Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ralfy's SunnyD and Rum

This post deliberately comes on the heels of Tiki Month 2013.  Why?  Because although this drink isn't a tiki drink, it could be construed as Tiki Compliant® in a fairly low-class kind of way.  Before you judge the recipe below, read on...

Anyone who enjoys reading blogs and other online amateur writing can tell you the bittersweet feeling of coming across a great blogger or website; the sweet is that you've found a new source of information that you enjoy consuming, but the bitter is that you often wonder how you've gone so long without discovering that source.

I've just recently experienced the above with Ralfy of, a Scottish chap who primarily vlogs his reviews and thoughts about Scotch whisky, along with other sundry advice and tips.

Ralfy is also quite knowledgeable about the internet, much more than his age's stereotype might have you believe.  This knowledge includes internet culture, and especially YouTube culture.

In 2012 there surfaced a YouTube video of a nice lady(perhaps inebriated) named Chris Athey who decided to create an impromptu original song proclaiming her love of SunnyD and Rum - simply a mixture of rum and Sunny Delight.

In typical internet fashion, clever folk decided to endlessly remix this remarkably off-tune diddy into overly-processed musical masterpieces.  Ralfy celebrates these works of creativity and, in a moment of commemoration, tries out this much-lauded Sunny D and Rum drink.

Ralfy is not just an expert on whisky, but is also a learned rum drinker.  In a moment where Ralfy flexes his perhaps-atrophied mixological physique, he creates his own version of Sunny D and Rum using the sage choice of J. Wray and Nephew White Overproof rum.

I thought I'd give it a whirl.

The first problem was with SunnyD variations.  Uninitiated fans may not realize that there are over a dozen flavors of SunnyD in the US alone.  Being in the UK, Ralfy is using California Style, a version which isn't even sold anymore on this side of the pond, but sources tell me that the American SunnyD Smooth flavor is the almost identical to it, if not the same.

The problem was that I couldn't find SunnyD Smooth anywhere, and I looked in quite a few places.  I found Tangy, Orange, and even a 20oz bottle that didn't specify its flavor.  However, I tried this drink with all of them, and they're all good.  And I also must say, I've been around the block of processed food and drink (I even have another blog about it), and I remember SunnyD California Style from my childhood; it wasn't so different from the flavors above.

The last hurdle in this drink was overcoming my cocktailian ego.  Ralfy's recipe and preparation of this drink was decidedly obsolescent: under-iced, over-diluted, ungarnished.  I went to work in my lab and experimented extensively *hiccup* to modernize the recipe and bring it into fashion.  I tried things like making the booze-to-mixer ratio higher in booze, shaking the drink with ice and pouring onto more cubes, or crushed ice, or serving it up in a cocktail glass, garnished with a slice of orange, or even rinsing the glass with absinthe.  None of these things worked.  None of them tasted remotely as good as Ralfy's manifested rusticity, the thing for which he is known best.

This drink is surprisingly good.  The funk of the Jamaican rum cuts through the juice's artificiality perfectly while the absinthe perfumes the whole into an experience I wouldn't hesitate to call a tiki long drink.  The recipe below is transcribed as best I can from how Ralfy prepared it on screen.

SunnyD & Rum (Ralfy Mix)

3.75 oz cold SunnyD (California Style/Smooth preferred, substitute with Tangy or Orange)
.75 oz J. Wray & Nephew White Overproof rum
1 heavy dash absinthe

Build in an Old Fashioned glass over the largest cubes/chunks of ice you have and stir.  No garnish.