The coronavirus pandemic has created a world wracked with worry and panic. Restaurants and bars have closed, people are stuck at home, and alcohol sales are up. Whether it’s wine o’clock or quarantini time, people have taken day drinking to a whole new level due to social distancing and pandemic fears. But with so many people afraid of being sick, why not skip all that and go straight for The Cure?
The Cure cocktail is inspired by the famous Long Island Iced Tea, which is known for its mix of multiple liquors, starting bar fights, and erasing Spring Break memories. Incidentally, the history of the Long Island Iced Tea is steeped in some small mysteries (maybe the creator had one too many?).
The first instance of something like a Long Island Iced Tea appeared in the 1920s. A man named Old Man Bishop concocted a drink called, fittingly, the Old Man Bishop, which involved all the staple liquors of a Long Island. It included rum, vodka, gin, and tequila, but instead of triple sec, it featured whiskey and was sweetened with maple syrup. This version of the Long Island is the one that inspired The Cure.
To keep this cocktail timely, we’re going to use alcohol that highlights a few of the primary countries being affected by COVID-19: China, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Italy.
And we’re starting off right where COVID-19 did: China. Baijiu is the national liquor of choice in China, but it hasn’t quite taken off around the world — which means it’s kind of hard to come by. But its flavor profile is similar to whiskey, so you can substitute if necessary.
Representation from the U.K., the U.S., and Italy are fairly standard — gin (Tanqueray), vodka (Tito’s), and limoncello, respectively. Rum is an international booze, so choose your favorite, but make sure to keep it light as to not overpower the drink — something like Flor de Cana is perfect.
After you’ve put all the liquor into a shaker filled with ice, add the grenadine and lemon juice, then shake well. Strain the mixture over ice in a highball glass (or, you know, whatever you have on hand). Top with Sprite and garnish with a lanced cherry and lemon wedge.
The drink should come out red to pink in color, slightly sweet, and very strong — if you have enough, you might just forget all about the coronavirus!