Hot sun, few people crowding the French Quarter streets. The sun was high in the air, signifying that it was after noon. I was in New Orleans to enjoy myself, finally and barely of legal drinking age. But I still am who I am, and I wasn't prepared to get horizontal or drink too soon in the day. One must, as an Episcopalian, pace oneself.
A man standing in a football-mascot-like hand grenade costume accosted me and suggested I try a drink that is just as much part of New Orleans culture as the everpresent Hurricane or its sister drink the Cyclone, never mind the haute couture Sazerac and other drinks at the more expensive bars in town.
So I wander over to the counter, a half-door manned by a very busy individual with churning alcoholic-slurpee machines churning high-potency drinks. It's very much a "make money in volume" affair in New Orleans, there are banks of ready made alcoholic slush dispensers everywhere in the Quarter.
Did I want it in slush form, or in liquid form? The slush form was a reasonable sum, somewhere under $10, but the liquid form was well at the $20 mark almost. I decided to try the latter.
The first taste was, for all intents and purposes, smooth, with a nice complex fruity flavor that ended on a peach note. There was literally no alcohol bite in it whatsoever. This was something you could serve to the unexpecting as a fruit drink. Seeing me swig it, the proprietor put his hand on my forearm and warned me not to drink it too fast. It might be in a dayglo Hand Grenade/bong looking plastic vial, and it might not taste of alcohol, but it packs a wallop and there is a two drink MAXIMUM limit on sales.
And by God, he was right. By the end of the drink I was clearly well on my way to inebriation. That's a dangerous little combination.
Knowing it was futile, I asked what was in it anyway. I'd love to make it where I'm at, and besides, I'm a fan of novelty drinks. Somewhere once close to the Canadian border in New England I'd been served "blueberry tea", which contained neither blueberries nor tea, but was a heated cocktail that tasted exactly like it. And like that particular bartender, the guy looked at me with a "you're not getting our secret formula" look when I asked.
"Oh, a little of this, a little of that". And with that, he started dispensing a Daquiri to two "spring-break" style girls you know'ing and "I'm so sure"ing at each other over their cellphone texing.
I wish they were cheaper, because they're delicious. They probably work out to a good deal if you're trying to get as drunk as possible as cheap as possible. Though they don't have the same recognition as the Hurricane or the Cyclone, they're worth seeking out if you're ever in the French Quarter.