A few weeks ago, we tried our hand at making Beach Plum cordial. The results were decidedly medicinal, producing something that for all practical purposes, tasted like cough syrup. That said, we weren’t quite ready to give up on the concoction, so we went looking for weird cocktail recipes that called for cough syrup or a cough syrup-like flavor. We came across an old favorite, the fictional Flaming Homer/Flaming Moe, of Simpson’s fame. Homer invented this drink when he was forced to watch Patty and Selma’s vacation slides. When he couldn’t find a beer in the house, homer mixed together drops of alcohol from all the near-empty booze bottles in the house. In his haste, he also poured in a bottle of “Krusty” brand non-narcotic cough syrup. The drink was accidentally lit on fire, greatly improving its flavor. The Flaming Homer was born, and would soon be co-opted and renamed the Flaming Moe.
Since the drink doesn’t really exist, and it’s hard to decipher exactly what ingredients Homer used just by watching the cartoon, many people have come up with their own interpretation of the drink. We decided to try out a couple of these recipes, substituting our Beach Plum Cordial for the cough syrup. At one point, a Flaming Moe’s Recipe pint glass was released, with the following recipe printed on it, “Four ounces Tequila, four ounces peppermint schnapps, four ounces creme de menthe and two ounces grape soda.” Not only does this sound disgusting, it obviously doesn’t contain cough syrup, probably for legal reasons. Also, there’s no way in hell you could ignite this cocktail, as it simply doesn’t have a high enough alcohol content. We skipped this recipe.
The next recipe we found included an ounce each of brandy, creme de menthe, pineapple juice and sloe gin, as well as a half ounce of blackberry liqueur and 2 tablespoons of cough syrup (or, in our case, beach plum cordial). You’re supposed to combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and then pour in a glass (or mug) and ignite. First of all, do you know how hard it is to find Sloe Gin these days? We finally located some, but we’re fairly sure that the bottle had been sitting around for at least ten years, but we carried on, in the name of science. The drink came out a bright pinkish red, and looked and smelled a bit like a tropical drink, but mintier. With all the low ABV liqueurs and the addition of ice, trying to light the cocktail proved impossible. We even tried a floater of 151 rum, but the drink still resisted our efforts to light it. The taste was sticky sweet and medicinal, with a minty flavor reminiscent of toothpaste. EA described the drink as “instant headache.” The best we could say is that it tasted sort of like a minty Mai Tai. A bad one.
The second recipe we tried looked like it might light on fire, but contained no cough syrup. It starts with a shot of Kahlúa poured into a warmed glass, with half a shot of Sambuca floated on top. Next, we poured a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream and a shot of blue Curacao into separate glasses. We poured the remaining Sambuca into a warmed glass and managed to set it alight.
The flaming Sambuca is poured into the cocktail glass with the Kahlúa, and then the shots of Curacao and Bailey’s are poured in at the same time. This creates a swirly mess that looks a bit like toxic waste or one of those “marbled” bowling balls.
It’s supposed to be served with a straw, for some reason. Not surprisingly, this version tasted mostly of Sambuca. Similar to a cement mixer, it has a thick mouthfeel, with a couple clumps and tends to cling to the inside of your mouth. At least it ignited.
While we can’t endorse either of these drinks, we at least had fun experimenting with some ingredients we don’t often use.
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