit story you’d hear in a hospital for bartending mishaps, if such a thing existed. “Honestly, Doctor Mixologist, my finger slipped and I landed in the “F” part…I guess it was premature pagination…”.) The Flamingo recipe – pineapple juice, rum, lime and grenadine – sounded vaguely tropical and dead easy to make and so I figured, why not.
The result was reason enough to understand why not. It was super bright pink (some idiot forgot to take a photo, so you’ll have to take my word for it) and tasted exactly like its components. It wasn’t terrible, but it was vaguely unpleasant and almost boring to drink. What’s that saying about the whole being more than the sum of its parts? In this case, its parts were just its parts and they didn’t really taste like they were playing nicely together; it was like there was no whole (which also sounds like something you’d overhear in a hospital). The drink lacked subtlety and complexity and looked – and tasted – like a drink you’d get at a run-down tropical resort in the ’80s. So I attempted to fix it by adding cream, which turned it from being a strong, clear pink drink to being a strong, opaque pink drink, as pictured here (complete with cutesy pink table cover and party favour bag since it now looked very much like something you’d drink at a five-year-old’s birthday party. Or like liquid antacid, which I suppose you might also drink at a five-year-old’s birthday party seeing as such parties often make people feel a bit sick).
Still, at least now it was drinkable; the cream brought the disparate ingredients together into a sweet, not unpleasant cocktail, with the pineapple brought to the forefront and the strong rum flavour somewhat mellowed out. It was described by 52 Cocktails’ CTO (Cocktail Tasting Officer) as “a pina colada meets Samantha Fox”, the kind of thing that would be consumed by the dozen during an ’80s hens night. If you ever want to know just what a pina colada meeting Samantha Fox tastes like, here’s the recipe:
45ml white rum
45ml pineapple juice
7ml fresh lime juice
For a Pina Colada meets Samantha Fox, add all ingredients to a shaker that’s half-fill of ice, shake like mad and strain into the glass.
For a Flamingo, follow the above method but omit the cream.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
Easier than mentioning you fell into the F-part by accident.
This recipe was adapted by 52 Cocktails from the Flamingo recipe that appears in The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff (Clarkson Potter, 2002), though we’re not particularly proud of it and really don’t think you should try it unless you LOVE pink drinks that look like they belong in the medicine cabinet.