How do you know you’re a true Simpsons fan? If you hear the words “drink” and “Simpsons” and think to yourself: “To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” And for you fans, the must-have oddity of the moment is not the Marge Simpson Playboy spread but John Ortved’s The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. Unlike that creepy, banana-hued centerfold, you can carry it around in public. But what’s a good read without a good drink? In that spirit, here are the best alcoholic beverages from the show, and a few suggestions on how to get a hold of them yourself.
Duff: “The beer that makes the days fly by.” Homer’s drink of choice might not be a cocktail, but it has to appear on this list. It’s possibly the only beer promoted by cartoon beer bottles, the Seven Duffs: Sleazy, Queasy, Surly, Edgy, Tipsy, Dizzy, and Remorseful. While technically there is no “official” Duff beer, plenty of brewers the world over learned from Homer the Bootlegger and made their own. The one you should look out for is the Mexican Duff:
Like the real Duff, this Mexican rogue has an over the top open call for “chicas” to be featured in their calendar. Just try to avoid what happened to Moe after he was turned down by Duff’s Vice President of Calendars and Fake IDs.
The Flaming Moe: Or Flaming Homer, depending on who you ask. Regardless of the name, this cough syrup-spiked cocktail is the center of one of the show’s classic episodes. The actual recipe for this Lil Wayne-style concoction? Combine Tequila, Schnapps, Creme De Menthe, and “Krusty’s Non Narkotik Kough Syrup For Kids.” Mix, light on fire, and voila.
The mixologist on About.com provides a slightly more reasonable variation that he/she hasn’t tried, but makes the wise suggestion: “The key is to use a plain children’s cough syrup, nothing too flavorful.” The recipe: 1 oz brandy, 1 oz peppermint schnapps, 1 oz sloe gin, 1 oz blackberry liqueur, 1 oz strawberry juice, cough syrup. Pour all ingredients except the cough syrup in a highball glass, stir, add cough syrup, ignite and extinguish before drinking.
There are many other recipes, including this amazing one involving Nyquil, plus some tips on presentation: “To get the flare-up, I sprinkled powdered non-dairy creamer on the lit drink from above — huge temporary fireball.” Indeed.
The most rational recipe I can find comes from The Bottle Gang, who very carefully suggest that you don’t try this at home: 3 oz. vodka, 1.5 oz. Kirschwasser, 1.5 oz. Creme de Cassis, 1.5 oz. Blackberry Brandy. Take everything and pour it into a rocks glass. Stir. Now take a spoon, turn it upside down, and pour 151 rum over the spoon so it distributes itself evenly over the top. Light it.
Bathtub Mint Julep: “Homer vs. the 18th Amendment” is one of the best Simpsons episodes, and the source of not just the toast at the top of this piece but also cocktail wisdom such as, “You can’t seriously want to ban alcohol. It tastes great, makes women appear more attractive, and makes a person virtually invulnerable to criticism,” and, “All our founding fathers, astronauts and world series heroes have been either drunk or on cocaine.”
While you may not store your liquor in bowling balls, that’s no reason not to enjoy a mint julep. Muddle a tablespoon spoon of simple syrup and mint leaves at the bottom of a tumbler. Add crushed ice and six ounces of bourbon. It’s a classic and an ideal way to enjoy your bourbon – the “brownest of the brown liquors,” as lawyer Lionel Hutz would describe it.
“I’m feelin’ low, Apu,” says Homer. “You got any of that beer that has candy floating in it, you know, Skittlebrau?”
“Such a product does not exist, sir! You must have dreamed it.”
“Oh. Well then just gimme a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles.”
If the makers of Sparks are ever looking for a new product, this is it. And most of the work has been done for them. The Crazy Engineer has been methodically testing various combinations of fruit candy and beer in search of the right match. So far he has learned that “Malt beverages do not seem to mix well with the fruity candy, but bitter, quality beers seem to mesh well. Obviously, more research needs to be done, but it is certainly nothing to laugh at.”
Of course, Mr. Crazy Engineer. We wouldn’t dream of laughing at you.