Peel of the Dog (MxMo XXVII)

You would think that this Mixology Monday would be easy. I mean, what would be a more natural focus for El Machete's Rum Reviews than rum?

Well, it's what makes rum so great that makes this month tough: its versatiliy. And that's exactly what Trader Tiki, this month's host, was going for: a wide range of posts to match the spirit itself.

Originally, I thought about highlighting an under-appreciated classic like an El Floridita or a Rum Manhattan. Then I thought maybe I'd showcase one of the many rum concoctions I've come up with through the years, like the Razel Tov.

Well, I prepared myself an El Presidente (a variation on the Manhattan) to think things through:

El Presidente
3 oz - aged rum
.75 oz - sweet vermouth
.25 - curaçao
2 dashes - grenadine
1 dash - bitters

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.
I used Flor de Caña's 7-year-old Grand Reserve and it was as sublime as usual.

But ultimately, that didn't seem to strike me as different enough. A rum guy making just another rum cocktail seemed - I don't know - plain. So I was stuck... until a conversation came up amongst friends a few weeks ago regarding hangovers and their "cures."

Apparently, I have the tolerance of a dray Shire. Alcohol seems to have little effect on me, making me something of an anti-Sekhmet. Most will say that my size (6'4"+) is the primary factor as to why I can handle so much. I like to think it's sheer manliness. Still, it is both a curse and a blessing in that it's expensive - but only in money. This is not to say I've never suffered from, as some Irish refer to it, sprouting two heads - but it's never been without serious effort and it's always been very mild.

And so for those few times when I need some next-day assistance, I have a fairly foolproof drink that should balance out overhung chemistry, complete with the hair of the dog that bit me. Hopefully, it helps you too - especially after trying out all the other Mixology Monday rum drinks this month.

El Machete's Peel of the Dog
1 - medium banana
1 scoop - full fat vanilla ice cream
4 oz - ginger ale or beer (made from real ginger)
.25-.5 oz - gold rum
1 Tbsp - honey
1 tsp - salt
1-1.5 cups - coconut water ice cubes
1 dash - bitters

Blend all ingredients together - yes even the bubbly ginger ale/beer.

I've seen plenty of ridiculous recipes - with too many consisting of hot sauce, ash trays and pickled sheeps’ eyes - but this isn't just a tasty milkshake and yet another excuse to enjoy some rum; there's method to this madness.
  • Agua - The ice and other liquids help replenish the hydration that the alcohol, a diuretic, did away with. If you're planning ahead, make ice cubes out of coconut water - which not only adds flavor but throws in potassium, magnesium and serious electrolytes (see below).
  • Potassium, magnesium - Both can be severely depleted, and both can be restored courtesy of one of the greatest foods in the universe, the banana. Coconut water also contributes to both. Magnesium is crucial to healthy cell function in many ways (from metabolism to nerve impulses). Potassium helps - among other things such as maintaining hydration levels and keeping your brain-sparks firing - keep your now-whacked pH in balance. Speaking of which...
  • pH - Alcohol is acidic. Milk is a base. But your digestive system, in its fragile state, may not be able to handle dairy that isn't creamy or cold enough. Enter ice cream.
  • Electrolytes - Electrolytes are not only lost through exercise, they can be lost through heavy drinking. They regulate fluid/pH balance (yup, more of that) as well as keep your bio-electric engine running. The coconut water provides lots of electrolytes - as much or more than your favorite energy drink. And it's also another gift from our friend the banana.
  • Fructose / Sugars - Found in the banana, the honey, and the coconut water, fructose helps metabolize alcohol. Also, a night of heavy drinking can make your blood sugar plummet. From the ice cream and honey to the banana and rum, your blood is certain to get a heavy kick-start.
  • Carminatives - Ginger, a natural carminative, is a tried and true remedy to sooth a rumbling belly. Gentian, the primary herb in most bitters, is also a carminative (along with other ingredients in bitters such as cassia and angostura bark). Coconut water also helps digestion. The light fizz doesn't hurt either - though too much carbonation could be counter-productive (which is why I recommended blending the ginger ale/beer with the rest of the ingredients - to blast away some of the bubbles).
  • Calcium - Found in the ice cream and coconut water, calcium is important for more than just your bones. Honey also aids in calcium absorption.
  • Vitamin C - Vitamin C tickles the liver, which in turn helps kick the alcohol out of your system. And while coconut water doesn't provide as much Vitamin C as some other foods - I'd like to see you try to add grapefruit or cabbage to a banana milkshake.
  • Sodium - While my grandfather has always put a pinch of salt in his milkshakes as a way to punch up the taste of the fruit, restoring lost sodium helps in more or less the same way as restoring your potassium and electrolytes. The sodium also helps you retain some of the fluids you're now downing. Just don't go overboard.
  • Alcohol - Okay, 4 out of 5 moms will probably disagree with me here, but a tiny hit of alcohol could quiet some of the aches and throbs that are symptoms of your body's booze withdrawal. Of course, too much alcohol and you're just starting the cycle all over again - in which case you may be in need of a step or twelve. A simple, easy gold rum like Cruzan or Gosling's will do.
Of course, the cure is not complete without a nice, hot Cuban medianoche to go with the shake. Take Cuban egg bread, layer thinly-sliced serrano ham, thick slices of roasted pork, swiss cheese, pickles, and yellow mustard - and press on a flat iron. I'm not sure about the chemistry, but it's mighty delicious.

OK, so I won't be winning any cocktail competitions with this entry, but someone should stick up for the little guy! (And by "little guy," I mean the porcelain-hugger who got carried away.)

Enjoy, and stay safe!
A follow-up note from my nutritionist wife: "It actually all makes sense. It's true - despite the liquor - the vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes can give you a boost after a big night. It's very important to stay hydrated throughout the day not only to replenish fluids but also to help clear out toxins."

Posted: May 12, 2008


Gary T. said...


Anonymous said...

saw this on lifehacker...... nice work.

Anonymous said...

Hospitals give just a little alcohol to you when you have alcohol poisoning.... it's to give your body some ethyl, while it breaks down the methyl.
Just a little tho, they measure in cc's.