Last week, I did a Sweet Sixteen bracket, not for NCAA men’s basketball, but for the cocktails at Cook Hall. The gastropub at the W Hotel asked me to judge the creations customers can make with their offered cocktail kits. You can follow them on Facebook and win stuff if you can guess the outcome.) This week, it’s time to whittle the selections down to the Final Four.
The top of the bracket is a matchup between the scotch-laced Mark Twain and the rum-based Dark & Stormy. This is one of my favorite pairings, because both provide some unexpected depth on the bench. Up against another competitor, the Mark Twain would have gone in a favorite but the winner here is the D&S.
That cocktail will take on the winner between a classic Margarita and the fruity-but-gin-soaked Gin & Sin. For me, it was barely a contest. Gin has it all over tequila when it comes to the long stretch, and the G&S bumps against the D&S in the Final Four. It’ll be a battle of the ampersands.
The Cinderella story that has been the Shandy — a beer creation with kick and fruit — continues, as it upsets one of the two bourbon drinks in the lineup, the Pit Master. It’s a terrible blow to Kentucky fans, but it wouldn’t be a tourney without some out-of-the-blue victors.
Kentucky does get represented, though, in the bottom of the bracket with its favorite son, the Mint Julep. It could have been a rum-away with the D&S already in, but the upstart Mojito caved to the wily excess of the julep.
Next week, we’ll get down to the Final Four, with the Dark & Stormy/Gin & Sin and the Shandy/Julep. But really, when you drink this much, there are no losers.