Classic (Game) Cocktail of the Week: Cool Spot Gold
Some people like to unwind over the weekend by listening to favorite podcasts; others prefer to relaxing with an alcoholic libation. We figure: Why not both? With the Classic (Game) Cocktail column, we'll offer weekly recommendations on cocktail recipes to accompany our most recent podcast episode.
Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly, and only if you are of legal age (or have permission).
Classic (Game) Cocktail #5: Cool Spot Gold
While I had a hard time digging up ways to play the games Bob tackled in this week's podcast, coming up with a drink idea was easy. I mean, we talked about games based on two different soft drinks. Ultimately, I decided to go with a drink inspired by Spot, the 7UP mascot who sometimes played the action hero (and sometimes played reversi).
This recipe is derived from the classic Pimm's Cup, minus the muddled cucumber. It's a nice, refreshing hard soda, basically. Note that Pimm's is something like 44-proof, so please be cautious with this one — it goes down easy, and then about an hour later you realize you're on your fourth glass, plus also very drunk.
- 2 oz. Pimm's No. 1
- Club soda
- 3/4 oz. simple syrup
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon and/or lime juice
- 2-3 strawberries (stem and greenery removed)
This cocktail (well, it's technically more of a highball or a punch than a cocktail) brings together a few different inspirations. One, the lemon-lime fruit and the red circular-ish fruit bobbing around is meant to recall Spot and 7UP without actually being totally on the nose and using 7UP itself as an ingredient. Two, we've reached the final days of summer, and Pimm's is very much a summer liquor — so this is our last chance for a Pimm's-based recipe in 2017 without being all gauche about it. Finally, the flavor and color of this recipe isn't simply meant to evoke 7UP in general so much as, very specifically, 7UP Gold. That's right:
If you're old enough to remember most of the games we covered in episode 115, you might also remember 7UP Gold, a very short-lived (but tasty) offshoot of the lemon-lime soda reminiscent of a cinnamon-spiced ginger ale… not too much unlike Pimm's No. 1, as it happens. An attempt to recapture the spirit of a long-defunct soft drink of the NES era? That's as Retronauts as heck.
- In a cocktail mixer, muddle strawberries (be sure to reserve one). Add ice.
- Add Pimm's, fresh juice, and simple syrup to mixer. Shake vigorously.
- Strain into a highball glass filled halfway with ice cubes.
- Top with club soda.
- Garnish with the remaining strawberry.
- You can buy bottled simple syrup, but it's a lot cheaper to make your own. Bring 1 cup water to a boil, add 1 cup of sugar, let the sugar dissolve, and allow the mixture to cool. Boom: Simple syrup, which costs about 25¢ to make and can be bottled and refrigerated for a few weeks.
- You can use 7UP in place of the fruit juice, club soda, and simple syrup if you like, but be warned that's going to result in a much sweeter drink.
- If you want to be really fancy, replace the strawberry garnish with a small ice cube of frozen homemade grenadine, which will slowly release a different flavor into the drink as it melts. Grenadine is a lot more of a hassle to prepare than simple syrup, but you can't use store-bought grenadine for this purpose — it contains preservatives that prevent it from freezing properly.
- Next week: The official drink of SR-388.
- Photography courtesy of Cat Nguyen.