MxMo XLVIII: Pain in the Ass, April 26

Four years ago this month, when everyone in the booze blogosphere could still sit comfortably at the same bar with spaces to spare, we launched this little event called Mixology Monday. Now, almost 50 rounds later, the MxMo bar is a much noisier place, with between 30 and 50 participants turning out every month for our little Internet cocktail party. On the first anniversary, we mixed with champagne to make the event suitably celebratory; now, for the fourth anniversary event, we’re going in a different direction: we’re going to make you suffer.

MxMo XLVIII will take place Monday, April 26; hosting this round is Seattle bartender Mike McSorley, who publishes the blog McSology, and for the theme Mike has chosen Pain in the Ass Drinks. As he puts it in his preview post:

…My charge to you all is to document your (least)¬†favorite drink that is the proverbial thorn in your side. It can be virtually anything stylistically –¬† The point here is to have fun and share that little ticket item that throws you off your cleaning game 10 minutes before last call!

For both professional bartenders and home enthusiasts, these are the drinks that look really good on paper, but then after you’ve spent days tracking down the proper ingredients and hours making syrups and tinctures, and after you’ve taken the time to crush the ice and prepare the garnish and assemble everything just right you take a sip and, as delicious as the drink might be, you think to yourself, “I’m exhausted … What the hell was I thinking?”

(And if you’re wondering why Mike may have picked this topic, allow me to point out a couple of things: first, Mike’s recipe for his Saffron Julius, his winning entry in the recent 42 Below World Cup regional competition, the preparation of which makes mixing a Ramos Fizz look as easy as popping a beer; and Mike’s co-worker Evan Martin’s recipe and garnish for Death in the South Pacific, the winning entry in the Tales of the Cocktail official drink competition.)

If you’re seeking inspiration for drink recipes that have the capacity to drive you nuts, but which have a flavor, character and history that make the whole process worth it, may I make a suggestion? This month saw the release of Beachbum Berry Remixed, a compilation of Jeff Berry’s first two books, Grog Log and Intoxica, with a hell of a lot of photos, glimpses of exotic-drink paraphernalia, mixing notes, updated recipes and, as if that wasn’t justification for plopping out the cash for the book, another slew of recipes both vintage and contemporary. While the book has some drinks that you can put together rather easily from a well-stocked bar, there are others that are projects with a complexity on par with that of deciphering the human genome. Okay, maybe not that tough, but still, they can be work to make, and what better excuse to commit yourself to a boozy project than that it fits in with this month’s MxMo.

To participate, simply have your pain-in-the-ass drink written up and posted (hopefully with photograph) on your blog or at eGullet by the end of Monday, April 26. Be sure to include the MxMo logo and a link back to the Mixology Monday site, and to Mike’s site as host. Then, be sure to let Mike know you’ve participated by either e-mailing him at mikemcsorley[at]gmail[dot]com, with “MxMo” in the subject line, or simply drop a comment with your post’s URL at the end of Mike’s announcement post.

Considering the extent that some folks will venture to in order to mix a drink nowadays, I can’t wait to see what comes up this round–

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