Secret Diaries of Dr. Victor Drankenstein Ch. 10: Breakfast of Champions
There may come a time in your life when you wake up and realize that regular hangovers just aren’t cutting it anymore. It is in that moment that you will seek out the knowledge of Drankenstein, eager to explore the strange new paths I have paved for you. Knowing this, I cannot in good conscience continue to cater solely to the evening drinkers among you. Should you find yourself with nothing to eat but waffles and Pop-Tarts, you might understandably be looking for something in a breakfast wine. Well look no further, Count Chocula fans. I’ve got you covered.
Commonly referred to as “Mad Dog”, MD 20/20 actually takes its name from the initials of the company responsible, Mogen David. The 20/20 is in reference to the original 20oz size and 20% ABV. It is now sold in two different sizes, neither of which is 20oz. Similarly, the death-defying 20% ABV has been trimmed to a manageable 13%. The original red grape flavor is still available at 18% in some markets, however.
MD 20/20 is produced in a pretty crazy array of flavors, even by today’s bumwine standards. I mean seriously, there is a mango lime flavor. There’s blue raspberry, and they’ve even got something going on with kiwis. Apparently even a rare variety that I’ve never seen around here called Purple Rain. Unfortunately, it is more of an homage and not actually endorsed by Prince. All enticing flavor possibilities, and more legitimately beautiful colors than one is accustomed to in a bottle toxin. All other options slipped away though, when I saw Orange Jubilee. Happy memories of mimosas, screwdrivers, and breakfast-themed Hot Pockets overrode every corner of my brain, and past transgressions of citrus flavored wine were forgotten in an instant.
A bit later, some doubts began to kick in. I’ve had the Mad Dog, but it was never really my thing. I try to play it basic with my bumwines, and recent experiences have led to to believe that this policy was undoubtedly correct. As previously mentioned, however, I love all things orange juice related. Love is not a strong enough word, perhaps. Coffee aside, it is without a doubt my favorite non-alcoholic beverage. I am enamored with breakfast, and orange juice is its herald-the Silver Surfer to the Galactus that is a Denny’s Lumberjack Slam. So, as I am prone to do, I rolled the dice.
So how does this hold up against the most beloved of all-ages beverages? Believe me when I say that right now I’m experiencing whole new levels of surprise. The ingredients are listed as “grape wine with citrus spirits”, but in a blind taste test I would have been compelled to stake my reputation on “screwdriver”. This is hands-down the closest thing I’ve tasted to genuine pre-bottled alcoholic orange juice, and a good sign that science may yet provide me with such a treat. There’s a slight hint of grapefruit in there, but I’ll take an orange/grapefruit juice blend any day of the week.
About a third of the way into the bottle I went into the kitchen and grabbed some Wild Strawberry Pop-Tarts and never looked back. I’m thinking about making an omelet when I finish this article. If you love orange juice but are concerned that it might not make you charming and funny at parties, by all means give this stuff a shot. People will ask to try it out of sheer train wreck curiosity, but then they will love it and you will make a ton of new best friends. Getting super-drunk and going to Waffle House has always been a great plan, but in my professional opinion it has just been elevated to the greatest plan.
On this extremely and unexpectedly positive note, it is time to draw to a close the four part Bumwine Chronicles. To recap, Orange Jubilee MD 20/20 is the best thing to happen to breakfast since the McGriddle. Thunderbird is pretty much my recommended go-to bumwine, it’s nothing spectacular but it’s an excellent safe zone for the newly homeless. Wild Fruit flavored Wild Irish Rose is not undrinkable, but there’s no reason you should ever get it. I don’t respect any drank that’s scared to tell me what flavor it’s supposed to be. And Strawberry Banana PrimeTime is the stuff of nightmares. Only drink it if a drug cartel boss is forcing you to under implied threat to your immediate family. And really, why would that ever happen?