A couple of weeks ago we made a Midori Sour. I did not care for it. I lamented that I had never enjoyed a Midori forward cocktail and asked for suggestions. Well, I got one. Tonight’s drink came to me in the form of a picture of a worn index card with a hand-written recipe on it, from an unexpected source, my mother-in-law. I mention that this is odd, for two reasons. Although, I have shared wine and the occasional raspberry lambic with her, I do not think of her as a drinker. The second is the name written at the top of the card. So join me as we stand and make, the Leg Spreader.
What is it with those innuendo drinks of the 70’s and 80’s? I remember being a young fellow and hearing people mention those drinks and then sort of giggle to themselves. Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way? Who wants an Angel’s Tit? Up for some Sex on the Beach or would you rather Bend Over Shirley? Did you see the Red-Headed Slut with the Pink Panties and the Slippery Nipple having a Screaming Orgasm with the Three-Legged Monkey? Blow job or Sloe Comfortable Screw Up Against the Wall? Yeah, those are all real drinks and that skips most of the more risqué ones. One thing they have in common, they are funny to order, they are almost always sweet and potent, they bring up sexuality at the table and you really can’t taste the alcohol. There is a reason for that. I think that this drink really encapsulates the entire genre, these drinks are all Leg Spreaders.
So, let’s make it and see if we have finally found that good Midori drink. Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounce of Midori Melon Liqueur, that cloying neon green devil, 1 1/2 of coconut rum, I used that stolen bottle of Malibu, and 6 ounces of pineapple juice. Shake over ice and strain into something tall. Splash with Sprite and garnish with a cherry, natch. Add a reusable straw and you are ready to serve.
It is super simple, easy to make a big batch of it. Super sweet, only the vaguest hint of alcohol. I hate the melon and I don’t care for the vaguely chemical taste of Malbu, not that you can really pick them out from the oh so sweet pineapple base. Laura tried it, she didn’t hate it. I am thinking that maybe it would be better over ice, so you would get some more dilution to balance all those sugars. But let’s be honest, this drink is not about taste. This drink like all of the ones above is about getting alcohol into the system of folks who don’t like to drink. It make sense, we have always used alcohol as social lubrication, to lower the inhibitions a bit. Nothing wrong with that if you go into it with your eyes wide open, consenting adults and what not. This one doesn’t even have all that much alcohol in it, unlike the very similar Tie Me to the Bedpost which adds vodka to the mix. You could just sit and drink these all night and that is the plan. Just let that alcohol build up, slowly. Hell, a lot of folks don’t even realize they are tipsy till they get up to go to the bathroom. I used to love these kinds of drinks. They were fun and risqué to order, easy to drink, especially since I had not developed a palate for straight spirits or bitters. Like I said, when I was a child, I drank as a child. Now I just look back at them as another lesson, a stepping stone into adulthood.
I don’t like this drink. It is way too sweet. It is too green. As I thought about this one and the way the title made me giggle when I saw it, I began to feel more serious and uncomfortable. These drinks always seemed fairly innocuous, a thing for people to joke about, but I also remember these as a shortcut to consent, well, “implied consent” and that is not good enough anymore, we deserve better. I remember being big brother way too many times, looking out for sisters and brothers who had been plied with a few too many of these sort of sweet temptations. I’ve been in more than my fair share of fights and arguments for cock-blocking (mostly) dudes who were ready to claim what they were owed for all those drinks they had bought. I’m no angel either and I am sure I was the recipient of alcohol fueled affections when I was younger. I don’t remember ever pushing drinks on anyone I wasn’t already familiar with on a personal level, hard to deny though, that being behind the bar the whole point is pushing drinks on random people. I can’t say with certainty that I’ve always behaved nobly, but I hope my actions matched my intentions. So, here is the thing, the moral of the story, so to speak. Don’t drink Leg Spreaders. If he, she, they won’t “kiss” you sober in the light of day, don’t “kiss” him, her, them while drinking in the heat of the night. Insert your own appropriate pronouns and euphemisms.
Yep, that is what you get today, a preachy “Enjoy Responsibly” message and a recipe for a drink you should never make, not because of the problematic history of this class of drinks, but because it’s just not good. We know better now, we can do better and we can be better. This testimony to the smoky barrooms of the past cannot stand on its own merits and we don’t need to keep making it as a nod to the time when this sort of thing was not only accepted but revered. Some things are best left in the past, this is one of them. Stay safe, stay sane and stay hydrated, my friends.