Recently, I caught up with an old friend—we will just call him ‘the Cane’ (short for Hurricane). The Cane was back visiting the city after a long hiatus, so to mark his return we met at a local bar to grab drinks and discuss Middle East peace. However not too long into our discussion, unsatisfied with our resolution to the division of Jerusalem or perhaps the pace of our inebriation, the Cane proceeded to order a series of what I consider the holy grail of bar drinks – bomb, bombs, bombs! Soon we had resolved all differences in the Middle East and were moving onto global warming!
This got me thinking – what makes dropping alcohol into more alcohol so splendidly joyful and magical that I giggle with glee whenever it is ordered. What wondrous flavors are released with the dropping of a shot of alcohol into an otherwise innocuous base? Furthermore, what other world problems could I solve if I just simply incorporated bomb drinks into other areas of my life namely eating? After all, it has been scientifically proven that bomb drinks are the key to human productivity. Don’t just take it from me, as Hwang Chang Kyu, president of Samsung’s semiconductor division and future Peck the Beak contributor was quoted in the New York Times:
“Unlike Japanese workers who are said to go home right after work, South Korean workers come up with various excuses to go and have a few bombs. Without the bomb drink, I don’t think we could have built the teamwork we have. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that we used our teamwork to offset disadvantages we had against the Japanese.”
Convinced? Good. Here are my thoughts on three of my favorite bomb drinks (two classical, one inventive), and their potential to pair with food. Enjoy and happy bombing!
Jaeger Bomb, flavor profile & suggested food pairings
Ingredients: Shot of Jaegermeister and Red Bull (or similar energy drink)
Flavor profile: The dominant flavor in jaegermeister is licorice while the dominant flavor in red bull is a tangy sourness. Mixed together, the red bull smoothes out the harsh edges of the licorice and the combination is a syrupy candy-like flavor with a high degree of acidity and sugar.
Food Pairings: The high acidity is great for cutting through highly spiced or greasy foods and the sugar serves as a nice palette cleanser. Try it with any variety of ethnic foods like Chinese, Thai, curry or with barbeque, and Tex-Mex.
Sake Bomb, flavor profile & suggested food pairings
Ingredients: Shot of warm sake and dry Japanese beer (Sapporo, Kirin, Asahi)
Flavor profile: Multilayered, transformative and delicious! The taste journey begins with the temperature as the drinks is cold at first but gradually warms with a soft tingling as the sake and beer mix. As the cold shock subsides, notes of sweetness emerge as the sugars in the sake rise from the crisp dry beer.
Food Pairings: The obvious pairings are sushi and sashimi, but the light sweetness of the sake bomb will also pair well with any light meat dish like pork or chicken. Sake bombs also contrast well when paired with pungent foods like goat cheese and garlic
The Obama Bomb, flavor profile & suggested food pairings
Ingredients: Red Bull, shot of Bacardi O, splash of orange juice
Flavor profile: Named after our commander in chef–smooth and fresh. Although similar to the Jaeger bomb, the Obama uses orange juice and orange rum to create highly concentrated citrus notes that balances the tangy sourness of the Red Bull brilliantly. The resulting concoction is a refreshing blast of sharp sweetness.
Food Pairings: The sharp sweetness of the Obama makes it a great pairing with rich deserts like chocolate pudding or cheesecake as it softens flavors. The citrus notes also compliment a variety of seafood such as grilled fish, lobster, or fried shrimp.