The Castro Cooler is a deceptive little number – despite the fact that each cocktail contains a teaspoon of sugar and an ounce and a half of orange juice, this cocktail is surprisingly unsweet after the initial sip. Instead, the combination of rum and apple brandy comes through quite clearly and leaves you with a strong flavour of almost pure alcohol in the back of your throat, so be prepared for the tingling sensation which might leave you spluttering. In all honesty, I dread to think what this drink would taste like without the fruit juice or sugar; you would probably be able to strip paint with it.
In any event, the Castro Cooler is saved from being generic – and boring – by the lingering bitterness left on your palate after each sip – but this drink is one of those special occasions when bitterness is a welcome taste sensation. This drink wants you to know who it is, and that’s strong. The fruit juice is little more than decoration for the drink to look more attractive to the average punter, but the real charm is in the unabashed, in your face boozy nature of the Castro Cooler. Want to drink something strong and uncompromising? Want to know with every sip that yes, you ARE drinking alcohol? Then the Castro Cooler is the cocktail for you.
♦ 1 ½ ounces gold rum
♦ ¾ ounce Calvados or other apple brandy
♦ 1 ½ ounces orange juice
♦ 1 ounce lime juice
♦ 1 teaspoon of sugar
Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass./