The Secret Diaries of Doctor Drankenstein Ch. 20: In Which I Reach My Limits

Habanero Limearita Header


I’ll admit, the life of a gentleman scientist/adventurer isn’t as easy or as glamorous as it might look from the outside.  After months of testing everything from breakfast wine to canned martinis to the chemical-tinged trashwater that is Mad Dragon, there were simply no new horizons.  Your old friend Drankenstein had reached that distant coast, and there retired in comfort atop a truckload of simple, predictable Vella boxwine.  Both fans of this column sorely lamented its passing, but there was nothing to be done for it.  I’d hunted the world of bumwines and questionable malt liquors to extinction.  A few days ago however, something new came to my attention, something that immediately re-lit the old fires within.  Clutching a fistful of dollar bills and with a reckless gleam in my eye, I scoured the bodegas of Cleveland (okay, I checked about three), but my quarry was nowhere to be found.  Just when all hope seemed lost, a new challenger appeared.  This isn’t what I was looking for–not even close–but it is a neon green bumwine with a dancing habanero pepper on the label.  And that suits old Drankenstein just fine.

If you read my “Breakfast of Champions” article linked in the intro, you’ll know that I’m no stranger to the fine Mogen David product known affectionately as “Mad Dog”, and that I’m more than familiar with the wide array of available flavors.  I’ve gotta say though, Habanero Lime-Arita feels like a rare misstep for the brand.  I mean, I’ve consumed some pretty terrible things in the name of science, but who is this even for?  What kind of sorry wreck is out there spiking their bumwine with hot sauce, longing for the day when an off-the-shelf flavor can satisfy their twisted urges?  But I digress.  Speculation is no substitute for hard science, so it’s time to crack this thing open.   “Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more”.

One sip in, and I’m already regretting the empty bottle policy that’s strictly enforced here in my secret underground Dranklab.  This stuff tastes exactly how you think it would, but if you’re not the type of person who goes into a store and buys the worst-looking drink they have so you can write about it later on the Internet, your imagination might not stretch quite that far.  Allow me to paint you a picture.  Imagine you’re in a low-end Mexican restaurant, browsing the menu over a basket of stale chips and watery salsa, when a waitress passes by with a tray full of half-consumed margaritas left behind a few tables over.  Suddenly, she trips!  Time slows down, and you note a cigarette butt along with what might be a Band-Aid but you’re not quite sure, floating in the remains of the abandoned margaritas.  The poor waitress topples, catching the edge of your table on her way down and catapulting your salsa into the air where it plunks down into one of the already-tainted drinks.  Out of nowhere, you think that if this had been some sort of bizarre carnival game you’d have won the big prize, and you unconsciously crack a smile in spite of the situation at hand.  The waitress, her pride thankfully the only injury sustained in the fall, sees this smile and assumes your amusement is directed at her.  You try to explain, but too late!  The vile cocktail adorning her tray has miraculously survived the tumble, and in one swift motion she snatches up the glass and hurls the liquid into your face.   Your mouth, still open in a moment of vain protest, catches the bulk of this terrifying salvo and before your brain can catch up to your reflexes, it’s gone.  You drank it, and you know the taste will never leave you.

It tastes like burning!

It tastes like burning!

That, my friends, is the experience that has been bottled by the flavor wizards at Mogen David.  The back of the bottle may promise a margarita taste with a hot twist, but the only taste here is sadness; the twist, regret.  I’m a little over halfway through the bottle now, and the aftertaste is increasingly limited to habanero juice, which coupled with the buzz that accompanies a beverage with 13% ABV is starting to play tricks on my brain.  “Just a regular day, hanging out at 3:30 a.m. sipping on some hot sauce”, my brain posits, “so what’s up with the constant typo corrections?”.  It’s a strange sort of cognitive dissonance that I don’t really appreciate; I like spiciness and drunkenness to stay on their own sides of the room whenever possible.  I’ve had chili-infused beers before, and even they didn’t inspire this sort of “licking condiments off the table at Chi-Chi’s” feeling that I’m getting right now.

I’m honestly having a hard time thinking of any prior Drankenstein Diary entries that were less pleasant than this one.  I just know that at the three quarter mark I’d rather be drinking just about anything else I’ve ever had.  It’s worse than Piña Colada Tilt, but I’m not sure I can honestly call it the worst bumwine I’ve had until any resulting hangover reaches the three day mark.   Suffice it to say that sacrifices were made this day in the name of science, and that if this stuff kills me, my spicy-mouthed corpse will rest easy knowing I saved others from the same fate.

About Ryan Searles

I like watching movies, and then talking about those movies. Sometimes I write things about them, which you should read. Other interests include boxed wine, video games, the works of Harlan Ellison and HG Wells, and being a general curmudgeon.

Posted on September 18, 2013, in Opinion, Reviews, SCIENCE! and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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