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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson bartenders reveal their secret menus

    Jess Daniels demonstrates what you might do if youve had too many Mexican Car Bombs at the District Tavern. Now that youve seen it, be careful.
    Jess Daniels demonstrates what you might do if you’ve had too many Mexican Car Bombs at the District Tavern. Now that you’ve seen it, be careful.

    Do you order the same old drink every time you go out and wonder what else is out there? No more! We took to the bars and asked each creative bartender to mix an extraordinary drink. They responded with colorful drinks that were at times inspired and at times best left off the menu.

    “”The Sexy Blue Jesus”” made by Tiffany McLamarah at Plush.

    This favorite of Plush regulars combines nine ingredients: Stoli peach vodka, Stoli vanilla vodka, Midori, Malibu rum, Apple Pucker, Blue Carissa, Pineapple juice, Sweet and Sour and Sprite, and is topped off with a cherry and lemon slice. While mixing, the bartender uses all

    Originality: 5
    Appearance: 8, for the pretty color
    Taste: 7
    How many it will take to get drunk: 5 – an expensive night at $6 each.

    sides of the bar and pours from endless bottles, which makes the drink feel more special before you even try it. Our skilled bartender, McLamarah, humbly admitted the drink was not her invention, but was created by another bartender outside of Plush.

    The Sexy Blue Jesus was pleasingly fruity and easy to drink. The many alcohols we saw put into the mix were complimentary, but the overall taste was more of coloring than of actual alcohol, which made it feel a little weak.

    “”The BLTini”” made by Gary Crystal at Bison Witches Bar and Deli. (MOST ORIGINAL)

    The classic BLT sandwich turned into a drink, the BLTini mixed a generous amount of potato vodka with an inch or so of Bloody Mary mix. To top it off was a rasher of freshly-cooked bacon and a little leafy lettuce.

    “”God, I love bacon,”” Crystal said about his inspiration for the drink. “”So, I thought, why can’t I have a drink that has bacon in it?”” And so the BLTini was born, a $6 secret, ordered on average once a month.

    The bacon hung from the side of the glass, a perfect snack between sips.

    “”You nibble on it as you go along,”” Crystal said.

    Another idea he has tried is finely chopping the bacon and using it to rim the glass, like the salt on a margarita. After 12 years bartending, he has had plenty of time to play with the presentation of his drinks.

    This creative take on a Bloody Mary does require a bloody long time to put together since the bacon had to be cooked. While the bacon is cooking, Crystal sets the martini glass aside with ice to get it cold inside, showing his commitment to perfection. Once ready, BLTini remained layered, with straight vodka above Bloody Mary mix. This made drinking it a challenge, since sipping it resulted in a

    Originality: 10
    Appearance: 9 if you like bacon, 1 if you don’t.
    Taste: 4
    How many it will take to get drunk: 1 – There’s a lot of vodka and your friends probably won’t want to share it with you.

    mouthful of pure vodka, and using a straw gave a mouthful of tomato juice. It seemed best to alternate between using the straw and not, with a bite of bacon every now and then.

    While a no-no for vegetarians, Jews and people who don’t like meat floating in their drink, the BLTini is nevertheless a well-crafted drink that would go nicely with one of Bison Witches’ famous soups or sandwiches. The ultimate savory drink, the BLTini will leave you with a strange longing for a breakfast sandwich from Jack in the Box.

    Bison Witches also offer $1 Jell-O shots, made with coconut rum, half a shot of Bacardi 151 and topped with whipped cream.

    As Crystal told us: “”There’s only one rule: No hands!”” So make sure you don’t miss putting your face down to the counter and slurping up a couple of these. These make the perfect dessert after a meal or, of course, a BLTini.

    “”Unnamed”” made by Jim Vancva at Che’s Lounge.

    This unnamed concoction was presented by gruff bartender Vancva, who has bartended at Che’s for more than 10 years. With a rugged look about him, from his bristles to his casual “”Drag racer”” T-shirt, Vancva looked like he meant business. Despite his apparent experience in the bar, his creation, a mixture of Stoli Blueberi, Samberg, lemonade and Sprite was a disappointment in all areas. It

    Originality: 1
    Appearance: 5, nothing special.
    Taste: 4, but only if you’re a Kool-Aid fan
    How many it will take to get drunk: You’ll be sick from the sugar long before the alcohol.

    looked like nothing special and tasted like strong blue Kool-Aid. After a few sips, the drink needed to be washed down with water.

    Vancva was uneager to name his drink, giving the impression that it was not one he was proud of. His attitude was one of “”If you don’t know what you want, get out of my bar,”” so if you want to stop by Che’s for a drink, you probably want to order what the regulars are having.

    “”The Pretty Ricky”” made by Ricky Cano at O’Malley’s. (BEST TASTING)

    This cocktail has become a firm favorite among some of the customers at O’Malley’s. Other bartenders are often confused by girls ordering a “”Pretty Ricky,”” or a “”Sexy Ricky”” as some call it, perhaps in reference to muscular Cano himself. As his build suggests, Cano used to be a doorman at the same bar before trying his hand at bartending.

    “”The first time I heard someone order it, I was like’Yeah!’ “” He drinks Lynchburg Lemonades, and is quite good at guessing the tastes of his

    Originality: 7
    Appearance: 7
    Taste: 9
    How many it will take to get drunk: 4, and you’ll enjoy every sip.

    customers before they order. The weirdest drink he has been asked to make was a “”half Guinness, half lemonade”” that layered one on top of the other.

    The “”Pretty Ricky”” is a mix of Malibu, Midori, Isle of Blue Puckers, pineapple juice and Sprite. It is somewhat sweet with the slightly bitter pineapple juice making a balanced taste you could always have one more of. Fruity and fresh, the “”Pretty Ricky”” is less of a “”specialty drink”” than a new classic you’ll order every time.

    “”The Banana-Split Shot,”” also made by Cano.

    The beloved dessert has been turned into a drink. Combining banana rum, Dark CrÇùme de Cocoa, Butterscotch and Baileys, the shot looks a

    Originality: 8
    Appearance: 9
    Taste: 8
    How many it will take to get drunk: About 10, but you won’t want to stop drinking them even then.

    little unimpressive until topped with generous amounts of whipped cream. As an added bonus, you can opt to add strawberry syrup or a cherry, which completes the illusion of the banana split. The shot is delicious, with a good banana taste and the hint of chocolate that Baileys is popular for. Prepared in an oversized shot-glass, this drink is one you will want to savor rather than drink all at once.

    “”The Mexican Car Bomb”” made by Jess Daniels at District Tavern.

    After pouring half a glass of cheap canned beer, our bartender, Daniels, prepared a shot glass with tequila on top of Tequila Rose.

    “”It’s like

    Originiality: 7
    Appearance: 2 because of the ugly froth.
    Taste: 5
    How many it will take to get drunk: 2 or 3. It’s tequila, you know.

    an Irish Car Bomb, but, you know…,”” Daniels said. The well-known Irish Car Bomb is adapted to the Tucson culture by substituting Baileys for the tequila blend and using a lighter beer.

    The “”Mexican Car Bomb”” is formed when the shot glass of tequila is dropped into the beer. At this point, a froth which resembles old scrambled eggs grows across the surface of the beer. This inch-thick layer of froth floats up to your face every time you take a drink in a rather unappealing way. To solve this, of course, you drink the whole thing at once.

    “”You have to pound it,”” Daniels said.

    $5 seemed a little much for canned beer and a shot, but you do also get full use of The District’s board game supply, which includes Monopoly, Life and three sets of Twister. A couple of “”Mexican Car Bombs”” and you’ll be down on the floor with your left foot on red like the best of them.

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