Friday, March 18, 2011

In Praise of Frou-frou Drinks

Anyone who's met me in person knows I distinctly am not a girly girl. Fashion for me is a pair of Levi's 501 jeans without holes and boat shoes that aren't mottled with bottom paint. So you'd think that I'd be all about tough guy booze. Yeah. Not so much. Turns out, I don't much like the taste of alcohol. Ergo, I'll only drink it if it's sweet enough. If I'm drinking alcohol straight, I'll go for the liquors like Amaretto or Bailey's. 

The rest of the time, it's frou-frou drinks. These aren't umbrella drinks, necessarily. These are creations that, at their best, combine a series of unlikely flavors into something sublime. The simplest version of that is the Raspberry Lemon Drop:

1 1/2 oz cirtrus vodka
3/4 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Chambord Liqueur
1 oz Sweet & Sour mix
Juice from two lemon wedges
lemon twist & sugar for rimming glass

  1. If desired rub a lemon wedge around the rim of a martini glass and dip in sugar to coat the rim.
  2. In metal mixing tin, fill with ice, add vodka, triple sec, Sweet & Sour and juice from two lemon wedges.
  3. Shake thoroughly and strain into chilled martini glass.
  4. Pour Chambord down the center of the drink for layered affect (red bottom, yellow/white up top).
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist if desired
But the true masters of the frou-frou are at Carmelita's, a vegetarian restaurant in Seattle. Here's just one example from their drink menu:  Chrysanthemum -Lucid absinthe, Benedictine, Noilly Prat dry vermouth, orange peel

If you wish to peruse all of their drink creations, look at their menu: - scroll to the second and third pages.

Carmelita's specializes in combining flavors you'd never consider putting together and melding them into a taste experience that transcends the sum of the parts. Sometimes, depending on your particular palette, that's a bad thing. But most of the time, it's very, very good.  Another restaurant in Seattle, Moshi Moshi (sushi) has a fun drink menu, too. Their great claim to my affection is liberal use of ginger and lime in their various drinks. When I say I like ginger, most people nod, but my husband quickly corrects their mistaken notion that they comprehend the level of my appreciation for the spice. My very favorite soda on the planet is Reed's Extra Ginger Ale. Fizzy, GINGERY goodness - so much ginger, this stuff burns. All the way down. And there's no alcohol. Mmmmmmm. The DH claims he could pour Reed's Extra into the batteries as a substitute for the acid already in there. It's Reed's Extra that Moshi Moshi uses to mix a few of the drinks on their menu. Those drinks make me happy.


  1. ~takes notes, marks map~

    I'm with you in the Ginger love. Have you tried:

    Stirrings Ginger liqueur?


    Vernor's soda? (which is sweeter than Reeds, admittedly)

  2. *takes notes* I love learning something new every day! :-)

  3. I'm not a frou-frou drink type person. Normally. But, sometimes I come across one that's so good, I don't care! One thing I've learned to love are chocolate martinis. However, for the most part, I'm all about my beer and Jack Daniels. But if I ever find myself in Seattle, I'm going to go to this place!

  4. I'm not a big drinker of the frou-frou, but that Raspberry lemon drop sounds tasty! I'll have to try one.

  5. Wait, you took me to Carmelita's! Why didn't we have funky drinks???

    (David and I are both total Reed's Extra addicts.)

  6. I think I'd had a migraine and wasn't able to drink. You guys had wine with dinner - but nothing fancy...I'm sure there was some compelling reason to not have weird and wonderful drinks, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was.

  7. Ginger. ~shudders~ We detests it, nasty stuff. Although Canada Dry Ginger Ale is okay with me.

  8. That's right, Marcella - and we were going to sail in the morning and I didn't really want to have a weird and wonderful drink hangover for that!

  9. Hmm. To be honest, I pretty much *only* like frou-frou drinks. As long as they're sweet, I'm good to go.