Explorations in Mixology Cocktails Drinking

The Pepto Bismopolitan

IMG_8854As a category, reviver cocktails have long been regarded for their ability to soothe aches and pains after an evening of over-imbibing. Drinks like the Bloody Mary, Corpse Reviver No. 2, or even the Ramos Gin Fizz—all delicious cocktails in their own right—are often consumed in the morning. “Hair of the Dog,” as they say, cures the bite with a bit of the fur. The science involved is debatable, but good arguments include curbing the effects of alcohol withdrawal, delaying the metabolization of methanol congeners, enlivening the senses by correcting low blood sugar, and of course, dulling the pain with more booze.

If you add nausea to the list of symptoms—a common enough situation—another drink may be the last thing on your mind, especially if your evening concluded with foolishly questionable food choices. That sack of White Castle sliders and deep-fried Onion Chips are probably not settling too well. Or maybe you forced your driver to stop at a Wendy’s drive-thru for a Jalapeño Cheddar Double Melt that is now destined to burn twice. You need help, and the classics aren’t going to be enough. If only a cocktail existed that could both cure the hangover and simultaneously settle the stomach. Yes, friends, today is your lucky day!

Meet the Pepto Bismopolitan. It may seem unconventional, especially at this time of the year when we traditionally introduce a new cocktail for spring. But we couldn’t wait another day to share this miracle cure.

Pepto BismopolitanPepto Bismopolitan
2 measures vodka
1 measure Pepto Bismol
.5 measure lime juice
1 measure cranberry juice

Shake over ice until your arm is sore. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.

One of the joys of trying new recipes is exploring unusual ingredients. Pepto Bismol is a rarity behind the bar—it’s usually consumed neat and often right from the bottle. It’s an odd product with a variety of characteristics that contribute to the final result. First, it doesn’t pour, it blubs from the bottle like runny yogurt. The thick consistency helps build a nice frothy espuma normally achieved through the addition of egg whites or cream. It is also a lovely shade of pink.

The original Pepto has a flavor and aroma that is reminiscent of chalky wintergreen Life Savers—a fantastic flavor that definitely carries through. We also understand a cherry version exists which might be worth trying. Outside of this great recipe, we don’t see a lot of menus featuring drinks with Pepto Bismol, probably because it’s a challenging ingredient. The cherry variety might offer more possibilities, but we wonder what other flavors might be on the horizon for this mixer. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a cranberry-lime variation that would save everyone a lot of trouble. Measuring the right amount is made simple if you use the included plastic jigger which tops out at 30ml. There is enough product in the bottle to make about fifteen of these.

We used locally produced Crater Lake vodka in this recipe, although you can obviously sub another brand. Vodka is flavor-neutral allowing the other ingredients to shine. In this recipe, you probably don’t want the flavor of the spirit getting in the way of a fine remedy. Let the alcohol play its role without interrupting the flavor. The small amount of lime helps keep the drink balanced while the cranberry completes the ensemble, elongating a somewhat potent formula. Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail is preferred, but don’t expect it to have much effect on the color.

It’s no secret that the name for this cocktail resembles the Cosmopolitan. Many of the ingredients are similar. In fact, should you consume too many Cosmos at your cocktail party, provided you don’t drink everything, you would only need swap one ingredient the next morning to recover your senses. And once you are back on your game, try the perfect drink for backyards, barbecues and baseball!

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Tabitha McAdams
Tabitha McAdams
4 years ago

I just tried this because I had all the ingredients and it’s delicious!!! I subbed sweet and sour for lime and I don’t drink vodka, so I used some high-quality gin!