Mardi Gras, an Underapreciated Bar, and the World’s Worst Cocktail

by Justin D'Olier on March 11, 2011 | (4) Comments |

I had arguably the worst drink of my entire life last night. A tragically, comedically bad cocktail. The Battlefield Earth of alcoholic beverages. A drink so woefully ill conceived that I wasn’t even mad, I was impressed.

The Wine Pixie and I met some friends at the Chinatown Mardi Gras block party last night and had been drinking Jack and Diets all night long. But, when we went to order our last drink there was one big problem: No Diet Coke. So, per the recommendation of the bartender, we decided to try a different mixer, something with a kick. Unbeknownst to all of us, we had just signed off on the worst flavor combination in the developed world:

Jack Daniels and Red Bull.

Red Bull

Do not mix with Whiskey should be added to the warning label.

If you always wondered why people mix every conceivable spirit known to man with Red Bull except whiskey, now you know. It tastes like window cleaner and broken dreams. Ironically, it was so bad, I couldn’t stop drinking it. It was a four car pile up on the freeway and I couldn’t look away. I have never finished a worse beverage. I had to brush my teeth three times just to wipe the flavor out of my mouth. Unfortunately, I have no such toothbrush for the memories.

No matter how drunk you are, if the sole contents of your liquor cabinet are a bottle of Jack Daniels and a can of Red Bull, do not, under any circumstances, attempt to mix the two. The unholy union will haunt your taste memory forever.

Consider yourself warned.

Cocktail disaster aside, the Mardi Gras block party rocked. Good crowd, good music, good drinks, good energy and a veritable host of scantily clad ladies (and as we can all agree, the only thing better than a host of scantily clad ladies is a veritable host of scantily clad ladies). Sadly, the only pair of breasts I saw belonged to the hairy guy in a Jester mask, a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, and a thong with a bow on the crotch, but I discovered a new great cocktail downtown to help wipe that image and the lingering taste of failure out of my mouth from the Jack and Red Bull.

Bambu Two, located directly across the street from JJ Dolans, is a cafe / lounge/ bar / art gallery that typically gets lost in the shuffle of the Chinatown nightlife. It doesn’t have the beer list of Bar 35, the skyline of thirtyninehotel, or cozy feel of the Manifest, but it does have a cool vibe, great service, and solid drink menu. Plus, they offer $3 martinis (raspberry, blueberry, and one other flavor that isn’t as good as raspberry or blueberry) all day long.

But, I wasn’t in the mood for a flavor-tini last night. I needed something special. Something strong. Something not in any way reminiscent of a Jack and Red Bull.

I needed the Bambu Two Salt and Peppar Martini.

Simple, spicy and sophisticated, the Salt and Peppar martini is a nice twist on the dirty martini. Absolut Peppar, vermouth, and a splash of olive juice harmonize beautifully in a drink that is adequately burly, but flavorful enough to appease those turned off by the stark alcoholic kick of a standard martini.

In fairness, even a Miller Chill would have tasted like ambrosia after the brutal disaster of the Jack and Red Bull, but I’m reasonably confident the Salt and Peppar martini was a great drink and I will return to enjoy one again soon (preferably without a Red Bull appetizer).

4 responses to “Mardi Gras, an Underapreciated Bar, and the World’s Worst Cocktail”

  1. Steve Phillips says:

    That sounds DISGUSTING. Why would you let someone do that to your Jack Daniels. Next time Jack and soda w/lime, or Jack and 7, or my personal favoite, Jack and Jack. I literally winced when i read Jack and Redbull.

    • Red Bull was the only mixer left. Word cannot express the magnitude of my desire to go back in time, elbow myself in the crotch, and drink a Jack on the rocks.

  2. Lady Lush says:

    I had poured myself a Jamesons on the rocks last night during the tsunami party before realizing that I hate drinking whiskey plain. A friend of mine recommended mixing it with apple juice. I will now recommend it to everyone I know.