It’s a scorcher out there which means it’s time for a cool, refreshing summer drink which means it’s time for the Liver Punisher’s Drink of the Month Club: “Drink of the Month!”
July’s DotM takes me back to my childhood when I’d swill sugar beverages all day long. Before carbs, high fructose corn syrup, and mystery chemicals in food products were more than the remote concern of hippies. As I’ve said before we didn’t have much pop in the house as a lad, but what we did have was plenty of other sugar laden drinks. There were almost always several packs of Hi-C in the fridge, Ecto Cooler, if you please. And some sort of powdered drink mix in the panty.
From a youngerish age than most I was a fan of iced tea. In my current state I find a strong, dark, unsweetened black tea to be one of the more perfect thirst quenchers on the planet, but back then the sweeter the better I would say. Pre-sweetened, lemon flavored ice tea mix was a long time favorite, and then one day my mom brought home a canister of Tang from the grocery store. Mostly sweet with a slightly sour kick, a handful of vitamins, and it mixed up quick in water. I was hooked.
After bouncing back and forth between the two mixes for a while, it dawned on my one day: why not both at the same time. Surely it would work the lemony zing of the tea and faux citrus splash of the Tang? And guess what. It did.
In the spirit of the Black and Tan and the Arnold Palmer I give you the next great 50/50: the John Glenn!
But wait, this is a Liver Punisher endeavor, surely there must be booze involved, yes? Duh.
First up is the Yuri Gagarin:
Add equal parts Tang and iced tea mix to a container. Use three quarters the water normally used to dilute the mixes and make up the rest with hearty Russian vodka, garnish with a twist of lemon and blast off, comrades!
For something a little more Americano try the Neil Armstrong:
Mix up a pitcher of John Glenns, half a gallon or so. Crack open your favorite lawnmower lager, something in a PBR might be nice, but anything in a 12oz. will do. Pour your brew into a pint glass and top with 3-4oz. of John Glenn for a space age twist on the michelada or summer shandy. Use some Yuri Gagarin if you’re really feeling adventurous.
And finally for those looking to really fire things up I offer the Buzz Aldrin:
Into a shaker, pitcher, or other mixing device pour enough 151 proof rum (151 vodka or citrus rum works in a pinch, but the operative word here is “buzz”) for you and your guests—you are making this for more than yourself I hope. Mix in ½ teaspoon of Tang and ½ tsp of iced tea mix per shot of liquor. Dose into shot glasses or serve over the rocks, but beware of black holes after take off!