Ordering a frozen drink is almost guaranteed to put you in a more festive, vacation-y mood. Finding out that drink comes with a Sour Patch Kids candy garnish? Even more of a delight.
I was already sold on The Freakin’ Catalina Wine Mixer frozen cocktail at Hank’s Oyster Bar in Alexandria from the Step Brothers reference alone. The combination of ingredients sounded a little sweet to me, but also appealing and summery: rose wine, watermelon vodka, simple syrup, apple juice, peach schnapps, strawberry puree. But before I could take a sip, my inner twelve-year-old was already thrilled: the drink came garnished with several Sour Patch Watermelon candy garnishes.
The cocktail itself is a winner — despite those sweet ingredients, it isn’t too sugary, with the wine part of the equation the most dominant. The candies, which get even more toothsome when exposed to remnants of the frozen drink, provide an extra little thrill — the fact that the candy itself is both sweet and sour also helps keep the drink’s overall balance in check.
Hank’s isn’t the first bar in town to find cocktail inspiration in candy — think of Crazy Aunt Helen’s popular lemon drop cocktails (or does any remember when Dupont Circle bar Thomas Foolery was pouring Pop Rocks into its glasses a decade ago? Apparently the Alchemist is doing it today). Sure, it’s a gimmick — but it’s a gimmick this sour candy obsessive can get behind. Who’s up for making me a Warhead martini?