There's an umbrella in my Charley!
TOMORROW I will join the ranks of such famous figures as Tom Harvey, Rob Roy, Queen Mary I and Alexander the Great -- people immortalized not by any great contributions to humanity, but by having cocktails named after them.
To mark the release of my book "Hey, Waiter, There's an Umbrella in My Drink!," Duke's Waikiki bartender Jesse Greenleaf is unveiling the world's newest tropical drink, "The Charley!"
I had hoped I could leave my mark on the world through something a tad more noteworthy, such as finding a cure for the common paper cut or inventing a car that can run on good intentions, but, hey, having a drink named after you ain't too shabby, either.
And I'll be in august company (if not even September.) There's the Alexander, the creme de cacao-and-gin concoction named after Alexander the Great, and the Bloody Mary, named after Queen Mary I (not Mary Queen of Scots as some cocktail-impaired historians contend). But you don't have be royalty to have a drink named for you. The Rob Roy, a whiskey-and-vermouth affair, was named after an 18th-century cattle rustler. And drunken surfer Tom Harvey is immortalized by the Harvey Wallbanger.
WHEN I told my wife about the drink, she was worried. Do drinks have to reflect the inner essence of the person they're named after? (In a blender, mix tequila, lime and a McDonald's Happy Meal. Just kidding.)
Luckily, Jesse had been developing a tropical drink that was just waiting for a name. He kindly decided to christen it "The Charley!" The basic recipe is Absolut Mandarin vodka, cranberry juice, passion fruit juice, lime squeeze and soda water, shaken and poured into a froufrou tropical glass and topped with a lime wedge, orange wheel and, of course, a paper umbrella. At tomorrow's book launch at Duke's Waikiki, you can get a Virgin Charley! Or an Alcoholic Charley! (I don't know which one sounds more scary.) According to Jesse, for the nonvirgin version, Absolut Mandarin has to be used because other brands of vodka "won't fit in the glass."
The public is invited to try the world's newest tropical drink and get a copy of my book at the launch party at Duke's, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. A portion of the proceeds go to my dog Boomer's favorite charity: the Hawaiian Humane Society. There's valet parking at the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel and validated parking at the Ohana East Hotel. Come be a part of cocktail history and see if there's an umbrella in your Charley!
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