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Five More Insane Drinks for an Insane 2017

Because I Haven’t Caused Enough Trouble

Last year, I made a significant mistake in my “5 Insane Drinks” article. I failed to realize that two of the beverages contained ingredients that can no longer be found in the LCBO. Apparently, Andre’s Almond Cream tasted too good for a wine that should never leave a paper bag, and Bacardi 151 (the key ingredient in Totally Awesome Sweet Alabama Liquid Snake) was probably responsible for too many frat house infernos. Why can’t we be more like New Brunswick where the gas stations sell whisky, RCMP officers carry two long guns, and ditches make comfortable parking spaces for rented Toyotas.

Anyway, since I don’t own a wakizashi and can’t properly commit seppuku, I must atone with 5 other insane drinks for a (still) insane 2017!

Do you hear that sound? That’s your liver screaming like it was being faced down by a Lovecraftian horror.


  • Ol’ Kentucky Shark


½ oz Jim Beam Red Stag Black Cherry (35%, $27.45/750ml)

½ oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum (46%, $30.45/750ml)


Serve as a shot, shooter, or on ice.


I’d say this is a personal invention, but I’m sure someone somewhere else has made this. This one’s pretty mundane, but it’s also damned tasty. Sailor Jerry is a popular spiced rum with a lot of kick and strong notes of cherry and vanilla, which makes it complement the “candy and bourbon” taste of the Red Stag (which just tastes like “you got your bourbon in my cherry syrup”). Why is it insane? Well, it’s rum and bourbon, so there’s the hat-on-a-hat aspect of it. It’s also easy to underestimate, and between the sugar and brown liquor, there’s high risk of a king hell bastard of a hangover. I call it Ol’ Kentucky Shark as an obscure pop culture reference, but also because bourbon is from Kentucky, and it’s magnificent until it suddenly destroys you.


  • Bright’s Pale Dry Select (sherry)


1 bottle (20%, $8.95/750ml)


Keep the bottle in the bag, and get drinking. It’s tradition.


Since Andre’s Almond Cream is no longer available in Ontario, I give you something much worse. Bright’s Pale Dry is the proud sponsor of that toothless guy on the street who asks you, “this place, where is it?” At least, I think that’s what he was saying. In his defence, this stuff makes you sound like a grown-up in Charlie Brown, but when you’re broke and want to forget that fact, this is what you reach for. I personally like the LCBO tasting notes, which suggest this is like a strong alcopop. It tastes like someone sugared the gas tank of their car, sucked out the resulting mixture, and left it out in the sun for good measure. But I guess it’s okay since that someone clearly won’t be driving anywhere.


  • Hollandia Super Strong Beer


1 Can (12%, $4.35/500mL)


Open can. Drink. Regret.


I’ve only ever seen this at The Beer Store and in a head shop in Amsterdam where it served as a shroom antidote. The neat thing about beers this strong is that while no one could ever honestly suggest they taste good, they’re not so foul that you can’t get one down if you’re seriously regretting eating all those mushrooms in a foreign city and, holy crap, did that goose just tell me it wants my soul, and why would it want something I sold for Megadeth tickets in 2004? Or so I’m told.


  • Purple Jesus


1 part Spirytus Gdanski 76% (76%, $40.30/750mL)

Grape Koolaid, Juice, or Soda, to taste


Ian Mason - 5 Insane Drinks, The Critic is the SourceGenerally mixed in a bathtub or garbage can. Seriously. I suppose you may use a pitcher.


This is an old-school college drink. You’re supposed to use Everclear, but the closest thing we have is Spirytus, which is essentially the same thing (it’s also an effective antiseptic). Embarrassingly, I’ve never specifically used the garbage can or bathtub. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t be embarrassed by that. I did mix it in a water bottle and drank half of it before it got confiscated by a bouncer who looked like Penn Jillette (who apologized for doing so because we’re Canadian, dammit). It’s not bad. Vodka mixes with almost everything, and Spirytus is basically vodka without pretence. Some people throw fruit into the mix, but why waste perfectly good fruit?


  • Cosmopolitan


2 oz Absolut Citron (40%, $27.95/750 mL)

1 oz Cointreau (40%, $19.95/375 mL)

3 oz Cranberry Juice

½ oz of Lime Juice


Shake over ice, strain, serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with twist of lemon.


Hear me out. No, I’m not handing in my Man Card™. The recipe listed above is the original recipe for the Cosmopolitan, and it is remarkably strong. The Cosmos they tend to serve at bars and clubs use regular triple sec, which is much weaker than Cointreau. Also, they tend to use too much cranberry juice. I know, it’s pink, sugary, and associated with Sex and the City (the bane of boyfriends’ existence since whenever the hell it started. I don’t want to look it up lest it get another movie), but the drink itself shouldn’t be blamed for that. I prefer a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, but this thing is tasty, and like any drink that leaves you doing the Walk of Shame™, you underestimate it. At the very least, I had to put something on this list that someone might actually drink.


And thus, you have 5 Insane Drinks for an Insane 2017 that you can make with ingredients you can actually find in Ontario. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to prepare for the incoming lawsuits.