First off, let me state that I’m more of a shot and a beer kinda guy. I wouldn’t be caught dead sipping any kinda booze out of a straw and if somebody walked into my local watering hole and ordered an “umbrella drink” they’d be laughed out of the place. The blender behind the bar is there for display purposes only.
But that’s just me.
For all of you cocktail connoisseurs out there who like to sip on something fancy and colorful you know the kind of drink I’m talking about. It’s usually made of a vast array of liquors and/or fruit punches with the main ingredient being rum. Once blended together by a trained mixologist they often take on a color that you wouldn’t find occurring in the natural world. If memory serves correctly, they’re often varying degrees of pink, blues, greens and reds and while they might be appealing to the eye they can, if consumed in enough volume, put a sure fire hurt on your ass.
But why the umbrella?
To try and answer this perplexing question I decided to scour the internet and lo and behold couldn’t really come up with anything. The closest I came to an answer was that the umbrella drink made its first appearance Trader Vic's, a pretty popular chain of Polynesian style restaurants back in the 1940’s and blossomed outwards after that. The theory is that since most of these drinks are somewhat exotic in nature and come from exotic places, they used the umbrella to shield the libations from the sun and to prevent the ice from melting any sooner than was necessary.
Now, I don’t know if that’s true or not but it seems pretty plausible to me.
Any kind of tiki bar worth its salt has probably got a menu list that’s a mile long with all kinds of strange concoctions that might be deemed umbrella drinks. You can also find people sipping them while they’re basking in the sun on some secluded beach or sitting by the pool on a cruise somewhere. Here’s just a few that I know of off the top of my head.
I’m sure there’s a host of others but as I said, I like to keep my drinking to the basics. It keeps the bartenders at my little oasis happy and as anybody out there who likes to tilt their elbows back every now and then will tell you, it’s never a good idea to have the person pouring you drinks pissed off at you.
Note: If any of you out there who have a more refined palate than yours truly and would like to see some drinks added to the list, please feel free to message me and I’ll make sure they're included.