In an ongoing effort to experience new and exciting beverages, I once again turned to the cocktail tome Organic, Shaken, and Stirred by Paul Abercrombie and tackled yet another drink recipe last week. This time, however, I let my friend IndianJones pick the libation of his choice (provided it featured no ingredients that I detested such as strawberry or peach). His selection: the Poolside, a strange mix of grapes, lemon juice, vodka, and Chardonnay. Neither of us could really wrap our heads around what it would taste like, but we decided to give it a go.
The results after the jump…
IndianJones peruses through Organic, Shaken, & Stirred for a suitable drink recipe.
Finally, he makes his selection.
Some of our fine ingredients, purchased at the nearby Target, which now offers a lovely selection of produce — and savings!
IndianJones gets to work putting grapes into the pitcher.
Grape down!! GRAPE DOWN!!!!
The grapes, ready to be muddled. I like to think of this as a tribute to the Salahi’s vineyard.
Grapes post-muddle. I believe there is simple syrup in the mix too.
Meanwhile, I tend to the juicing of the lemons. It’s become a favorite activity of mine, what with the handy dandy citrus juicer I have.
And as is the tradition, I happily make a customary tower of rinds.
Vodka macro shot!! (courtesy of IndianJones)
After we add half a cup of vodka, we then pour in a healthy amount of Chardonnay.
IndianJones shakes and swirls the mixture together with ice.
Finally the Poolside is strained into a glass over ice. Tasting ensues…
Here I am, ready to try this thing. I have to admit that I still can’t imagine what it will taste like or if it will be any good. Grapes and lemon juice? Vodka and Chardonnay? It’s all over the map.
Here’s me expressing confusion as to how every drink from this book TASTES SO DAMN GOOD.
IndianJones braces for his taste.
IndianJones tries it…
IndianJones reacts. I think his face says it all.
Naturally, there’s only one way to drink a Poolside: poolside. And that’s what we did. Here’s IndianJones luxuriating.
Now here’s me enjoying the drink. And yes, we did take turns taking pictures of us drinking from across the pool. And YES there were other people up there wondering what the hell we were doing.
The Verdict: delicious, refreshing, and stronger than one might realize. These drinks are really two for the price of one, and after only one glass, I was definitely feeling it. As advertised, it’s definitely a strong poolside drink; although, IndianJones and I both agreed that the Chardonnay element certainly lends this libation a certain cougar quality. I actually had visions of Ramona Singer sipping it in the Hamptons, which is not necessarily the most manly association for a beverage. As such, we termed the drink the “Cougar Cooler,” a name that we don’t think will really catch on, but we’ll probably continue to use nevertheless.
Anyway, despite the Poolside/Cougar Cooler packing a serious punch, it all goes down so easily (another Cougar trait, yes? ZING!). The drink was sweet but not cloying, and the grapes and Chardonnay gave it a pleasantly fruity flavor without being overbearing. More so than the other drinks, this one could probably be adapted into a punch very easily. Hmmm… I think I know what I’ll be making next weekend. Cougar Punch, anyone?