Monday, April 23, 2012

The Best Long Island Iced Tea I Ever Had

"Don't make me sad, don't make me cry
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough
I don't know why
Keep making me laugh,
Let's go get high
The road is long, we carry on
Try to have fun in the meantime"

Born to Die (2011) by Lana Del Rey

This evening, I poured a Long Island Iced Tea in me followed by a Martini, a Whiskey Sour and a Black Russian. For the first time in months, I am liquored enough to obliterate my ability to walk in a straight line and I couldn't think of a better opportunity to write about my latest pastime.

Now that I am bereft of a girlfriend, I finally took up mixing cocktails - a pursuit that I had been meaning to pursue ever since I had my first Piña Colada five years ago in a bar in India because of that "if you like Piña Coladas" song (you know the one). Since then, I had been trying to find a bar which could competently serve my favourite drinks without botching them beyond recognition, and I was met with disappointment at every turn. I once caught, to my horror, a barkeep throwing a splash of orange juice in my Martini. I am now convinced that in order to have a reliably decent drink most of the time, I had to supervise my bartenders or make it myself.

About a month ago, I decided to start building up a personal mini bar and one of the initial challenges I faced was finding a reliable and reasonably priced supply of decent liquors and liqueurs, and I finally found one in Kuching situated along Jalan Tun Jugah who would frequently slip me duty-free booze. The proprietors would even fill orders of certain liquor brands for me that no one else in the city appreciates.

Purchasing mixers posed another challenge but I could gather most of the things I need from the Ta Kiong supermarket at The Spring which hawks a decent amount of imported products. I was very pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across shelf stacked with bottles of Rose's Lime Juice Cordial there - enabling me to churn out Gimlets whenever I feel like having one. Aside from that, I've taken to stocking my fridge with oranges, lemons and an obscene amount of limes because having freshly squeezed juices on hand really does make all the difference. Now, I'm on the lookout for fresh mint leaves and sprigs, and I'm already looking into the feasibility of growing a plant myself.

On Saturday, after consulting with my supplier of booze, I finally located a shop where I could pick up a cobbler shaker and a jigger,

My Cobble Shaker
A smallish 350mls cobbler shaker with a 25mls/50mls jigger.

In the beginning, I was using my Starbucks tumbler as a makeshift shaker and used plastic custard dessert cups as my jigger. I expect that by the time my next payday arrives, I would be purchasing a blender. I'm already googling how-to instructions on buying one.

Today, I attempted my first Long Island Iced Tea - one of my perennial favourites - from scratch. First off, I have to get my hands on some sour mix, and I was obliged to make my own by dissolving a cup of sugar in a cup of hot water, and then adding a cup of lemon juice and a cup of lime juice (both freshly squeezed using a plastic citrus juicer I stumbled across at the store) to it. Then, to a glass half-filled with ice, I added equal measures of gin, tequila, triple sec, vodka, and white rum before dousing the mix with a double dose of my freshly prepared sour mix, which is denser than the spirits and would perfuse downwards to the bottom of the glass. Finally, I threw in a splash of cola to give it that trademark iced tea appearance,

Homemade Long Island Iced Tea
My homemade Long Island Iced Tea. Gorgeous, ain't it?

 It was sooo fucking good. I'd go as far as to pronounce it the best Long Island Iced Tea I ever had in my life (and I had too many). The weird thing about Long Island Iced Teas is that the taste of liquor in them are somehow inexplicably subdued and smooth in spite of the fact that they are actually quite high in proof, and I could be knocking back half a dozen of these while my liver sneakily drowns without my notice.

Over the past month, through the guidance of cocktail sites and instructional YouTube videos, I had successfully concocted Piña Coladas, Staten Island Ferries, White Russians, Black Russians, Screwdrivers, Harvey Wallbangers, Creamsicles, Gimlets, White Ladies (not the local Kuching non-alcoholic dessert drink), Midori Splices, Japanese Slippers, Moscow Mules, Cosmopolitans, Grasshoppers (both the regular and the flying variant), Martinis, Whiskey Sours, Cuba Libres and many, many more that I enjoyed far too much to remember.

Tomorrow, I'm attempting yet another popular and thoroughly recognisable drink, the Margarita. I've already stolen a handful of salt sachets from McDonald's for it.

Amateur mixologist,
k0k s3n w4i


nicoletta said...

right. I don't drink. or very rarely. I'm most probably homozygous for that allele which gives the terrible Asian flush. a few sips and my heartbeat goes over the highway speed limit. and my whole body goes red and burns up. no way does that feel good.

Terri said...

might not be able to see your face, but i can see your very extreme-sideparted hair! :D you look so wee. and you're squinting! hah!

by the way, i made a tumblr. too soon to tell if i'll be updating frequently, but i'll let you know as soon as its the case.

PS- coffee flavoured baileys, with milk and ice. SO MUCH YUM.

RL said...

It's time for a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.

viv said...

you hv a kindred spirit here:

k0k s3n w4i said...

nicoletta: wow, that sucks. i'm probably one of those heterozygous asians who's going to die of cancer some day.

terri: you already have a blog - why tumblr? seems redundant to me. i don't have any bailey's in my private bar, and i'm not a fan of milk in cocktails. i always use cream in my white russians.

RL: seeing that i have no reliable way of getting any ol' janx spirit, water from the sea of stranginus v, arcturan mega-gin, fallian marsh gas, qualactin hypermint extract, algolian suntiger teeth or zamphour, i'd say the time is still elusive.

viv: doubt it. i never felt that my love of cocktails had ever threatened my manhood.

Terri said...

just changing platform *shrugs* i would've started a new blog either way, just thought i'd give tumblr a try. why stick to blogger? the interwebz is so big, po! too big to be loyal to one blogging platform! :P

i also have a wordpress and twitter, neither of which i've used since signing up for them *shrugs* i have the worst virtual trail. it's full of litter.

Sapphira said...

My favourite's a brandy blazer, especially in winter, but my go-to right now is Hendrick's, gin & cucumber. ;)

Sapphira said...

And of course, I missed out the crucial ingredient: tonic. Doh. Fail.

c3rs3i said...

My gotos are sangria, screaming orgasm, long island, mojito and sex on the beach. But generally prefer trying new drinks, shots or on rocks as cocktails can be a bit too sweet.
When's the party?

k0k s3n w4i said...

terri: for some reason, i feel that whenever i start expressing myself on another platform, i feel like i'm splitting my soul apart a la horcruxes.

Sapphira: i cannot get hendrick's gin or tonic water hereabouts, but i do like cucumbers. one of my favourite yoghurt drinks is cucumber and lime flavoured.

c3rs3i: i love mojitos, but bartenders always botch mine. i can't wait to get my hands on some fresh mint leaves - but i need to go to the market for that and i don't have the time :( the party's whenever. i just knocked back a few drinks with my housemate in the kitchen.

Terri said...

the souls of today's generation are highly malleable.

oh wait, that not might apply to you.

old man :P

Sapphira said...

I've gone out to buy me a bottle of Hendrick's. AUD$53 or so. Wish I could go halves with you! :)

k0k s3n w4i said...

Terri: yeah, i stuck to my blog's url even thought i ought to have changed it years ago.

Sapphira: on the gin front, i own a bottle of tanqueray and a bottle of gordon's. would love to try hendrick's though, but my booze guy doesn't carry those.

Anonymous said...


may i know where you got those jigger & shaker in kuching? And how much does it cost? Thank you :)

k0k s3n w4i said...

Anonymous: from a shop called syn hock seng hin that sells kitchenware. it's on jalan padungan, a corner lot at the exit into where the soon kheng hai food court is. should set cost you no more than RM30 in total.

Anonymous said...

okie got it! ^^
Song kheng hai was my previous primary school..hehe Thank you :)