Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Today's Splash of Brilliance

The Webtender

This handy Web site has every drink recipe its users have ever heard of, plus many (too many) they have supposedly created themselves. Back circa 1997, when I was transcribing Ortho Surgery clinic notes and discovering this wonderful new WWW thing, I found a site devoted to bringing back cocktails (and to criticizing "shots," which the authors found to be a cancer on the esteem that civilized drinking had spent so much time building up, a growing blight that needed eradication, and soon). That's where I came across the Delilah, my all-time favorite hard-liquor drink:

  • 1.5 oz Gin (pref. Bombay Sapphire)
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau (triple sec will do)
  • Juice of one half lemon, freshly squeezed
Add to shaker filled with ice. Shake hard; serve up.

By the by, if I were to adopt a motto for my life, I could do a lot worse than "shake hard; serve up."

The Webtender does indeed have Delilah listed, and gets the recipe right. This was a cocktail popular in the 1930's and 1940's, as best I can recall, and I see today it's also known by the name White Lady (named after a poisonous spider, if Wiki is to be believed). One site says Delilah "is basically a Sidecar, but with gin instead of brandy."

Yeah, okay, and by that same token, Minneapolis is basically Seattle, but in the Midwest rather that the Pacific Northwest. There are three frickin' ingredients, caballero. Of course there are things that go with gin as well as brandy; you know how much similarity that brings to the two drinks? To quote Douglas Adams, "none at all."

Perhaps the handiest, yet most-flawed feature of Webtender is the "In My Bar" section, where you can select from a pick-list of ingredients. Highlight everything you have on hand, and the Webtender will tell you what you can make with it.

Like many Web-based tools that rely on user-submitted info, this nifty app is a long way from perfect. There are way too many recipes that use, say, Crystal Light. There are too many duplicate listings (okay, a true Cuba Libre has diet cola, but do we seriously care whether we have one brand of ginger ale or another?). One gets the idea that a team of intrepid editors could turn this sucker into something mighty, though.

And as many combinations as there must be, nobody saw this coming: I'm drinking banana liqueur and cream soda... and it's not only pretty tasty, it's not listed. Maybe I'll call it "fuzzy monkey" or something. It's good, but not good enough to be called "the Febrifuge;" for that I'd need to fine-tune those Blue Curacao things I was making the first time I was in college.

* If anyone knows what that pro-cocktail, anti-shot site was, and whether it's still in existence, please let me know.

1 comment:

Teslagrl said...

Heh. You're drinking my banana liquor. I knew it was only a matter of time before you came around ;-)