From Captain Hook to Pelican Road, coastal streets share their names with cocktails
What’s in a name?
When it comes to cocktails, the answers to that age-old question are interesting, sometimes strange or will lead you down many a road on the upper Texas coast.
There’s Captain Hook, a small street in Jamaica Beach. As a cocktail, Captain Hook is a wicked mixture of Malibu Rum, a bit of Goldschläger and enough Redbull to fill the glass. If that sounds like it might shiver your timbers a tad too much, head a block or so over to the neighbors on Sandpiper. That name conjures up a drink of cherry brandy, light rum, a little orange juice and a few drops of orange bitters.
If pirates are your thing, run up your Jolly Roger in Pirate’s Cove. The Crossbones is an interesting cocktail made with chartreuse, peppermint liqueur and Everclear. That last ingredient is what makes one’s bones cross and skull hurt.
Want to get out of this seafaring neighborhood? Pack up some rum, some Dubonnet and some bitters and go to Mutiny, (Lane or Court), just a ways up the beach.
Farther away from the water is Yucca Drive, which, being a long island street, calls for a lot of drinks. What better name would there be for an entire punch made with seven cups of vodka, the juice from eight limes and eight lemons and a cup of sugar?
Albatross, Park Avenue, Commodore, Bora-Bora, Tradewinds, Magnolia, Castaway, Boulevard and on and on, there are drink recipes to go with each name.
Take Chantilly, a refreshing mixture of dark rum, apricot brandy, simple syrup and peach bitters. To find it among all the other cocktail real estate, look for a martini glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar and garnished with a cinnamon stick wrapped in an orange-peel swirl.
Anyone who feels more at home on an Avenue — and there are lots around here — this summer sipper can be made with fresh passion fruit, bourbon, calvados, grenadine, orange blossom water and a few drops of orange bitters. Note, there are many variations to this drink, from A to V ½ in Galveston.
Grapefruit and lemon juice mixed with vodka and a little lime syrup and grenadine would be appropriate on Pelican Road on the island.
There are so many tiki drink recipes, Tiki Island should be awash.
Drink names sometimes have strange origins. Take the Tom Collins, a grand dame of a cocktail made with gin, lemon juice and soda.
In 1874, for no reason anyone has figured out, men in New York and Philadelphia began playing a prank that went viral. One man would go up to another in a bar and ask whether he had heard all the horrible things Tom Collins was saying about him. The second man would go looking for Tom Collins, only to be told at each tavern Collins had just left for another. Off the offended man would go and go and go.
Of course, there was no Tom Collins. The whole joke became so popular it was referred to as “The Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874.” Eventually, at least one New York bartender got so tired of the joke, he created the drink. Every time someone asked him for Tom Collins, he plopped the drink down and asked for payment. The non-existent Tom Collins became immortal.
There once was a California surfer named Harvey. During a surfing championship in the 1960s, Harvey wiped out and ended up at a place on the beach called Pancho’s Bar and began drinking a concoction of vodka and orange juice with Galliano. He didn’t stop at one, possibly explaining why he began banging his head against the wall. The drink’s name became the Harvey Wallbanger.
There are lots of stories about the name Bloody Mary, but the most accepted one comes from its originator, the bartender Fernand “Pete” Petiot. He created it at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris just after World War I using Russian vodka, spices and a new item in France — American-made tomato juice in a can. The drink was named, rather unimaginatively, a tomato juice cocktail. But Ernest Hemingway, in his subtle way, dubbed it Bucket of Blood. It’s not clear whether that helped sales.
A few years later, however, a rather sad woman named Mary began frequenting Harry’s to meet a certain man. She almost always was left waiting, spending her time sipping on the tomato juice cocktail. Petiot began to visit with her as she waited and made a comparison between the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the young woman’s long, solitary hours at the bar. He began calling the lady’s preferred drink a Bloody Mary, connecting Hemingway’s name and the nickname for the 16th-century English Queen Mary.
Some historians back up Petiot’s story, but they note he was obviously much better at making cocktails than at history. Bloody Mary was a nickname for Queen Mary I of England, not the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots.
This recipe comes from the 2012 Mr. Boston Bartender’s Guide.
1½ ounces dark rum
¾ ounce Apricot-flavored brandy
1 ounces Fresh lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
2 dashes peach bitters
Lemon wedge and cinnamon sugar for rimming
Orange peel twist and a cinnamon stick for garnishing
Chill a martini glass. Rim the chilled cocktail glass with lemon and cinnamon sugar. Add the rum, brandy, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into the glass. Wind the orange peel twist around the cinnamon stick for garnish.