One of the dangers of getting old is the tendency to repeat yourself, allegedly. I like to chalk it up to experience. At some point you have done so much that it all just sort of jumbles together and it’s easy too forget that this has all happened before. The upside is, you get to rediscover new things that you forgot you enjoy or hate , depending on your particular point of view. So, with a nod to a little memory remix, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Raspberry Donn Day Afternoon.
This drink has beer in it, which is fitting since it is my pal Alicia’s birthday. She likes beer, or at least purports to. I am dubious as to whether she really enjoys beer or not, but she is certainly fond of hops and probably pine tar, kerosene and old socks. Eagle-eyed readers here at Monkeybrad.com are probably already saying, hey, you already did a Tia Mia for Alicia’s birthday last year and people shouldn’t get mentioned on their birthday twice, it’s just not fair. You may be right. Please file any complaints with management and we will do our best to get that sorted. You may also have your undergarments twisted uncomfortably because I already made the Donn Day Afternoon way back in September of last year. Yep, that happened, too. I had literally no recollection of this until I was looking something up about it and my own site popped up in the search results. Oh well, it happens, I guess. I had already made the drink and taken pictures and everything, so we are going with it. Besides, some of you may have noted that I added the word “Raspberry” to the title, so this is clearly something entirely new and different.
The good news is that last part is true. I did not remake the same drink, I made a riff on the classic, with one major change that really made this one sing, to me anyway. Today’s version is an adaptation of the recipe Martin Cate shared in his amazing Smuggler’s Cove, tribute to all things tiki and his bar of the same name. His recipe calls for Stiegl grapefruit radler, cinnamon syrup and rum as an homage to Donn Beach’s original Don’s Mix, a grapefruit and cinnamon blend used at Hollywood’s Don The Beachcomber, arguably the first tiki bar ever. I did not remember the grapefruit connection was really what made this drink make sense, but I did have a four pack of Stiegl Raspberry Radlers and that seemed like a good idea after a long day.
We are building this one in the glass, so go ahead and grab something cool. I chose this sweet double rocks glass from Huntsville, Alabama’s coolest tiki bar, Phat Sammy’s. It is one of my favorites and if anyone wants to buy me a drink there, I will happily join you, most anytime. Pop in 2 ounces of Rhum Agricole Blanc, I went with Rhum J.M. White; 1/2 an ounce of cinnamon syrup, 1/2 an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice and 4 ounces of Stiegl Himbeere Raspberry Radler. Stir gently to the beat of “Afternoon Delight“, cause we all need a little more Starland Vocal Band and delight in our lives. When mixed well, carefully add some artisanal ice cubes, express a grapefruit peel over the drink and drop it in as a garnish that nods toward this one’s origins before popping in one of those sweet Phat Sammy’s swizzle sticks.
Gotta be honest, I like this one better than the original. Of course, I’m not a huge fan of grapefruit, so that make sense. They are all bitter and unpleasant to eat or drink, so Alicia would probably love them, if they had plenty of hops added. To be fair, raspberries aren’t my favorite either and this one is pretty sweet, the formula is solid though. I imagine that a lemon or orange radler would be perfectly lovely in this recipe. That green vegetal rum and cinnamon syrup would probably improve any beer and soda combination. Either way, this one was a hit here, so try it out.
So, yeah, I screwed up and remade a drink we’ve done before, but I feel like I covered it pretty well. I mean I am all about variations, experimentation and discovery, so I feel like it is in character. Luckily, I also had the annual celebration of Alicia’s birth to throw in there as a distraction, whether that is fair or not. It’s all smoke and mirrors, as they say. Whether it was a success or not, the drink was good and I feel like we made our way through it, together, and some days, that’s about as good as it gets. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.