Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tropical Punching

When we lived in Florida, I used to buy a tropical liqueur called Passoã. It's based on passion fruit and other tropical flavors, it's thick and syrupy and tastes a lot like Hawaiian Punch. In large doses, it's cloying, but add a teaspoon to a margarita, and it's delicious.

When we moved back to California, I headed out to BevMo to re-stock my bar. I couldn't find any Passoã, but did find a bottle of something called Kinky, promising a similar profile of passion fruit and clementines. Got a bottle, and found it to be even better than Passoã, not as sweet, not as bright pink.

Of course, I don't get to BevMo that often. In California, we can get our liquor in the grocery store. Our local Safeway doesn't carry Kinky, but I did find something called X-Rated. Again, passion fruit and clementines, again, less sweet, less shocking pink. More sophisticated, I'd say. Cleaner. More fruity than syrupy.

Drinking this teased my brain - it reminded me of another drink, but what was it? Then it came to me - Hpnotiq, the weird blue stuff. Now, I don't have a source for this, but I am guessing that X-Rated is an imitation of Hpnotiq, pink instead of blue. Kinky is am imitation of that, and Passoã and imitaion of that.

Or maybe it's just a coincidence, and these are all pretty much independent.

In related news, our Safeway was selling Hpnotiq for a little under $20 a bottle, a pretty good price, so I picked one up, you know, for research. My theory was:

Passoã < Kinky < X-Rated < Hpnotiq

But the Hpnotiq had an off-flavor, a little bitter or musty. Either it isn't the peak tropical juice liqueur, or Safeway was getting rid of some old or heat-damaged stock. Either way, I'm still putting it in my margaritas.

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