Girl Drink Drunk: Cowboy Chow

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In testing out the theories and recipes and perfect stomach liners for this column, I've realized (I actually always knew, but epiphanies are so much more on trend these days) that due to the "event" quality of a girl drink, we can drink fewer of them than just any ol' regular mixed drink or beer. Sort of like holidays--they're awesome, but you can't take in as many of them as regular ol' days because it's just too much work.

So when I say "event" referring to drinks, I mean that there's muddling, or some sort of crazy garnish, a combination of things that no one keeps in their house, a process that takes longer than a minute or an infusion of any kind. Which brings me to this installment's girl drink, Cowboy Chow's "cowboy cocktail," the pumpkin pie.

Now, you'll notice on the menu there are many other varieties of cowboy cocktails that seem more Girl Drink Drunk-friendly (the peaches & cream, the sweet watermelon and the Mexican vanilla coke, hello!), but hey, tis the pumpkin pie season my friends.

Normally, I'm not much of a bourbon person as I don't want anything to "put hair on [my] chest" (as my dad would put it) and I sort of feel like a girly dragon breathing fire after a gulp of it on its own. But I'm told these things are stuff bourbon drinkers value--only, I think they refer to them as a robust flavor and lingering taste. We were celebrating Jennifer's belated birthday which made a stiff drink seem even more appropriate, but as it was lunch time, we just ordered one to share and taste test.

We ordered the "pumpkin and spice infused bourbon with ginger ale" and after checking to see that the bourbon was "ready" (in-house cocktail operations can be finicky, I suppose) our lovely server brought us our experiment.

We kept taking sips and trying to nail down the flavors and our overall opinion of the drunkard's version of pumpkin pie. Even before we were diving into some red pepper brisket tacos/salad and some fried okra (for serious, people, eat some now), we knew that the drink was neither awesome, nor awful, but a strange brew of things we like but never expected to combine into a drinking form.

Here's a quick list of things referenced during the drink discussion:
- toothache
- baby shower
- crust (as in, pie)
- holiday meals
- sore throats
- feeling hot
- weather
- pie mouth
- holiday gifts
- moving (not directly associated with the drink, but something that transitioned the conversation and will certainly drive you to drink)

Let me translate: At first it seemed way too strong. The ginger ale sort of overpowered the bourbon's taste--which you think I'd be into, but strangely I wasn't. The pumpkin pie flavor wasn't so much a taste in the drink but afterward. Now once we stirred it a little more and waited a few minutes for the ice to settle in, the whole thing changed. It offered a more cohesive taste and warmed the gullet in a good, not bourbon-burny way. Never what I'd call liquid pie, but that's a good thing because I prefer not to chew my drinks. But I do appreciate one which includes a preemptive nausea remedy, like CC's pumpkin pie.

It was, in the end, a lot of things to us: something we decided had the essence of a masculine baby shower in the fall (a ginger ale effect). Or, something that would soothe a tootheache but still let you feel like you'd just eaten a slice of pie that you couldn't have possibly eaten because of said toothache. It's not something I'd seek out, but definitely something I'd finish if I wasn't enjoying it at lunch on a weekday.

Thus, the pumpkin pie is totally Thanksgiving: It's not as cool as Halloween or Christmas/Hanukkah, but it's comforting and you wouldn't want to miss out on it.

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