Girl Drink Drunk: Cosmos’ Hawaiian Punch

When a cosmo is "watered down" with vodka, even vision becomes slurred

The original plan was to hit up the "upscale dive," Lakewood Landing. But I talked to one of our favorite bartenders there (well, that’s not fair—they all are our favorites) and he said to let him think about it…so he could come up with something really good. I liked the sound of that too much to push, so the Landing comes later on down the GDD line.

For this edition, we hit up its neighbor Cosmos. With BF Jake, BFF Jen and BFF’s BF in tow, I approached Scott, a bartender and a younger Nick Cave look-alike if Cave wore a headscarf, and told him of our mission. Girl drinks.

That of the weak or that of the brave? For there are, you know, two types. We compared girl drinks to the cruise or vacation cocktail. “You go on vacation and you’ll have drinks you’d never order,” Scott said. He told us of a recent trip to Hawaii and his vacation cocktail example: a rum runner. He also noted that the thing that makes vacation/girl drinks fun on the run but ass-kickers back home is often the combination of multiple liquors—like you’d find, for example, in a Long Island iced tea.

Now, Jen and I were torn on this order. Should we go with the Cosmopolitan because we were at Cosmos (where, according to Scott, it is appropriately very popular) or should we go with a particular fruity, frothy escapee’s concoction known to be served at the neighborhood lounge? We did both. Turns out, Jackson, a longtime ‘tender at Cosmos, makes the latter, so we started with Scott’s Cosmo…and a pizza order for insurance. The boys went with beers and sodas, of course. And pizza.

Now, I could have been lit in 15 seconds if I’d downed that sucker. A Cosmo—vodka citron, Cointreau, cranberry juice and lime juice, according to the International Bartenders Association—is sort of a hot pink color recognizable by those who’ve watched Sex & the City, or cougars trying to be characters from Sex & the City in any given ultra lounge. Ours were, how you say, strong. So strong they were pale pink. Possibly flesh colored. Now, I like vodka—some would say a lot—but I needed a cutter. We were drinking liquid flesh...which may be a sacrilege. Fortunately, before I could officially start slurring like a lightweight but not before Jen could suggest, “We should gamble!” the pizza arrived. And so did Jackson. I made it halfway through.

And that’s when we got totally girly. Jen had a “sex with Jackson” first, a blend of grape vodka, pomegranate and cranberry juice. It’s tart and a little sassy. Like a Jolly Rancher bitch-slapped your geek glands…which is not a comment on the name of the drink or Jackson’s manhood, by the way.

It was good, but she later transitioned to what I got: Hawaiian Punch. Jackson calls it “ a masterpiece of yumtastic”--and he’s not far off, if you like actual Hawaiian Punch and don't consult a dictionary. It’s like a less syrupy version that will get you sorta loaded but not spinning drunk in two to four depending on your food buffer intake. Made with cherry vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, pomegranate juice and cranberry juice, it sounds like a sweet treat that could sub for dessert, but it’s oddly refreshing and addictive. And what with the vacation drink discussion earlier, it only seemed appropriate that the Hawaiian Punch ended up winning over our GDD hearts.

Here, I like to point out that by the time the pizza was cashed and we’d moved on to the punch, the boys (who had spent most of the time comparing iPhone apps) had both dissed us for their respective homes and computers. And we turned to girl talk…just like a couple of HBO cosmo drinkers but with much cheaper shoes. We feared a precedent had been set, but then we saved ourselves with discussion of Thanksgiving recipes. And how we can’t stay up late on weeknights anymore. And then more girl talk…or was it gossip? Xoxo, Girl Drink Drunk --Merritt Martin

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Dave Faries
Contact: Dave Faries