Linsanity Hits the World of Cocktails

March 25, 2012

I’m sometimes a bit slow to pick up on trends and fads. It took me a while to realise that it’s not just folks here in Taiwan going mad about Jeremy Lin. And it took me a while to realise that he’s taken the cocktail world by storm too. Well, there’s a few new drinks named after him, at least. I want to offer my own humble critiques and suggestions from Taiwan itself, seeing as Lin is TAIWANESE (except for the fact that he isn’t).

There seem to be three things that make a drink a Jeremy Lin cocktail. It should have a bad ‘Lin-pun’. It should have something vaguely Asian thrown in. It should celebrate the Knicks’ orange and blue colours.

Here’s the drinks my research has found so far:

The Lintini

There have been several reports of this, apparently with several variations, the one most reported was a Martini made with a dash of Blue Curacao and an orange garnish. Hmm. Might be OK. Ish.

Another place makes a Lintini with Absolut Wild Tea Vodka. Ugh. Wild tea vodka is not Asian. Vodka in a martini glass is not a martini. What does this drink say about Jeremy Lin? He’s not Asian?

The Lin and Tonic

We have one gin and tonic with blue curacao and orange garnish again. OK, but I’ll skip the curacao, I think.

We have this Lin and Tonic with a brown olive basketball garnish. Well it probably tastes just like a gin and tonic, but don’t drip in any oil, please. I won’t say no to the orange, but I’d still prefer lemon.

LinToxicated Bombs

This sounds like the worst of the bunch (but full marks for trying with the pun). Japanese Soju or Sake bombed in Tsingtao beer. Because Lin is half Japanese, half Chinese?

The Jeremy Lin

Well someone isn’t getting paid enough to think up good puns, are they? At least these two put in a bit of effort with the ingredients.

This one from a New York Bar called Southern Hospitality: 1 1/2 oz Stoli Citrus, 1/2 oz Stoli Blue, a ‘dribble’ (OK a little punny) of blue curacao, 1 oz Sprite, 4 oz lemonade – shake and serve in tall glass of ice with orange slice garnish. Flavoured vodka and lemonade. Pass.

And finally a real attempt (aside from the non-attempt at puns), from a drinks blog, The Thirsty South. 1.5 oz Kaoliang, 3/4 oz Domain de Canton Ginger Liqueur, 1/4 oz lemon juice, 1 dash Brooklyn Hemispherical Rhubarb Bitters – shake, strain and ‘slam’ it home (OK, there was a pun). I like this because it has a real Taiwan ingredient  – the Kaoliang. I doubt I’ll ever lay my hands on that ginger liqueur or the bitters though, and I haven’t actually tried mixing with Kaoliang yet.

Now own my suggestions for some Linspirational and Lintoxicating cocktails. I’ve included some ingredients with a taste of the real Taiwan. Cocktails for the Linsane or highly Lintoxicated only:

Lintini

As per a normal Martini, with GIN, but for the olive, substitute a betelnut (leaf wrapping included). The unique flavours mirror Lin’s unique style, and chewing the nut afterwards will give you a taste of his speed and staying power.

Lin and Super-Tonic

A ‘tonic’ means a pick-me-up, right? Well in Taiwan there’s a certain concoction that turns construction workers into supermen (if the advertising be believed) and is the tonic to end all tonics – Whisbih! The Lin and Super-Tonic replaces the tonic with Whisbih. With the help of caffeine, taurine, nicotine, alcohol, ginseng, and a bunch of other stuff I’ve never heard of, this stuff will turn you into a Linsuppresible force on the court.

The Linhattan

A simple Manhattan variant. Replace the Whiskey in a Manhattan with Taiwan’s national liquor, Kaoliang. Use the 58, and with a 116-proof spirit base, you’ll be Linvulnerable to defeat.

The Jeremy Collins

A Tom Collins, but replace the soda with Apple Cidra. I couldn’t leave this out, as Apple Cidra (not cider) seems to be the defacto drink for mixing with alcohol amongst the less discerning drinkers of Taiwan. It’s sort of the role played by Coke in some other countries.

KavaLin

An orginal made from a new Taiwan liqueur and hints of Taiwan’s favourite non-alcoholic cold beverage – Bubble Milk Tea. Kavalan is a whisky that surprised the world by winning a blind-testing in Leith against a few venerable Scotches, and going on to win quite a few more awards. As Linspirational a tale as Jeremy’s own.  They’ve gone on to make a coffee liqueur. Pour some of this over ice in a tall glass, top up with milk and add exactly 17 milk tea bubbles. Garnish with an Oolong tea leaf, and serve with an extra wide straw.

Disclaimer: I haven’t tried any of these cocktails, of course, and don’t recommend you do either 🙂

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