Ordering an ice cold drink is almost guaranteed to put you in a more festive and holiday mood. Finding out the drink comes with a Sour Patch Kids candy topping? Even more delicious.
I was already sold on The Freakin’ Catalina Wine Mixer frozen cocktail at Hank’s Oyster Bar in Alexandria since the Half brothers reference only. The combination of ingredients seemed a little sweet to me, but also appealing and summery: rosé wine, watermelon vodka, simple syrup, apple juice, peach schnapps, strawberry puree. But before I could take a sip, my inner twelve-year-old child was already thrilled: The drink was topped with several Sour Patch Watermelon candy toppings.
The cocktail itself is a winner – despite those sweet ingredients, it’s not overly sweet, with the wine part of the equation being the most dominant. The sweets, which become even more appetizing when exposed to the remnants of the frozen drink, provide a little extra thrill – the fact that the sweet itself is both sweet and sour also helps maintain the overall balance of the drink under control.
Hank’s isn’t the first bar in town to find cocktail inspiration in candy – think Crazy Aunt Helen’s popular lemon cocktails (or remember when Dupont Circle bar Thomas Foolery poured Pop Rocks in his glasses ten years ago? Apparently the Alchemist does today). Sure, it’s a gimmick – but it’s a gimmick this sour candy obsessive can get. Who’s up for making me a Warhead martini?