Fruits of the Desert

For this entry on a beautiful, spring day, I decided to go for something light and fruity. Makes sense that a cocktail should match the day it is made on. On a whim, I decided to turn to my first cocktail book, Cocktail Handbook by Maria Costantino. I picked it up many years ago at Half Price Books and used it for several years, but none of the recipes really tasted that good. I used it for the old standbys, but at that time, I didn’t know enough about cocktails to be able to determine which drinks were fringe drinks and which were original and which were traditional. So I would make random drinks.

Like I did today. And I now remember why I don’t normally turn to this book. I opened it up to a drink called Fruits of the Desert, where you mix together

  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp bar sugar

and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Then add a maraschino cherry.

I thought is sounded nice and fruity, like a grapefruit margarita. It’s not. The grapefruit juice overpowers everything else, yet its flavor is completely muddled by the tequila and triple sec. The brightness of the fresh fruit juice is gone. At first, I thought I may have made the drink incorrectly. So I reread the recipe and made another one. Same problem. So I though maybe my fresh grapefruit juice (a couple days old) had gone bad. I checked it. It is fine. So then I settled on the fact that this drink just isn’t that good.

I looked it up on the web and found a lot of sites that mention the drink and give recipes for it, like Tydmor’s Blog, DrinksMixer, Cocktails and Drinks, and one of my favorite named sites, iDrink. I searched all of my trusty cocktail sites and found nothing about it. And none of the sites that do mention it say anything about the drink itself. They don’t say who invented it or whether it even tastes good. To me, it doesn’t. It’s not awful or anything, but it just isn’t that good. Overall, the Fruits of the Desert just isn’t a drink that works that well.

I did, however, find this review of the book, which seems to really like it. Maybe I need to give it another chance.

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