The Disgusting Alcoholic Beverage (DAB, perhaps) seems to be having a moment. Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark have achieved minor Internet fame — and now a Times writeup — for their McNuggetini, a chocolate shake with vanilla vodka, barbecue sauce on the rim, and a chicken McNugget garnish. They've also cooked up such upsetting concoctions as the Ham Daiquiri and the Bloody Bacon and Cheese. And they're not alone — bacon has now infiltrated both cocktails and beer. These DABs all wear their grossness with pride — they aim to be, if not players in what's supposedly the current cocktail revolution, at least an entertaining sideshow. But as anyone who's ever tried to drink before the legal drinking age knows, the true DAB is born of desperation — when there's no decent alcohol around, and no reliable means to purchase it, and all you have are your wits and some liquids that really shouldn't be mixed.
The grossest drink that ever passed my lips was Jager mixed with Red Bull — I know this is semi-popular, but it tasted more like poison than anything I've ever had before or since. My college friends, however, used to try to stretch a dwindling booze supply with a much grosser libation they called "church wine" — Carlo Rossi jug red mixed with Dr. Pepper. This swill actually ate through a paper cup one night while my roommate and I slept — inexplicably, one of us had been unwilling to finish it — trickled into my roommate's underwear drawer, and stained her bra. So I've always associated the Disgusting Alcoholic Beverage with squalid — and booze-stained — high school and college living.
If the rest of the staff is any indication, I'm not far off. Anna's unfavorite drink of all time is "malt liquor beverages with flavoring." While I agree that these are empirically gross, they'll always have a soft spot in my heart for their role at crappy high school parties. Says Margaret, "The only drink underage Wellesley students with no car could construct was a 'screwdriver' made of fake orange juice stolen from the dining hall and vodka that came in a giant plastic jug. Pour in a funky-smelling Nalgene bottle and serve." And in a similar but slightly worse vein, Katy once ran out of other options and decided to melt orange popsicles to mix with vodka. The verdict: "It was horrible." Some, however, had more high-concept, perhaps more McNuggetini-like DABs to report. Sadie says, "I used to know this sweet old lady who loved these vile Finlandia chocolates filled with sweetened Vodka and would always give them to me. One night, my friends and I made a shot from emptying about 15 of them per glass. It was...not good." But the winner, in my opinion, is Dodai, who writes,
my junior high school friend created a "punch" inspired by those chocolate oranges you see during the holidays. this meant: orange juice, mandarin orange slices, and, the kiss of death: KAHLUA. it was vile.
Consider yourselves warned.