American Beauty Cocktail

American Beauty

.75 oz. brandy (Pierre Ferrand cognac)
.75 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin)
.75 oz. orange juice
.25 oz. white crème de menthe (Tempus Fugit)
1 oz. port (Taylor Fladgate 10-year-old Tawny Porto)
A few drops of grenadine

Brian: Check out this laundry list of ingredients: vermouth, brandy, orange juice, port, grenadine!

Eric: That sounds atrocious.

Brian: And crème de menthe!

Eric: There is no way this can be good. Who thought this was a good idea?

Brian: I found a Russian site where this Russian guy—

Eric: Is it in Cyrillic?

Brian: No, it’s written in kind of a phonetic English, saying things like, “I like way, it tastes good cause of how you do.” He loves this drink. And somebody else, maybe Difford or somebody else does a little different version of this drink and this Russian guy liked that too. I will send you the link. Another thing: This guy put his American Beauty into a martini glass; he didn’t put it into an old fashioned glass.

Brian: I’m supposed to float this port on top? This is senseless.

Eric: Don’t you think that the port is going to be heavier than what’s already in there?

Brian: Yeah, it really bothers me.

Eric: It’s a fool’s errand.

Brian tries and fails to float the port on top of the drink. The dark red liquid sinks into the murk. Brian, accepting his fate, adds a few drops of homemade grenadine and lifts the glass to his lips.

Brian: Oh, God, smell that mint. I’m already questioning this.

Eric: Why don’t we just move on and fake the review? We don’t have to do this, you know.

Brian silences Eric with a dirty look. He drinks.

Brian: Oh. Oh.

Eric: How is it?

Brian: Oh.

Eric: Is it horrible?

Brian: I don’t like that.

Eric: (drinks) It’s terrible. Throw it away. ¡Fuera!

Brian: Do you want to taste it again?

Eric: Yeah, sure. (smacks his lips) I’m getting bottom notes of toothpaste.

Brian: Toothpaste!

Eric: It could be we have a crème de menthe problem. We should find that Russian guy and interview him.

Brian: Should we photograph this in the bathroom because it tastes like toothpaste?

Eric: Let’s score it first. We know it is bad, Brian—we know that the American Beauty is bad. But how bad is it? What are some of the other drinks that have gotten zeros?

Brian: I wasn’t going to go zero.

Eric: Our Absinthe Suissesse got a 1. For comparison.

Brian: But that’s because we didn’t have the proper tools. I feel like this is a solid 2.

Eric: I give it a 0.5. For bravery. The first problem with this is that it has orange juice in it.

Brian: And crème de menthe!

Eric: Have you ever had a glass of orange juice right after brushing your teeth?

Brian: I have now.

SCORES: Brian Solid 2, Eric 0.5

Eric D. Anderson


Eric D. Anderson came to appreciate cocktails late in life and is trying to make up for lost time. He finds that crafting drinks involves the same precision, creativity, sociability, and ritual as baking—another passion—and believes that it brings people together in the same way. Eric is the director of Way of the Puck, a feature-length documentary about professional air hockey, and the editor of Stories of Quitting (, an online collection of true stories that celebrate giving up. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Painted Bride Quarterly, Perigee, Giant Robot, and Wild Quarterly, among other publications. In his free time he works as a camera operator on commercials and motion pictures.

Always drink responsibly!