July 02, 2009

a little layering

all hail the white, blue and red  

Sometimes you want your cocktail to say “America.” I know I do. So with July 4th on the horizon, I decided to create a red, white and blue striped beverage to toast our country. I figured learning to layer a drink would be easy enough.

I was wrong.

Not that I was unprepared. I did some research on layering drinks and discovered heavy liquids should go at the bottom, lighter ones at the top. So I decided to start with a grenadine syrup-based concoction; blue curacao would be my middle; and a light, white-ish Prosecco would top the whole thing off. The layers would be in the nontraditional red, blue and white order, but people would get the idea. Also discovered during my research: You should pour liquids over the back of a spoon to help them disperse.

Still, with all my vast Internet-acquired knowledge, my first drink turned out like this.

striping FAIL

My friends and I called it purple haze.

Also, I seriously got the blue curacao EVERYWHERE when pouring it over a spoon. I spent 10 minutes cleaning the tiled countertops afterward because I was convinced the grout had turned a shadowy blue color. My friend eventually told me to stop my OCD cleaning.

After the purple haze debacle, I decided to try cream as the white layer—I cannot account for why my brain registered this as a good idea. It turned out to be a coagulating mess.

white stripe gone bad

Nobody drank that one.

After much, much failure and some serious crowd-heckling, I stumbled across what I think was the solution to my layering woes. Use more syrup than you think would taste good at the bottom (I cut it with some lemonade)—you need to make the red layer larger than the others because there’s going to be some purple overlap with the blue. After the red layer, fill the glass with ice to the very top (learn from my mistake: filling it to the middle doesn’t cut it), so when you pour in your fizzy something-or-other, it will bubble and look white. (I have to credit Danielle Tatarin of Designer Cocktail Company for the idea of an icy, white layer of fizz.) Also, narrower glasses work best.

The resulting taste? Well, it’s not really about taste, is it? I’d like to think it’s more about successfully layering a drink in honor of America. But if you must know: The fizz and blue curacao were pretty refreshing, but the last layer tasted a lot like what it was: syrup. Overall, it’s very Boones-esque. I recommend a shooter-sized drink because after a full wineglass of the thing, I crashed and burned like an eight-year-old coming down from a Red Bull high.

And with that, I give you my totally layered drink:

Stripe It Like You Mean It

  • 3 parts red stuff, primarily grenadine syrup mixed with some lemonade or cranberry juice
  • 2 parts blue stuff/blue curacao
  • 2 parts white stuff, i.e., Prosecco or 7 Up or anything clear and fizzy that will create bubbles when poured over ice

Pour red stuff in the bottom of glass. Fill glass to the top with crushed ice. Pour blue stuff slowly over the back of a spoon, slightly angled down. Pour white stuff over the back of a spoon. Serves one.

Choose a 4th of July Evite invitation like the one below and mention there will be drinks. Guests will RSVP in no time!

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 12.48.20 PM

Posted by Christine on July 2, 2009 in Food and Drink

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7 responses to "a little layering"

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Thanks SOOOOoo much for posting that! Not only did I giggle thru the whole thing.. I learned a lot too! Thanks again! Happy Independence Day!

I howled through your entire write-up. Not only are you funny but you should consider doing write-ups for the cooking channel on the web. You were excellent! I'm rolling. The pictures also made us (the readers - possbile victims to the layering idea) so funny, and yet completely understandable! Thank you & have a happy & safe 4th of July! Thanks again, i'm still lmao !!!

What a riot...thanks for the giggles and the ideas.

I found a drink called a bombpop. It tastes like the popsicle and it follows the same idea here.
-3 parts grenadine
-2 parts lemonade
-2 parts UV Blue

Pour in the grenadine and fill cup to top with ice. Gently pour in the lemonade by tilting the cup and pouring down the side. Follow by UV Blue in the same manner. Add straw and voila!

I used to bartend so I know the woes of trying to layer a drink. It is tougher than it looks to be sure. Great article!

I have done a drink similar to this for many years. We call it the Patriot, and it tastes as great as it looks. Layer one is a bright red almond liqueur from DeKuyper, the center is Merry's white chocolate liqueur, and the top blue layer is UV Blue Raspberry vodka. We bring them out every year for happy hour on the 4th of July!