Us 90's kids who grew up with Pokemon Red and Blue are adults now. That comes with its share of annoyances, like the fact that we have to find a real job, take responsibility for ourselves, don't get summers off, and are generally unwelcome at jungle gyms. But despite all that, there are a few perks.
The ability to drink delicious alcoholic beverages is definitely pretty high on that list. So with that in mind, here are some custom-created cocktails based on the starter Pokemon of the games we grew up with. Oh, and by the way, this is part 1 of a series. Over the coming weeks, we will be creating easy-to-make craft cocktails based on each and every Pokemon from the original games. We're knocking out 9 today, so dust off your Atomic Purple Game Boy Color, and come along for the ride.
For Bulbasaur, we're going with an herbal spirit, gin -- along with the earthy, grassy flavors of cilantro. It's a simple drink, but the flavors match well, and the sweetness of the simple syrup enhances the herbal flavors of the gin and cilantro. Like the Pokemon in question, the grassy flavors here aren't overpowering, but if they are allowed to linger, they'll blossom into something greater.
To prepare the Bulbasaur, begin by putting either a coupe glass or a martini glass into the freezer for later. Then, measure out an equal amount of sugar and water. Put them in a pot together over high heat, and mix until all the sugar is dissolved. Simmer the mixture until it reduces by about a third. We're looking for a nice thick syrupy consistency here. Then, throw in about a handful of fresh cilantro, and allow to chill. We're going to be putting this in the blender, and you never want anything hot in the blender! Remember, fire is super effective against grass types and also human skin.
Once everything is cool, throw it into your blender and run it until all of the cilantro is chopped up and incorporated into the syrup. Strain through a cheesecloth, paper towel, or cocktail strainer into a mason jar for later use.
Retrieve your glass from the freezer-- it should be plenty chilled by now. Now all that's left is to fix the drink. Get out your jigger and measure out 1.5oz of gin (that's the bigger portion of the jigger), and pour it into a cocktail shaker full of ice. Then, measure out 1 pony (the other half of the jigger, or ¾oz) of the cilantro simple syrup and do the same. Stir until chilled with a bar spoon (don't shake this drink, it'll get cloudy and lose its nice green color), and pour into your chilled glass. Enjoy!
Pour 1.5oz gin and 3/4 oz cilantro infused simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and stir with ice. Pour into a chilled glass.
The preparation for this drink is very similar to the Bulbasaur, just with a few added steps. The evolved form of the Bulbasaur drink adds more leafy goodness with muddled mint and sugar, and the fizziness of the soda water we'll add will bring out the flavors of this budding Pokemon even more.
The first thing you'll want to do is grab a handful of fresh mint leaves and throw them into your glass with some fine sugar. Muddle the mint, letting the grains of the sugar crush the leaves until they have a paste-like consistency. Don't skimp on this, it really is key to bring out the flavors here.
The rest of the drink is exactly the same as the Bulbasaur, only after you pour it, you'll want to cover with soda water to cut the sweetness of the sugar you added.
Muddle a handful of mint leaves in a glass with fine sugar. Pour 1.5oz gin and 3/4 oz cilantro infused simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and stir with ice. Pour into the glass and cover with soda water.
The final evolution of the Bulbasaur cocktail has finally bloomed. The lush green leaves of the Pokemon are represented here with basil, which adds a pleasantly savory undertone to the entire drink. As far as preparation, all you'll need to do to make the Venusaur is to muddle a handful of basil leaves along with the mint, then garnish with a basil leaf and edible flowers (if you have them. I don't.) See? It's not that hard. This drink is best enjoyed on the porch, while absorbing light so that you can use Solarbeam on the next turn.
Muddle a handful of mint and basil leaves in a glass with fine sugar. Pour 1.5oz gin and 3/4 oz cilantro infused simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and stir with ice. Pour into the glass, cover with soda water, and garnish with a basil leaf.
In order to make the Charmander, we're going to need to teach you a trick that will allow you to impart some fiery flavors into any drink.
Flaming a citrus peel is very easy. All you have to do is cut off a thick piece of rind from a fresh orange or lemon, hold a match close to the skin to bring the oils close to the skin's surface, then squeeze the rind into the match. This will cause the oils to be expelled from the rind's pores, after which they will fly into the match and ignite. When the lit oil drops into the drink, it will give the drink a nice smoky quality.
Anyway. This drink is pretty simple, all told. All you'll need to do is pour a jigger of rum into a glass, cover with ginger beer (NOT ginger ale!), then flame an orange peel over the drink to represent Charmander's tail. Be sure to squeeze the peel before dropping it into the drink to make sure you get every bit of flavor out of it.
Pour 1.5oz rum into a chilled glass and cover with ginger beer. Flame an orange peel and squeeze it into the glass.
Just because Charmander is going through an awkward teenage phase doesn't mean he's lost his edge. In addition to the natural heat and spiciness of our ginger beer, we'll be adding in even more ginger to bump up the spiciness even further.
After you get your hands on some fresh ginger, cut off a piece about the size of a quarter, and peel it. Somewhat counter-intuitively, it's easiest to peel ginger with a regular spoon instead of a normal peeler, so don't waste time rifling through your kitchen drawer. Once the ginger is peeled, grate the whole thing into the rum and ginger beer before flaming the orange. The oils from the orange will affect the ginger as well, deepening its flavor.
Pour 1.5oz rum into a chilled glass and cover with ginger beer, then peel a piece of ginger about the size of a quarter and grate it into the drink. Flame an orange peel and squeeze the oils into the glass.
To prepare the Charizard, we're going to add a Fire Spin to the Charmeleon drink. To do this, we'll have to teach you how to rim a drink. If you already know how to do this, skip to the next paragraph. For the rest of you, it's easy. Set out two plates, and put a small amount of rum on one of them. On the other, prepare a mixture of equal parts sugar and crushed red pepper. Simply dip the lip of the glass into the alcohol and then into the sugar and pepper mixture, and you'll have rimmed the glass. The nice thing about rimming your glass this way is that the alcohol will dissolve in time and allow the Fire Spin mixture to adhere firmly to the lip of the drink.
Obviously, feel free to adjust the heat quotient to your taste, or even replace the crushed pepper with cayenne (or even the sugar with cinnamon sugar). Personally, I recommend going heavy on the pepper, as it takes the sweet-and-spicy flavors of this drink to another level. Call it a Rare Candy.
Rim your glass with a mixture of equal parts crushed red pepper and sugar. Then, pour 1.5oz rum into the glass and cover with ginger beer. Peel a piece of ginger about the size of a quarter and grate it into the drink. Flame an orange peel and squeeze the oils into the glass.
Once again, we start with muddled mint, but this time, we're using it not to impart herbal flavors to this modified vodka martini. We're enhancing the natural refreshing qualities of vodka and vermouth, so use less leaves in this drink. Once you have muddled a small amount of mint into a paste, add 1.5oz vodka to an iced cocktail shaker, along with 1/3oz each (about half of the smaller portion of your jigger-pony combo, give or take) of sweet and dry vermouth. Stir, and pour into your glass.
Like the Pokemon in question, this drink is bubbly and playful, with some strong flavors masking the sweetness that sits at its core. Make one and join the squad.
Muddle mint leaves in a glass with fine sugar. Add 1.5oz vodka, 1/3oz sweet vermouth, and 1/3oz dry vermouth to an iced cocktail shaker and stir. Strain into the glass and enjoy.
Speaking personally, egg whites are some of my favorite ingredients to add to any drinks. They add a brilliant frothy texture to drinks, and in this case, we're using egg whites as our Bubblebeam.
To make the Wartortle, simply make a Squirtle, then before serving, add an egg white to the shaker and instead of stirring, shake the drink for at least a minute to give the drink the desired texture and flavor. The whitewater we've added to the drink through our use of our egg white Bubblebeam adds some heaviness to the drink, so sip slowly and you won't have to use Withdraw later in the evening.
Muddle mint leaves in a glass with fine sugar. Add 1.5oz vodka, 1/3oz sweet vermouth, 1/3oz dry vermouth, and 1 egg white to an iced cocktail shaker. Shake for a full minute to get it nice and frothy. Strain into your glass.
Blastoise's fearsome cannons pump some pleasant briny pickle juice into our drink here, creating a delicious blend of salty, sweet, and refreshing. Feel free to dose as you see fit, from a Water Gun sized addition all the way up to a Hydro Pump.
Add the pickle juice in before shaking so that the flavors can all marry, then pour over the mint and stir to incorporate, as before. If you feel the urge, garnish with either pickle or cornichons for added flavor. It's a perfect beverage for those times you're being carried across the sea by an animal you force to fight for you.
Muddle mint leaves in a glass with fine sugar. Add 1.5oz vodka, 1/3oz sweet vermouth, and 1/3oz dry vermouth, 1 egg white, and pickle juice to taste into an iced cocktail shaker. Shake the mixture for a full minute, then strain into your glass and garnish with a pickle or pair of cornichons.
What do you think? Were these cocktails Super Effective? If you make these at home, tag them on Twitter or Instagram with #GottaDrinkEmAll so we can see your creations. We'll be back next week with Caterpie through Pidgeot!